Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | February 24, 2022

The latest developments on Ukraine-Russia tensions after Russia launches military operation against Ukraine

February 24, 2022 08:48 am | Updated March 15, 2022 12:08 pm IST

A damaged vehicle and debris following Russian shelling outside outside Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

A damaged vehicle and debris following Russian shelling outside outside Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

At least 68 people have been killed in the military operation launched by Russia on Ukraine. Ukrainian forces also claim they have killed “around 50 Russian occupiers”. As several fighter aircraft and helicopters are seen in parts of Ukraine, an adviser to the presidential office said they feared that Russian forces could be air dropped into the country and then try to penetrate the government district in Kyiv.

The United Nations, NATO and various countries around the world have scrambled to put pressure on Russia to cease the attack by threatening with sanctions and retaliation.

The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022 after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.

Click here to read how the world is reacting to the developments.

Top Developments
  • Russia declares military operations against Ukraine ‘to protect civilians in the eastern region’. 
  • PM Modi speaks to Putin, calls for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations.
  • Ukraine declares martial law, nationwide emergency, shuts its airports.
  • Multiple explosions heard near the main airport in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
  • Ukraine President orders full military mobilisation
  • US lawmakers to provide 600 million USD to Ukraine
  • Biden hits Russia with new sanctions

Here are the latest updates:


Ukraine President orders full military mobilisation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has ordered a full military mobilisation to counter the Russian invasion.

In a decree issued on Thursday, he said the mobilisation would last 90 days.

He tasked the military's general staff with determining the number of people eligible for service and the number of reservists as well as the order of the call-up. The president's cabinet has been tasked with allocating money for the mobilisation. -AP


In consultation with India: Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden said that his administration was in consultation with India on Thursday and in the process of resolving issues stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

New Delhi shares a close relationship with both Moscow and Washington and is having to walk a tightrope given the increasingly isolated position Russia finds itself in, following its invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday. — Sriram Lakshman


PM Modi speaks with Putin

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, hours after the latter announced military operation in Ukraine.

“Prime Minister reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue. Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

PM Modi also sensitised President Putin about concerns over safety of Indians, attaching highest priority to their safe exit, the PMO said. - Suhasini Haidar

U.S. defence aid to Ukraine

U.S. Congress to provide $600 mln for new Ukraine weapons 

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said lawmakers want to provide Ukraine with $600 million for “lethal defense weapons” to battle Russia’s unfolding attack. “What we’re doing with Ukraine is making sure that we have humanitarian assistance to help the people; that we have lethal defense weapons going into Ukraine to the tune of $600 million for them to fight their own fight,” she said, speaking to reporters in San Francisco. — Reuters

United Nations

Russia’s move against UN Charter but not irreversible: UN chief

Russia’s “military offensive” inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine is “wrong” and against the UN Charter but not irreversible, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, reiterating his appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop it.

Urging Mr. Putin to bring back the Russian troops, the UN chief said the decisions of the coming days will “shape our world” and affect the lives of millions. “We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades. Day after day, I have been clear that such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter,” Mr. Guterres said here on Thursday, a day after Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine. Quoting the UN Charter, Mr. Guterres said the use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold. “This applies to the present military offensive. It is wrong. It is against the Charter. It is unacceptable. But it is not irreversible,” he said. Mr. Guterres once again appealed to Mr. Putin to stop the military operation in Ukraine. “Stop the military operation. Bring the troops back to Russia. We know the toll of war. With deaths rising, we are seeing images of fear, anguish and terror in every corner of Ukraine,” Mr. Guterres said, adding that innocent people always pay the highest price in a war. — PTI

United States

Biden hits Russia with new sanctions, says Putin ‘chose’ war

U.S. President Joe Biden announced additional sanctions on Russian entities and individuals hours after Russia began an assault on Ukraine.

“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Mr. Biden said during a televised address to the nation from the East Room of the White House on Thursday afternoon. — Sriram Lakshman


Russia will lose energy customers over Ukraine: Germany

Germany's vice chancellor said Thursday that Russia's attack on Ukraine is "completely illogical" and will backfire, causing western nations to stop buying Russian coal, oil and gas — an important source of income for the resource-rich country.

Robert Habeck, a powerful figure in the new German government whose portfolio includes economy and climate, said the crisis will strengthen the case for customers of Russian fossil fuels to pursue energy independence by boosting renewable sources.

