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Latest in Ukraine: Ukraine Calls for UN Meeting on Russian Nuclear Deployment Plans
New developments:??  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Ukrainians in his daily address Sunday evening to support the country’s defense effort, saying, “one cannot be mentally far from the war, although thanks to our soldiers, real hostilities are taking place geographically far from many.”  Russia blamed a Ukrainian drone for an explosion in the Russian town of Kireyevsk that wounded three people.  A NATO spokeswoman lashed out at Russia for its "dangerous and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric” after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.?   Ukraine has called for an extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Security Council in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of plans to station tactical nuclear in weapons in Belarus.  Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Putin’s move was “provocative” and undermined international security.  Russia can halt any action at the Security Council as one of the five veto-holding permanent members.  Ukraine said it expects “effective measures” from the other four permanent members — Britain, China, France and the United States — saying those countries “bear primary responsibility for preventing threats of aggression with the use of nuclear weapons.”  Putin announced the deployment of the tactical nuclear weapons Saturday, saying it was warranted because of the West’s increasing military support for Ukrainian forces, including Britain’s decision last week to send armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium to Ukraine.??  Putin said that Russia’s positioning of tactical nuclear warheads in Belarus was no different than the United States placing nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.?  "We are doing what they have been doing for decades, stationing them in certain allied countries, preparing the launch platforms and training their crews," the Russian leader said.?  Putin said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has long asked to have nuclear weapons in his country to counter possible NATO threats from nearby Western allies. Belarus shares borders with three NATO members — Latvia, Lithuania and Poland — while Russia used Belarusian territory as a staging ground to send troops into Ukraine when the invasion began in February of last year.?  NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu called Russian comparisons to nuclear deployment by NATO members misleading and said “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible.”  Tactical nuclear weapons can be used on the battlefield and have a short range and a low yield compared with much more powerful nuclear warheads fitted on long-range missiles. Putin said Russia would maintain control over the undisclosed number he sends to Belarus, and construct storage facilities for them by July 1.??  The United States said it would "monitor the implications" of Putin's announcement.  National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said that so far Washington hadn't seen "any indications Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon" in its attack on Ukraine.?  Some material in this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters. 

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