Images have emerged Thursday of police officers showing explosives to Ukrainian schoolchildren as concerns persist about a potential Russian military invasion.
The photos were taken in the country’s capital of Kiev during a police-organized civilian safety lesson, according to the Associated Press.
Elsewhere around Ukraine, hundreds have joined a campaign on social networks under the hashtag #UkrainiansWillResist to speak out against Russia.
Those taking part include celebrities, journalists, activists and politicians, with the campaign growing more popular by the day, the AP reports.
“Nobody can force Ukrainians to accept Putin’s ultimatum. There will not be any ‘peace’ on Russia’s conditions,” Andrii Levus, the campaign initiator, reportedly wrote on his Facebook page.
Tensions have soared in recent weeks, as the U.S. and its NATO allies expressed concern that a buildup of more than 125,000 Russian troops near Ukraine signaled that Moscow planned to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia, meanwhile, is denying that it plans to do so and has laid out a series of demands it claims will improve security in Europe.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suggested Thursday that Russia could remain on a “diplomatic track” for the next two weeks following talks in Paris with officials from Moscow, Ukraine, France and Germany.
“Nothing has changed, this is the bad news,” Kuleba was quoted by Reuters as saying, adding that “unfortunately, the biggest demand that Russia has is that Ukraine engages directly in talks with Russian proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk instead of negotiating with Russia.”
“This will not happen, this is a matter of principle,” he continued.
But the “good news is that advisers agreed to meet in Berlin in two weeks, which means that Russia for the next two weeks is likely to remain on the diplomatic track,” Kuleba said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.