"From a rational point of view, this is completely illogical," he told The Associated Press in an interview hours after Russia unleashed its military might against its smaller neighbour.

"The complete West will turn away from Russia," he said. "We will diversify our energy system. We will not buy Russian coal and gas in such an amount in the future." Germany currently gets about half of its natural gas and coal from Russia, and a third of its oil. —AP


EAM Jaishankar speaks to Hungary FM

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted late on Thursday, that he had spoken to Hungary counerpart on the evacuation of students stranded in Ukraine. “Reached out to my friend FM Péter Szijjártó of Hungary on the Ukraine evacuation.

He has promised full cooperation to facilitate evacuation from Debrecen. Thank him for his understanding,” Mr. Jaishankar tweeted.

Russian Defence Ministry

Russian Defense Ministry says its ground forces in Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that its ground forces have moved into Ukraine from Crimea, the first confirmation from Moscow that its ground forces have moved in. For the first time since the start of the action, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed the Russian ground troops had rolled into Ukraine, saying they advanced toward the city of Kherson, northwest of Crimea. Kherson sits on reservoir providing the bulk of fresh water for Crimea until Ukraine cut it off with a dam in 2017 in response to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Konashenkov said that the Russian troops’ move allowed to resume water supply to Crimea. -AP

Chernobyl power plant 

Chernobyl power plant captured by Russian forces - Ukrainian official

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been captured by Russian forces, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Thursday.

“It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,” he said. “This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today,” Podolyak said. — Reuters


Group of Seven leaders condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine.

The German government, which currently heads the G7, put out a joint statement after a virtual leaders’ meeting on Thursday, vowing to bring “forward severe and coordinated economic and financial sanctions.”


Putin says 'no other way' to defend Russia other than invading Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow had no other choice but to invade Ukraine to ensure Russia's security, speaking hours after his army crossed his ex-Soviet neighbour's borders.

"What was happening left us with no choice," the Russian leader said during a televised meeting with business representatives, adding that "we had no other way of proceeding". -AFP


Foreign Secretary briefs country on Ukraine situation

Briefing media persons after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed to the CCS that the topmost priority for India is the safe evacuation of its citizens and students.

He said that 20 officers are manning the MEA’s 24/7 control room and have answered 980 calls, 850 emails today.

Mr. Shringla also told that External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar is speaking to his counterparts in Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovak Republic which share land borders with Ukraine, as well as with European Union’s High Representative and U.K. Foreign Secretary.

Asked about India’s sanctions against Russia, he said we have to see what impact sanctions have on our existing relationship and this is an evolving situation.

Speaking on UNSC resolution criticising Russia’s actions, Mr. Shringla said we have seen a draft resolution, but it will undergo some changes. Can’t say what position we will take right now, he added.

He denied that the government delayed plans for evacuation and said that the Indian Embassy issued advisories, facilitated those wishing to leave, but many students were not keen to leave studies. “All options for evacuation are being explored, we are looking at both commercial and military planes to be used,” he said.

While responding on Ukraine Ambassador’s press meet earlier today, the Foreign Secretary said that the Government was in touch with Ukrainian officials including the Ukraine Ambassador but “we have not been told of any disappointment”.

Mr. Jaishankar will speak to his Ukraine counterpart, Mr. Shringla told the mediapersons. - Suhasini Haidar

Gujarat, India

Gujarat Government sets up helpline for students in Ukraine

Gujarat govt sets up an emergency helpline for nearly 3000 students from the State who are stranded in Ukraine. The helpline No is 079-23251900. The State Government is in touch with the Centre for early evacuation of the students, it said.


Jaishankar to speak with Ukraine Foreign Minister

External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar expected to speak with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, said diplomatic sources. - Kallol Bhattacharjee


Russian forces trying to seize Chernobyl nuclear plant, says Ukraine President

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday Kyiv's forces were fighting invading Russian troops for control of the Chernobyl plant, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

"Russian occupying forces are trying to take over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Our soldiers are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 does not happen again," he wrote on Twitter, referring to the date of the disaster.

He called the attack "a declaration of war on all of Europe".

