Russia has put itself on high nuclear alert as the first talks in the Russia/Ukraine conflict are due to begin today.
Ukraine continued to hold back advancing Russian troops as the EU introduced a raft of economic sanctions against Russia.
It also declared Europe a no-fly zone for all Russian aircraft.
Five days after Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, locals are managing to hold off the might of the Kremlin.
Kyiv said that all key cities across the country of 41 million people were still under government control on Sunday night.
Ukrainian and Russian delegations are due to meet for tentative talks on Ukraine’s border with Belarus.
Belarus, which is Moscow’s ally in the war, may now be seeing that the sympathy of the world is now with Ukraine.
Russia’s President Putin has now ordered his defence chiefs to move Russia’s nuclear forces to a “special regime of combat duty.”
He accused western states of taking “unfriendly steps against our country in the economic dimension – I mean the illegal sanctions that everyone knows about very well” – and said Nato members were making “aggressive statements” about Russia.
Ukraine said Moscow was trying to put it under pressure during the talks on the border.
The EU has taken a dramatic step and put up €350M to buy arms for Ukraine but Ireland will only buy medical supplies as part of this package to maintain our neutral stance, said Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.