Ukraine's Zelenskyy calls on Putin to meet as tensions soar

APTOPIX Ukraine Tensions
Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 21:38:46-05

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, facing a sharp spike in violence in and around territory held by Russia-backed rebels and increasingly dire warnings that Russia plans to invade, has called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet him and seek a resolution to the crisis.

There was no immediate response from the Kremlin. Zelenskyy spoke hours after separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a full military mobilization Saturday while Western leaders made increasingly dire warnings that a Russian invasion of its neighbor appeared imminent.

In new signs of fears that a war could start within days, Germany and Austria told their citizens to leave Ukraine. German air carrier Lufthansa canceled flights to the capital, Kyiv, and to Odesa.