European Union

EU summons Russian ambassador to condemn Ukraine attack

The European Union on Thursday summoned the Russian ambassador to the EU to convey its “strongest condemnation” of the attack on Ukraine, the bloc’s foreign policy service said in a statement.

Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov was condemned for the “unprovoked, unjustified invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation” and told to convey to Moscow Brussels’s demand for an immediate end to military operations, the statement said.

The secretary general of the EU’s external action service, Stefano Sannino, summoned Mr. Chizhov at the direction of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “Secretary General Sannino informed Ambassador Chizov that the EU’s firm response to the Russian aggression will be decided” at an emergency EU summit taking place later Thursday in Brussels.

The summit is to agree a new round of sanctions -- which Mr. Borrell has said would be the “harshest” ever imposed by the EU -- that will be “both sectorial and individual” and coordinated with the EU’s partners, particularly the United States. - AFP


PM Modi to speak with Russian President Putin

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to have a late night telephone call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. This is following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security in Delhi, say government sources. - Nistula Hebbar

United States

Joe Biden meets with G7 leaders

United States President Joe Biden was meeting with G7 allies on Thursday to hammer out a raft of new sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine, and will later speak to the American people on a crisis that he warns will cause “catastrophic loss of life.”

The virtual, closed-door meeting of G7 leaders -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- was set to start at 7.30 p.m. (Indian time), with Mr. Biden’s White House speech scheduled for later.

Mr. Biden earlier said the United States and its allies will respond in “a united and decisive way” to what he called “an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces” on Ukraine.

“President (Vladimir) Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. - AFP


Ukraine police says Russia has carried out 203 attacks so far

Ukrainian police on Thursday said Russia had carried out 203 attacks since the beginning of the day, with fighting going on almost everywhere throughout Ukraine’s territory.

State border guards said the Ukrainian military was fighting Russian forces near the eastern city of Sumy. Ukraine’s Defence Minister said some Russian forces had been taken prisoner in heavy fighting. - Reuters

Indians in Ukraine

On Thursday morning, a large number of Indian students reached outside the Indian embassy in Kyiv and sought refuge. Not all could be accommodated inside the embassy premises and some have been provided safe premises nearby. No Indian student is stranded outside the Embassy of India at present. - Kallol Bhattacherjee reports via sources


Ukrainian military plane shot down, five killed: authorities

A Ukrainian military plane was shot down on Thursday and five people were killed, Ukrainian police and the state emergency service said, as its armed forces sought to defend against a massive Russian military operation.

Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.


Ukraine says fierce fighting under way at numerous locations

Ukraine on Thursday fought Russian forces along practically its entire border with Russia, and there was fierce fighting in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Odessa and at a military airport near Kyiv, an adviser to the presidential office said.

The Ukrainian official said they feared that Russian forces could be air dropped into the country and then try to penetrate the government district in Kyiv.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Ukrainian border guards had abandoned all facilities at the Russian-Ukrainian border, the Interfax news agency reported. - Reuters


No ‘plans’ to send NATO troops to Ukraine: Stoltenberg

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the alliance had no intention to send forces into Ukraine after Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour.

“We don’t have NATO troops in Ukraine, and we don’t have any plans to send NATO troops into Ukraine,” Mr. Stoltenberg told a media conference after an emergency meeting of the alliance’s ambassadors.


Eighteen killed in attack near Ukraine’s Odessa

Eighteen people died on Thursday in an air strike on a military base near Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa, the local administration said.

“Eighteen died -- eight men and 10 women. At the moment, we are still digging through the rubble,” the Odessa regional administration said in a statement.

It was the deadliest single strike so far of the day reported by Ukrainian officials, who had earlier put the death toll across the country at around 50, including about 10 civilians.

The attack struck a military base about 100 kilometres north of Odessa, in a region near Ukraine’s border with Moldova. - AFP


UEFA to hold emergency meeting

UEFA are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to “evaluate the situation” concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the former set to host the Champions League final in Saint Petersburg in May.

UEFA said in a statement their executive committee would “take all necessary decisions”.

The final of European club football’s premier competition is scheduled for May 28. - AFP


Lithuania declares state of emergency

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday signed a decree declaring a state of emergency in the Baltic country in response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

The measure, in effect until March 10, allows for a more flexible use of state reserve funds and increased border protection, giving border guards greater authorities to stop and search individuals and vehicles in border areas.

