Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered deterrence forces, which includes nuclear weapons, on alert Sunday, escalating tensions as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine. Putin said the order was in response to “aggressive statements” by members of NATO.

Putin’s nuclear threat comes after he launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday in an effort to block the country from joining NATO, warning countries that tried to step in that they would face “consequences you have never seen.” President Joe Biden and other world leaders issued a slew of sanctions targeting Russian finances and leaders, including Putin himself.

“We have to continue to condemn his actions in … the strongest possible way,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CBS News. “Putin has tried every means possible to actually put fear in the world in terms of his action, and it just means that we have to ramp up our efforts here at the United Nations and elsewhere to hold him accountable.”

Russian attack has continued on the ground as well, especially in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Residents who have not left the city have been seeking shelter in subway stations and underground garages.

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“The past night was tough – more shelling, more bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “There is not a single facility in the country that the occupiers wouldn’t consider as admissible targets.”

Russia and Ukraine are participating in talks Monday morning, but Zelensky said, “I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting.” He stated that he would still attend so that the Ukrainian people would not doubt that their President did everything he could to bring peace.

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