(NewsNation Now) — The free world universally condemned Russia as its invasion stretched into day five and military forces shelled Ukraine’s second-largest city, closing in on the capital, Kyiv.
Russia found itself increasingly isolated amid ever-growing international condemnation. The United Nations General Assembly held an extraordinary emergency session with pleas for peace — the assembly’s first emergency meeting in decades.
Monday’s meeting was held as the U.S. and NATO condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “dangerous rhetoric.”
NewsNation’s Leland Vittert said Putin knows what the West and other NATO countries want to hear and he will keep saying it while doing the complete opposite.
“Back during the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine, you saw the same thing that as Putin was encircling towns and shelling them and bombing them, he was saying, ‘oh, let’s have peace talks, I’m ready to have peace, and we must have dialogue and on and on,'” Vittert said on “Morning in America.” “He’s an expert at playing to the west, and America’s desire and ideals, that diplomacy and talking and agreements can work out.”
On Monday, Ukraine and Russian officials concluded the first round of talks between delegations from the two countries on the Belarus border.
A top Putin aide and head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that the talks lasted nearly five hours and that the envoys “found certain points on which common positions could be foreseen.”
Ultimately, the talks didn’t yield any breakthroughs and advisers say more talks could happen soon.
As the talks wrapped up, however, several blasts could be heard in Kyiv, though few details were immediately known. Satellite images show Russian troops are attacking Ukraine on multiple fronts and are advancing on the capital city of nearly 3 million people in a 17-mile convoy of hundreds of tanks and other vehicles.
Shortly after the talks, Ukraine’s president signed an application for his country to join the European Union, in a bid to solidify his country’s bond with the West.
Zelenskyy posted photos of himself signing the application, and his office says the paperwork is on its way to Brussels, where the 27-nation EU is headquartered.
It is seen as a largely symbolic move unlikely to sit well with Putin, who has long accused the U.S. of trying to pull Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit.
More than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, according to the U.N. As the conflict continues, refugees in Poland said that they didn’t believe an invasion was imminent. They’re now struggling to understand why it happened to begin with as hundreds of thousands of Ukraine citizens are now fleeing the place they call home.
The United States imposed additional sanctions on Russia’s central bank and other sources of wealth on Monday, further punishing Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Switzerland adopted European Union sanctions, including asset freezes, targeting Russians — all but depriving well-heeled Russians of access to one of their favorite havens to park their money.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted his country “won’t give up” on its relations with either Russia or Ukraine, but says it will implement an international convention that allows Turkey to shut down the straits at the entrance of the Black Sea to the warships of “belligerent countries.”
Also on Monday, Shell announced it is pulling out of Russia as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine costs the country’s all-important energy industry foreign investment and expertise.
Sporting bodies also moved to bar Russian athletes from competing in international events, with FIFA and UEFA suspending Russia’s national teams and clubs from international football.
The move makes it likely that Russia will be excluded from this year’s World Cup and the women’s Euro 2020 tournament.
The parent company of Facebook and Instagram says it is restricting access to Russia’s RT and Sputnik in Europe over concerns the two state-controlled media outlets are being used to spread disinformation and propaganda.
Despite nations joining together to impose a host of severe sanctions on Russia, Putin furthered his attack by ordering his country’s deterrence forces, which includes nuclear arms, to be on high alert.
“President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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