Russian shelling of the town of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine killed at least two people and injured more than two dozen others, the regional governor said Monday. The shelling came as Ukraine seeks an emergency UN Security Council meeting to counter Russia's "nuclear blackmail" after President Vladimir Putin announced his country would station tactical nuclear arms in Belarus. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT + 1).
1:20pm: Ukraine withdraws city workers from frontline town Avdiivka
Municipal workers are being evacuated from the frontline town of Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk region, said a Ukrainian official.
"It's a shame to admit, but Avdiivka looks more and more like a scene from post-apocalyptic movies," the head of the town's administration Vitalii Barabash said on social media.
"Therefore, a difficult decision was made to evacuate ... municipal workers, who at least somehow tried to maintain the cleanliness and vitality of the city."
Russian forces have been working to capture the entire eastern Donetsk region for several months, with the focus of fighting centring on Bakhmut, north of Avdiivka.
1:12pm: Russia won't change plans on Belarus nuclear weapons, says Kremlin
The Kremlin has said Western criticism would not change plans announced by President Vladimir Putin to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus.
Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned Moscow's weekend announcement that it was placing nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Kyiv is seeking an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the move.
"Such a reaction of course cannot influence Russian plans," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
1:05pm: Russian shelling kills two in Sloviansk
Russian shelling of the town of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine killed at least two people and injured more than two dozen others, the regional governor said Monday.
"As of 13:00, there are two dead and 29 wounded in Sloviansk ... administrative and office buildings, five high-rise buildings and seven private houses were damaged," Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Facebook.
"(Russian forces) struck the city centre around 10:30 (0730 GMT) with two S-300 missiles," he added.
11:51am: Russia will identify perpetrators of Nord Stream blasts, says Kremlin
The Kremlin has said Russia will establish which state or states were behind blasts that damaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines and would do everything to stop what it called Western efforts to "cover-up" what happened.
The pipelines, which connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were hit by unexplained blasts last September in what Moscow called an act of international terrorism.
President Vladimir Putin has said he believes the US was behind the blasts, an idea Washington has dismissed as false.
9:08am: NATO party to Ukraine war, says top Russian security chief
The secretary of Russia's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said that NATO countries are a party to the conflict in Ukraine, according to excerpts from an interview with Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta cited Patrushev as saying: "In fact, NATO countries are a party to the conflict. They made Ukraine one big military camp. They send weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian troops, provide them with intelligence."
Patrushev, a former chief of the FSB internal security service, is widely seen as one of the most hawkish members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
6:45am: Ukraine wants 'effective' UN action to counter Russian 'nuclear blackmail'
Kyiv said on Sunday it was seeking an emergency meeting of the United Nation's Security Council to counter Russia's "nuclear blackmail" after President Vladimir Putin announced his country would station tactical nuclear arms in Belarus.
Putin said the deployment was similar to moves from the United States, which stores such weapons in bases across Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, an analogy western allies called "misleading".
"Ukraine expects effective actions to counteract the Kremlin's nuclear blackmail from the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France," the Ukrainian foreign ministry said.
"We demand that an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council be immediately convened for this purpose," it added.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
Originally published on France24