On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's nuclear deterrent force to be on high alert after several countries launched sanctions and military efforts against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine last week.
"Senior officials of the leading NATO countries also allow aggressive statements against our country, therefore, I order the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff [of the Russian armed forces] to transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army to a special mode of combat duty," Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and armed forces Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov in a televised briefing on Sunday.
According to The Washington Times, Putin's remarks were an explicit version of a recent threat he previously issued to Western countries if they attempted to intervene in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Last week, after launching the military offensive, Putin asserted that any country that tried to stop him would face "consequences they have never seen before."
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron held separate phone calls with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an attempt to quell the conflict between both countries.
According to NBC News, Macron spoke to Zelenskyy "several" times and had a 90-minute phone call with Putin, during which he urged the Kremlin leader to "end the Russian offensive against Ukraine."
Macron's office explained that the French President "reaffirmed the need to implement an immediate ceasefire" in his call with Putin and urged for a "halt to all strikes and attacks against civilians and places of residence."
In response, Putin "confirmed his willingness" to do so. At the same time, however, Ukraine said that its second-largest city, Kharkiv, was under attack by the Russian military on Monday.
On Monday, Russian and Ukrainian delegates met in Belarus to discuss a possible ceasefire between both countries following five days of fighting.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Matthew Stockman/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.