NATO member Lithuania borders Russia’s Kaliningrad region to the southwest, Belarus to the east, Latvia to the north and Poland to the south. -AP


Poland raises level of readiness of army units

Poland has raised the level of readiness of some military units due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, its ministry of defence said on Thursday.

“Today, in connection with the Russian aggression, minister Mariusz Blaszczak decided to introduce a further level of readiness in particular units of operational and territorial defense forces,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The decision to introduce the next degree of readiness is standard practice in such situations.” - Reuters

Indian Market

Sensex, Nifty tank over 4.7%

Equity benchmark Sensex crashed over 2,700 points on Thursday following a severe sell-off in global markets after Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine.

The 30-share BSE gauge plunged about 2,850 points during the session before closing at 54,529.91, registering a massive fall of 2,702.15 points or 4.72%. Likewise, the NSE barometer Nifty nosedived 815.30 points or 4.78% to end at 16,247.95.

This was also the seventh straight session of decline for both the indices. On the Sensex chart, all 30 shares suffered heavy losses, with IndusInd Bank, M&M and Bajaj Finance shedding as much as 8%.


NATO agrees to beef up eastern flank over Ukraine attack

NATO agreed at emergency talks on Thursday to further beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a military offensive in Ukraine.

“We are deploying additional defensive land and air forces to the eastern part of the alliance, as well as additional maritime assets,” NATO ambassadors said in a statement. “We have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.”

Countries closest to the conflict — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland — requested rare consultations under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, which can be launched when “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the (NATO) parties is threatened.”

“We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defense across the Alliance,” the envoys said. “Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”


Ukraine cuts diplomatic ties with Russia

Ukraine’s president says his country has cut diplomatic ties with Russia after it was attacked.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the decision to rupture ties with Moscow on Thursday after it launched a massive air and missile attack on its neighbor and Russian forces were seen rolling into Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials say the country’s military is fighting back and asked for Western defense assistance.


Ukrainian Premier League suspended

The Ukrainian Premier League suspended operations as Russia attacked Ukraine on Thursday.

In a brief statement, the league said the suspension was due to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's decision to impose martial law. It did not give any planned date to resume.

The International Paralympic Committee said it was in talks with sports officials in Ukraine and Russia as their teams prepare to head to China for the start of the Paralympic Games next week.

“The IPC is in dialogue with both the Ukrainian and Russian Paralympic Committees ahead of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” the IPC said in an emailed statement. “As a politically neutral organization, the IPC’s focus remains on the upcoming Games rather than the ongoing situation.”

Russia's name, flag and anthem are already barred from the March 4-13 Paralympics in Beijing over previous doping disputes. Its team is due to compete as RPC, short for Russian Paralympic Committee.

Adviser to Ukraine’s president says about 40 people have been killed so far in Russian attack on the country.

An adviser to Ukraine’s president says about 40 people have been killed so far in the Russian attack on the country.

Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that several dozen people have been wounded.

He didn’t specify whether the casualties included civilians.

Mr. Zelensky said the Ukrainian authorities will hand weapons to all those willing to defend the country.

“The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian,” he said, urging all those who can defend the country to come to the Interior Ministry’s assembly facilities. - AP

Airlines should stop flying over all of Ukraine’s airspace: conflict zone monitor

A screen recording of flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows aircraft diverting around Ukraine, February 24, 2022 in this still image taken from video.

A screen recording of flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows aircraft diverting around Ukraine, February 24, 2022 in this still image taken from video. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Airlines should stop flying over any part of Ukraine because of the risk of an unintended shootdown or a cyber attack targeting air traffic control amid tensions with Russia, a conflict zone monitor said on Wednesday.

Safe Airspace, which was set up to provide safety and conflict zone information for airlines after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014, said it had increased its risk level to "do not fly".

"Regardless of the actual movements of Russian forces into Ukraine, the level of tension and uncertainty in Ukraine is now extreme," Safe Airspace said on its website. "This itself gives rise to significant risk to civil aviation."

India looking at alternative ways to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine

The Indian embassy in Ukraine said alternative arrangements were being made to evacuate Indians since the Ukrainian airspace had been closed.

The helpline numbers of Indian Embassy in Kiev are: +38 0997300483/428, +38 0933980327, +38 0635917881, +38 0935046170

“We are still in Kiev and were woken up by a loud blast 15 minutes back from the Boryspil airport side,” said Baroon Varma, an Indian student in the city, through a message on the social media.

