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Ukrainian president outraged at Kharkiv bombing as talks begin and Russian convoy nears Kyiv

The Washington Post's Whitney Leaming describes what it was like to travel from Kharkiv to Dnipro on Feb. 28 on roads now marked by checkpoints and armed men. (Video: Zoeann Murphy, Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post, Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

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Even as Russian and Ukrainian officials held their first talks on Monday, Russia’s assault on Ukraine intensified, devastating its second-largest city in what President Volodymyr Zelensky described as a war crime and a “deliberate destruction of people.”

Delegations from the two nations met near Ukraine’s border with Belarus and spoke for five hours without coming to a resolution, but agreed to continue talks in the coming days. Zelensky said he would meet with advisers before deciding how to proceed in the second round of discussions, and he expressed outrage at the timing of the bombardment in Kharkiv, which came as talks began.

Here’s what to know

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Here's what to know:

A massive convoy of Russian ground forces is wending its way closer to Kyiv, drawing within 20 miles of the center of the Ukrainian capital on Monday, a new batch of satellite images showed.
Ukraine asked to join the European Union under a special procedure, according to a video message posted by Zelensky.
Russia was careening toward an economic crisis Monday, with the value of the ruble plunging after several nations severed the Kremlin’s access to its foreign currency reserves in the West and cut off some Russian banks from the international SWIFT financial messaging system.
Washington announced another round of sanctions Monday, effectively prohibiting institutions in the United States from doing business with Russia’s central bank. Sports leagues around the world also announced punitive measures against Russia this week.
Putin this week ordered his nuclear forces to be on alert. Here’s what that means.

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War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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