A look at the latest developments on the Ukraine-Russia crisis:

  1. Russia has deployed new troops at multiple places along its border with Ukraine, NDTV reported on Wednesday citing satellite imagery by United States-based space technology company Maxar. Some equipment and troops have reportedly been stationed near the Russian town of Belgorod, less than 20 kilometres from the Ukraine border.
  2. Russia is prepared to look for “diplomatic solutions” to solve the tensions with Ukraine, but its interests are non-negotiable, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, according to AFP. “Our country is always open for direct and honest dialogue, for the search for diplomatic solutions to the most complex problem,” he said. Putin made the remarks in a speech on the occasion of the Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is a public holiday in Russia.
  3. United States President Joe Biden punished Russia with wide-ranging sanctions, calling Moscow’s recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent the “beginning of a Russian invasion” of its neighbour. Indian-American economic advisor Daleep Singh was heading the efforts of the US to starve Russia of financing by imposing punitive sanctions, according to PTI.
  4. Roman Babushkin, the Russian Embassy’s deputy chief of mission in Delhi, said that he hoped for relationship with India to continue as before, The Times of India reported on Wednesday. “We have a lot of big projects in the pipeline and we have full confidence that all our plans will be successfully implemented,” he said.
  5. Meanwhile, Russia said it would evacuate its diplomatic staff from Ukraine, AFP reported. “To protect the lives and safety [of diplomats], the Russian leadership decided to evacuate the personnel of Russian foreign missions in Ukraine, which will be implemented in the near future,” the country’s foreign ministry said. This came shortly after the Russian Parliament gave permission to President Vladimir Putin to use military force outside the country.
  6. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday described the tensions along Russia’s border with Ukraine as the “biggest peace and security crisis” that the world has seen in recent years. “The decision of the Russian Federation to recognise the so-called ‘independence’ of certain areas of Donetsk and Luthansk regions is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” he said.
  7. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the jump in global crude prices because of the Ukraine crisis is a challenge to the financial stability in India, PTI reported. Oil jumped to its highest level since 2014 nearly $100 a barrel after Russia sent troops to the rebel-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to Reuters.
  8. The European Union and the United Kingdom imposed restrictions on banks and elites of Russian business, media and politics, while Germany halted a key gas pipeline project from Moscow. Russia has amassed more than 1,00,000 troops along with armoured vehicles, helicopters and heavy weaponry on its border with Ukraine, sparking Western warnings of a large-scale incursion. Moscow, however, has denied planning an invasion.
  9. The first Air India special flight from Ukraine landed in Delhi at around 11.40 pm on Tuesday, bringing back nearly 240 Indians amid a sharp escalation in tensions between Russia and Ukraine, PTI reported. Those on board were mostly students who returned after the Indian embassy in Kyiv issued multiple advisories asking them to leave Ukraine temporarily. Air India will also operate flights between India and Ukraine on February 24 and 26. A civil aviation ministry official told PTI that some other Indian carriers are likely to start flights to Ukraine depending on the demand.
  10. Australia has imposed its first round of sanctions on Russia after Putin recognised the “independence” of two separatist regions in Ukraine, The Guardian reported. The sanctions target eight security officials in Russia, as well as the country’s oil and gas sectors. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the Russian government was behaving like “thugs and bullies” and that there must be consequences for its actions.