Russian chiefs ‘arrive in Belarus for Ukraine peace talks’ claims brazen Kremlin

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The Kremlin says a Russian delegation has arrived in the Belarusian city of Homel for talks with Ukrainian officials.

Russia appears to be looking to hold peace talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy following Vladimir Putin's invasion on Thursday.

The leader of Ukraine has said his country is ready for peace talks with Russia, but will not conduct these in Belarus, which was an invasion staging ground.

Ukrainian forces are believed to have held off Russian troops advancing on the capital of Kyiv as Russian forces attacked oil and gas facilities in Ukraine overnight, causing huge explosions.

Russian missiles targeted an oil terminal in Vasylkiv, southwest of Kyiv, according to the town's mayor.

The results of the blasts reportedly sent huge flames and billowing black smoke into the sky as mayor Natalia Balasinovich said: "The enemy wants to destroy everything."

Heavy fighting has also been reported in Kharkiv, where Russia blew up a natural gas pipeline, a Ukrainian state agency said.

Russian troops were later seen entered Kharkiv, Ukraine's interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said on Telegram.

These videos, posted by him and a state agency, showed several military vehicles moving on a street and in a separate video, a burning tank.

Western allies have prepared new sanctions, including banishing key Russia banks from the main global payments system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised Ukrainians for “fighting heroically” as allies unveiled new measures to hit Russia’s financial system.

Mr Johnson also said the West is “tightening the economic ligature” around Russia, with Britain, the US, Canada and the European Union together announcing selected Russian banks would be excluded from the Swift global payments system.

Mr Johnson also said: “Let’s be in no doubt, things are not going all the way of President Putin, very far from it.

“The Ukrainians are fighting heroically, and in some places with great success, as many of us thought they would because they’re a great country and a very brave country.”

The news comes as Ukraine is establishing a foreign "international" legion for volunteers from abroad, Mr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

"This will be the key evidence of your support for our country," Mr Zelenskiy said in a statement.

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