Ukraine attacked from 3 sides

A Ukrainian presidential advisor says that Russian forces have launched an attack on Ukraine from the north, east and south. The advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, said “the Ukrainian military is fighting hard”.

Mr. Podolyak said that "our Army is fighting back inflicting significant losses to the enemy”. He said that there have been civilian casualties, but didn’t give details.

He said that “Ukraine now needs a greater and very specific support from the world — military-technical, financial as well as tough sanctions against Russia”, he said.

Ukrainian leader pleads for help fending off Russian attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged global leaders to provide defense assistance to Ukraine and help protect its airspace from Russia.

Zelenskyy said that Russia “has unleased a war with Ukraine and the entire democratic world.”

He asked for world leaders to provide large-scale defense support and to protect Ukraine’s airspace from the “aggressor.”


India can stop escalation: Ukraine envoy

A control roorm established by India.

A control roorm established by India.

Ukrainian Ambassador to India Igor Polikha has appealed for India's support in overcoming Russian military operation.

"We are deeply dissatisfied with the Indian position. We are pleading for strong voice of India," Dr. Polikha told mediapersons in New Delhi.

He added: "Indian officials say they are closely monitoring. What does it mean. Several people have died already. Hundreds and thousands will die. We seek India's support. 70 countries have already supported Ukraine."

India was the architect of Panchshila - 5 principles. We plead for support of India. Modiji is one of the most powerful leaders in the world. The status of Modiji makes me hopeful that in case of his strong voice, Putin will think over, Dr. Polikha said.

There are very few nations in the world that can influence Russia. India can stop escalation, he reiterated. - Kallol Bhattacherjee


Russian millitary vehicles enter Ukraine via Crimea

Security camera footage shows a line of Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksii Arestovich said that the Russian troops moved up to 5 kilometres deep into the Ukrainian territory in the Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, and, possibly in other areas.

Watch | Russian vehicles enter Ukraine via Crimea

At least eight people killed, 9 wounded in Russian shelling: says Ukraine

At least eight people have been killed and nine were wounded by the Russian shelling, an advisor to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs said on Thursday as Russia has launched massive air and ground assault on the neighbouring country.

The border guard said separately Russian military columns have crossed Ukrainian border into Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.


Reports say five planes, one helicopter of Russian Armed Forces downed in Luhansk region; Russia denies

Police officers inspect the remains of a missile that fell in the street, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kiev on February 24, 2022.

Police officers inspect the remains of a missile that fell in the street, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kiev on February 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

According to reports by news agency UKRINFORM, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down five Russian planes and one helicopter in the Luhansk region.

However, Russia has denied the claims.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Russian strikes have “suppressed air defence means of the Ukrainian military,” adding that the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has been incapacitated.” It denied the claims that a Russian warplane was shot down over Ukraine. — Reuters


Indian embassy in Ukraine puts out advisory for Indian students

People wait at Kyiv Airport after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022.

People wait at Kyiv Airport after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The embassy has asked Indian students stuck in Ukraine to refrain from going towards Kyiv and stay in their respective cities, especially on bordering the western side of the country.


China urges all parties involved in Ukraine issue to exercise restraint

China, a close ally of Russia, has called on all parties involved in the Ukrainian issue to exercise restraint and avoid taking any action that may aggravate tensions.

However, it is not clear whether Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it's intended to protect civilians.


Biden speaks with Ukraine’s Zelensky: White House

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky soon after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, the White House said late Wednesday in Washington.

Mr. Biden “just spoke with Zelensky,” a spokesman said, adding that details would be issued later. -AFP


India calls for immediate de-escalation

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations T S Tirumurti speaks at the UNSC emergency meeting on Ukraine crisis, in New York.

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations T S Tirumurti speaks at the UNSC emergency meeting on Ukraine crisis, in New York. | Photo Credit: PTI

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, T.S. Trimurti, said: “We call for an immediate de-escalation; situation is in danger of spiraling into a major crisis. If not handled carefully, it may undermine security. The security of all parties should be taken into account.”


Putin says left with no choice but to defend Russia from threats in Ukraine

In a special televised address on Russian state TV, President Vladimir Putin said Russia has been left with no choice but to defend itself against what he said were threats emanating from modern Ukraine.

