KYIV, Feb 28 (AFP) - The Ukrainian military said on Monday (Feb 28) that Russian troops had slowed down "the pace of the offensive", as Moscow's assault against Ukraine went into its fifth day.

"The Russian occupiers have reduced the pace of the offensive, but are still trying to develop success in some areas," the general staff of the armed forces said.

On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin put Russia's nuclear deterrent on high alert in the face of a barrage of Western reprisals for his war on Ukraine, which said it had repelled Russian ground forces attacking its biggest cities.

At least 352 civilians, including 14 children, had been killed since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, with 1,684 people wounded.

Ukrainian and Russian officials are due to hold talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine.