Economic Times | 27 Feb, 2022 | 11.43PM IST
Russia Ukraine News Live Updates: Ukraine said Sunday it had agreed to talks with Russia after four days of conflict, as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his defence chiefs to put nuclear “deterrence forces” on alert. The conflict has already killed dozens of civilians, forced hundreds of thousands to flee and turned Moscow into a global pariah. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said a Ukrainian delegation would meet the Russian one at the border with Belarus, which has allowed Russian troops passage to attack Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy rejected a Russian offer of talks in Belarus on Sunday, saying Minsk itself was complicit in the Russian invasion, but leaving the door open to negotiations in other locations. The Kremlin said on Sunday its delegation was ready to meet Ukrainian officials in the Belarusian city of Gomel. Earlier today, Ukrainian authorities said that Russian troops have entered Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv and fighting is underway in the streets. Oleh Sinehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said Sunday that Ukrainian forces were fighting Russian troops in the city and asked civilians not to leave their homes. Earlier today, Russia unleashed a wave of attacks on Ukraine targeting airfields and fuel facilities in what appeared to be the next phase of an invasion that has been slowed by fierce resistance. The U.S. and EU responded with weapons and ammunition for the outnumbered Ukrainians and powerful sanctions intended to further isolate Moscow. Huge explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, where people hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces.
Latest from Ukraine crisis:
- Russia attacked Ukrainian oil and gas facilities, sparking huge explosions, and some Russian forces entered the second city Kharkiv. A blast was heard after air raid siren in the capital Kyiv, where President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces were resisting a Russian advance.
- Zelenskiy said the night had been brutal, with shelling of civilian infrastructure and attacks on everything, including ambulances.
- Western allies announced sweeping sanctions against Russia, including barring some key banks from the SWIFT payments system. The move will inflict a crippling economic blow to Moscow but also hurt Western companies and banks.
- At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed in Russia’s invasion, the head of the Ukrainian Health Ministry was quoted as saying. A United Nations relief agency said at least 64 civilians had been killed among 240 civilian casualties, but that the real numbers were likely “considerably higher”.
- Russian forces blew up a natural gas pipeline in Kharkiv, while Russian-backed separatists said Ukraine had blown up an oil terminal in the breakaway Luhansk province. Russia continues to supply Europe with gas via Ukraine.
- Refugees continued to pour across Ukraine’s western borders, with around 100,000 reaching Poland in two days.
- Ukraine denied that it was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia but said it was not ready to accept ultimatums or unacceptable conditions.
- A Ukrainian road-maintenance company said it was removing all road signs to hinder invading Russian forces: “Let us help them get straight to hell.”
- In a sea of blue and yellow flags and banners, protesters around the world expressed support for the people of Ukraine and called on governments to do more to help Kyiv, punish Russia and avoid a broader conflict.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a high-level meeting on the Ukraine issue
The PM’s meeting lasted for over 2 hours. PM said the ensuring safety of our students and evacuating them is our top priority. It was discussed to further enhance cooperation with neighbouring countries of Ukraine to expedite evacuation.
U.S. banks’ Russian investment banking fee income in doubt after Moscow sanctions
Western sanctions on Moscow could throw the small but lucrative Russian investment banking business that several large U.S. banks have maintained into question, lawyers said, which could deal a hit to tens of millions of dollars in fees.
Russia war on Ukraine has displaced ‘over 7 million people’
Russia’s war on Ukraine has displaced “over seven million people”, the EU commissioner for crisis management said Sunday.
Hungary to stay out of Ukraine-Russia conflict, Orban says
Hungary’s interest is to stay out of the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday, reiterating that Hungary would not send weapons to neighbouring Ukraine but would help all refugees from there.
Sweden breaks with tradition and delivers arms to Ukraine: PM
UNSC to vote on convening ‘emergency special session’ of General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- The UN Security Council will vote to convene a rare “emergency special session” of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two days after Moscow used its veto to block a resolution on its aggression against Kyiv.
- The 15-nation Security Council will meet on Sunday afternoon to hold a vote on the special session. This will be only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950.
Russia admits ‘killed and injured’ troops in Ukraine
The Russian army on Sunday admitted that there were “killed and injured” soldiers among its troops in Ukraine on the fourth day of its invasion of the country, without specifying how many Russians had died there.
Closed airspace to Russian airlines
We are shutting down the EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft including the private jets of oligarchs. Second, we will ban the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU: President EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen
Russia has warned Ukraine its offensive will not stop for talks, says Kremlin
The Kremlin on Sunday said it has warned Ukraine that Russia’s military operation would be suspended during any potential talks, the Interfax news agency reported.
Ukraine International Airlines suspends flights until March 23
Ukraine International Airlines said on Sunday it had extended the suspension of its regular and charter flights until March 23 due to the closure of Ukrainian airspace to civilian users.
US, allies to cut off selected Russian banks from SWIFT messaging system to tighten sanctions on Moscow
Seeking to cripple Russia’s economy for invading Ukraine, the US and its key allies have decided to expel selected Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system and impose restrictive measures on its central bank to limit Moscow’s ability to access its overseas reserves.
Estonia urges citizens to return from Russia
Estonia urged its nationals in Russia on Sunday to reconsider whether they need to stay there and to return home if possible. It also called on Estonian nationals to avoid regions in Russia and Belarus bordering Ukraine due to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
A dedicated Twitter handle has been set up to assist in the evacuation of Indians from Ukraine
A dedicated Twitter handle has been set up to assist in the evacuation of Indians from Ukraine: MEA Spokesperson Ar… https://t.co/QXZ2JMuaHe
— ANI (@ANI) 1645975596000
Georgia stands with Ukraine
Georgia has stood with Ukraine and will always do the same. In the end, Ukraine will win. Killing innocent people i… https://t.co/YFKs6rEEwZ
— ANI (@ANI) 1645975149000
Putin nuclear alert ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible’: NATO chief
President Vladimir Putin’s decision to place his nuclear forces on alert amounts to “irresponsible” behavior, NATO charged Sunday. “This is dangerous rhetoric. This is a behavior which is irresponsible,” the alliance’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told CNN.
Airplane carrying Norway NATO troops lands in Lithuania
A military aircraft carrying Norwegian troop reinforcements landed in Lithuania on Sunday, part of a wider NATO buildup in the Baltic region following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government raises crypto worth $8 million in crowdfunding appeal
Ukraine’s government has raised almost $8 million in cryptocurrencies after posting appeals on social media for donations of bitcoin and other digital tokens, according to blockchain analysis company Elliptic.
U.N. nuclear watchdog to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine
The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday about Ukraine, where war is raging in a country with four operational nuclear power plants and various waste facilitiesincluding Chernobyl.
Spain says closing airspace to Russian carriers
Spain said Sunday it was closing its airspace to Russian carriers, following similar moves by several European nations over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Putin nuclear alert order part of pattern of made-up threats, U.S. says
President Vladimir Putin’s order to put Russian nuclear forces on high alert is part of a pattern of Moscow manufacturing threats to justify aggression, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday.
More than 100,000 people attended a Ukraine solidarity march in Berlin on Sunday, police said, with many protesters dressed in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukraine flag
Canada to shut its airspace to Russian operators immediately
Canada has closed its airspace to Russian aircraft operators effective immediately due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Canada’s minister of transportation said on Sunday.
Ukraine and Russia agree to talks without preconditions, Zelenskiy says
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said on Sunday. The talks, the first since Russia unleashed a full scale invasion of Ukraine last week, would be held without preconditions and are the result of a phone call between Zelenskiy and the Belarusian president, Zelenskiy said.
Putin escalating in unacceptable manner with nuclear high alert – U.S. ambassador to U.N.
President Vladimir Putin’s order to put Russia’s deterrence forces, which include nuclear arms – on high alert is unacceptable escalation, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Sunday.
Ukraine crisis: IndiGo to operate flights to Budapest to bring back Indians
IndiGo will operate two flights to Budapest to bring back Indians who are stranded in Ukraine, according to an official. The flights will be operated on Monday and Tuesday from Delhi. They will first fly to Istanbul and then to Budapest in Hungary. In the return leg, the flights will come to Istanbul and then to Delhi.
US announces $54 million in humanitarian aid for Ukraine
The United States said Sunday it is sending nearly $54 million in new humanitarian aid to Ukraine as it grapples with the Russian invasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a high-level meeting on the Ukraine issue
Putin orders military to put ‘deterrence forces’ on high alert
President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces on alert amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, reports AP
Ukraine agrees to hold talks with Russia in Belarus, reports Russian State Media
Russia said on Sunday that, after some back-and-forth, Ukraine agreed to dispatch a team to Belarus for talks to end the Russian military campaign in the country. Kiev “confirmed” the planned talks in Gomel Region, which is close to the borders of both Russia and Ukraine, Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky told reporters.
List of flights for operation Ganga
List of flights for operation Ganga for Evacuation of Indians from Ukraine via neighboring countries: Foreign Secre… https://t.co/ktbZH7pOEA
— ANI (@ANI) 1645966120000
Russia demands Google restore access to its media YouTube channels in Ukraine
- Russia’s state communications regulator on Sunday said it had written to Alphabet Inc’s Google and demanded that access to Russian media’s YouTube channels be restored on Ukrainian territory.
- The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said it wanted all restrictions imposed on the Russian-language YouTube channels of media outlets RBC, TV Zvezda and Sputnik to be removed.
EU ministers to discuss helping Ukraine with weapons, supplies
EU foreign ministers on Sunday will look at helping Ukraine against the Russian offensive by discussing the funding of “lethal material” and supplies such as fuel, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. Their emergency meeting, by video link, will also examine additional EU sanctions announced overnight by European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.
At least 370,000 flee Ukraine after Russian invasion
The United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, says at least 370,000 people have fled the fighting so far and it is planning to deal with up to four million if the situation worsens.
About 15,000 Indian citizens left in Ukraine
Our Embassy in Kyiv and our Ministry had issued a number of advisories prior to the situation developing. 4000 of our nationals had left before the conflict, pursuant to these advisories. We estimated that about 15,000 citizens were left in Ukraine: Foreign Secy Harsh V Shringla
Putin accuses Ukraine of wasting ‘opportunity’ for talks
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged foreigners to head to Ukrainian embassies worldwide to sign up for an “international brigade” of volunteers to help fight invading Russian forces.
Those who judge that the situation is not conducive for travel, or are unable to leave due to any reason, may wait until further developments: Embassy of India in Kyiv, Ukraine in an advisory to Indian nationals
Germany to step up plans to cut dependence on Russia gas
Germany will make good on plans to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and up its natural gas reserves to cut its dependence on Russian gas after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday.
Poland, Romania & Hungary to allow Indian students escaping Ukraine to enter without visas
Poland, Romana and Hungary are allowing Indian students who escape from Russian aggression in Ukraine to enter Poland without any visa. On behalf of Poland, their ambassador to India, Adam Burakowski, informed this. (ET Bureau)
Russia warns assistance to foreign state can be treason
The Russian state prosecutor’s office said on Sunday that anyone providing financial or other assistance to a foreign state or international organisation aimed against Russia’s security could be convicted of treason, facing a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Jaishankar dialed Moldova Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu seeking support for facilitating entry of Indian nationals on Ukraine-Moldova border
Called Foreign Minister @nicupopescu of Moldova seeking support for facilitating entry of our nationals on the Ukra… https://t.co/hCpi6GGoqJ
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) 1645961341000
Germany, allies must not lose momentum in Russia sanctions
Germany and its Western allies must not run out of steam in sanctioning Russia as President Vladimir Putin has a long-term plan in mind, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday.
International Judo Federation suspends Vladimir Putin as its honorary president amid ‘ongoing war conflict in Ukraine’
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has been suspended as honorary president and ambassador of the International Judo Federation on Sunday.
- The sports governing body removed Putin in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
German Chancellor says still open for talks with Russia
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday he was still open for talks with Russia, but warned that Moscow had to be ready for “real dialogue.”
World in ‘new era’ after Russian invasion of Ukraine, says Germany’s Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that the world stood in a “new era” with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, noting that the question facing Western allies was whether they can muster enough power to set limits for “warmongers” like Vladimir Putin. “In essence, it’s a question of whether might can break right,” he said in a speech at a special parliamentary sitting.
Ukraine submits application against Russia to ICJ – Zelenskiy
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday his nation had submitted an application against Russia to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
- “Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week,” Zelenskiy wrote on his Twitter.
Iceland says it will close its airspace to Russian air traffic
Iceland has decided to shut its airspace to Russian air traffic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Icelandic Foreign Minister Thordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir tweeted on Sunday.
Portugal to send military equipment to Ukraine
- Portugal is to send military equipment to Ukraine, the defence ministry said on Sunday, joining other Western nations in dispatching help to the eastern European country under Russian attack. Lisbon is to dispatch “vests, helmets, night-vision goggles, grenades and ammunition of various calibres”, the ministry said in a statement in the early hours on Twitter. “Portugal supports Ukraine, which is defending itself against an unjustified, illegal and unacceptable invasion,” Defence Minister Joao Cravinho said in another tweet. Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva on Saturday told CNN Portugal that was “totally open” to welcoming “thousands of Ukrainians” forced to flee their country.
Special UNSC session on Ukraine
- Special UNSC session on Ukraine to be held at 3pm New York Time on 27th February (1:30 am IST on February 28).
All the Indians stranded in Ukraine will be brought back to the country at the government’s expense. We have decided to increase the number of flights to neighbouring countries of Ukraine with their permission for this purpose, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Belgium closes airspace to Russian airlines, says PM
- Belgium is closing its airspace to Russian flights, the country’s prime minister said on Sunday, adding to a growing number of EU countries that have done the same. “Belgium has decided to close its airspace to all Russian airlines,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted. “Our European skies are open skies. They’re open for those who connect people, not for those who seek to brutally aggress.”
Ukraine calls for Russia to lose UN Security Council seat
- Ukraine’s president says Russia should be thrown out of the United Nations Security Council following its invasion of his country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message Sunday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine amounts to an act of genocide, saying that “Russia has taken the path of evil and the world should come to depriving it of its U.N. Security Council seat.” Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, giving it veto power over resolutions. Zelenskyy said that Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities should be investigated by an international war crimes tribunal and denounced the Russian invasion as “state terrorism.”
Ukraine invasion puts Russia’s elite sports status at risk
- Russia spent upwards of $50 billion to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, then concocted the most elaborate doping scheme in history — all to cement its standing as a global sports superpower. The country’s invasion of Ukraine, coming on the heels of yet another drug scandal that consumed the Beijing Olympics earlier this month, could serve to undermine an athletic dynasty tarnished by cheating and deception, and often countered with only tepid pushback from international sports leaders.
Lebanon’s position on Ukraine should not affect ties with Moscow, says Russian envoy
- Lebanon’s condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine “will not affect considerably” Moscow’s relations with Beirut, the Russian ambassador said on Sunday. “In the difficult times, we can see those who stood with us and those who didn’t,” Alexander Rudakov told a news conference in Beirut.
Ukrainian minister says Russia lost some 4,300 men in invasion
- Russian forces have lost about 4,300 servicemen during their invasion of Ukraine, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Sunday, adding however that the number was being clarified. She also said on her Facebook page that Russian troops lost about 146 tanks, 27 aircraft and 26 helicopters.
EU could ban Russian flights from its airspace, official says
- A European Union-wide ban for Russian flights could be part of a fresh package of sanctions on Moscow to be discussed later on Sunday by the bloc’s foreign ministers, an EU official said. A vast majority of EU member states have already closed their airspace to these flights, and a more formal decision could be taken shortly, the official added.
Ukraine conflict could last ‘number of years’: UK FM Truss
- The Russia-Ukraine conflict could last a “number of years” and the world needs to be prepared for Moscow “to seek to use even worse weapons”, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned Sunday. “I fear this will be a long haul, this could be a number of years. Russia have strong forces and we know the Ukrainians are brave, they are determined to stand up for their sovereignty and territorial integrity and they are determined to fight,” Truss told Sky News.
Romania to send fuel, ammunition to Ukraine
- Romania will send provisions and equipment worth 3 million euros ($3.38 million) to Ukraine and has offered to care for the wounded in military and civilian hospitals, government spokesperson Dan Carbunaru said on Sunday. Provisions to be sent include fuel, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, helmets, military equipment, food and water, he added. In cooperation with Ukrainian border authorities, Romanian ambulances will pick up children, pregnant women and the elderly waiting in long queues to cross the border into Romania at the northeastern Siret crossing, speeding up the process, he said.
China to arrange chartered flights to evacuate nationals from Ukraine
- China is preparing to evacuate its about 6,000 stranded nationals in Ukraine amid ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine. On Thursday, the Chinese embassy in Kyiv issued a notice regarding the evacuation and said that the authorities are preparing charter flights for the process, Global Times has reported. The charter flights will be dispatched according to the safety situation and will be notified in advance, the embassy said. Meanwhile, the embassy in Ukraine has issued two security alerts for Chinese citizens and companies in the country in one day. The embassy said that, although activities have been affected, there was no panic, Global Times added.
More than 43,000 Ukrainians entered Romania since Russian invasion
- More than 43,000 Ukrainians have fled to Romania in the three days since Russia invaded Ukraine by land, sea and air, border police data showed on Sunday.
- They have entered Romania through its four land border checkpoints with Ukraine, but also through its checkpoints with Moldova, data showed. Thousands of them have already exited the country on their way to Bulgaria and Hungary.
UK says Russia needs to withdraw from Ukraine for any talks
- British foreign minister Liz Truss said on Sunday there could be no talks with Russia over Ukraine while Moscow has troops in its neighbour, adding that the conflict could be protracted. “Now if the Russians are serious about negotiations they need to remove their troops from Ukraine. They cannot negotiate with a gun to the head of the Ukrainians … So frankly, I don’t trust these so-called efforts of negotiation,” she told Sky News.