Mr. Putin said Russia would respond instantly if any external force tried to interfere with its actions and that Moscow would try to de-militarise and 'de-Nazify' Ukraine.

"All responsibility for bloodshed will be on the conscience of the ruling regime in Ukraine," Mr. Putin told state TV.


Air India plane, bound for Ukraine, returns to Delhi

Air India plane enroute to Kyiv, Ukraine, to bring back Indians turns back mid-way and returns to Delhi after Ukraine closed its airspace for commercial flights, says airline spokesperson. —reported by Jagriti Chandra


NATO ambassadors to hold urgent meeting on Russia attack on Ukraine

NATO ambassadors are to hold an emergency meeting this morning on Russia's attack on Ukraine, an alliance official told AFP.

"We can confirm that the NAC (the council of ambassadors) will hold an emergency meeting this morning (Thursday)," a NATO official said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg was to hold a media conference afterwards, expected around 11:30 p.m. GMT (5:00 p.m. IST)- AFP


Moscow’s U.N. envoy says Russia targeting ‘junta in power in Kiev’

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations told an emergency Security Council meeting late Wednesday that Moscow's military operation against Ukraine was targeting "the junta" in power in Kiyv.

"I wanted to say in conclusion that we aren't being aggressive against the Ukrainian people but against the junta that is in power in Kiyv," said Vassily Nebenzia.—AFP


Biden condemns Russian action, will meet G7 counterparts on Thursday

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” Mr. Biden said via a statement released by the White House.

The Hindu’s correspondent Sriram Lakshman reports from Washington DC


Ukraine president introduces Martial Law on all territories of the nation, says Russia carried out missile strikes

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said, “We introduce martial law on all territories of the state. Russia has attacked our military infrastructure” —Reuters


Brent crude oil breaks $100 mark for the first time since 2014, equities drop as Russia enters Ukraine

Oil prices rocketed with Brent moving within spitting distance of the $100 not seen since September 2014, while gold and the Japanese yen —safe havens in times of crisis and turmoil — also jumped.

The dollar was up more than six percent against the ruble, which has been battered in recent weeks on worries about the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy.— Reuters and AFP


Security Council reacts to Putin announcement of ‘Special Operation’ in Eastern Ukraine

As news of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering a military operation in eastern Ukraine broke, United Nations Secretary General Atonio Guterres, speaking at a hastily called Security Council meeting, asked Russia to stop the attack on Ukraine and to “give peace a chance.”

The Hindu’s correspondent Sriram Lakshman reports from Washington DC


Indian shares fall over 3% as Ukraine tensions escalate

Indian shares plunged more than 3% on Thursday, as investors fled risk assets after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a special military operation in Ukraine's Donbass region.


Ukraine’s U.N. envoy says Russia declared war, Russia denies

Ukraine’s U.N. envoy says Russia declared a war and that it is the responsibility of the U.N. Security Council to stop the war. Russia’s U.N. envoy denied the charge and said it’s not a war but merely a special military drill. —Reuters


Several explosions heard in Ukraine's Kyiv

Several explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, after an initial series of sounds similar to artillery fire, a Reuters witness reported.


Biden warns Russia alone is responsible for loss of life and human suffering to come

The U.S. President said that he will coordinate with NATO allies to ensure strong, united response to Russian actions. —Reuters


U.N. chief asks Putin to stop his troops from attacking Ukraine

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Wednesday made a personal appeal to Vladimir Putin to not attack Ukraine, minutes before the Russian president announced a military operation against its ex-Soviet neighbor.

"President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine, give peace a chance, too many people have already died," Guterres said during the second emergency Security Council meeting in three days over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.— AFP


President Putin says Russia will conduct a military operation in eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it’s intended to protect civilians.

In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy Ukraine. Putin said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime.” Putin warns any foreign attempt to interfere with Russian action would lead to ‘consequences they have never seen’—AP


Ukraine shuts airports, warns of airspace danger amid conflict with Russia

The Ukrainian government is closing airports in eastern Ukraine from midnight through 7 a.m. because of the confrontation with Russia.

Ukrainian aviation authorities also have declared some airspace in the east to be “danger areas” because of attempts by Russian aviation authorities to seize control of the airspace.

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