Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said that his country was ready to talk to Kyiv if the Ukrainian military “laid down its arms”. This came hours after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “sit down at the negotiating table” as Russian troops closed in on Kyiv.
Authorities in the Ukrainian capital have asked those living in the city’s Obolon locality to stay off streets.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defence ministry claimed that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers were killed during the second day of the fighting between the two countries. Russia claimed to have taken control of the Hostomel airport, located seven kilometres northwest of Kyiv.
Ukraine’s nuclear agency said that it was recording higher than usual radiation levels from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The nuclear plant was taken over by the Russians on Thursday.
Here are the top updates of the day:
10.42 pm: Russian Defence Ministry says it has captured the Gostomel airfield in the suburbs of Kiev and claims that 200 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, reports ANI. It says that the Russian armed forces suffered no casualties.
The ministry says that its armed forces have blocked the city of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine.
“The units of the Lugansk People’s Republic in the Severodonetsk direction rapidly advanced to a depth of 12 km,” it adds. “The grouping of troops of Donetsk People’s Republic in direction of Volnovakha advanced 11 km deep into the defence of nationalist battalions.”
Russia had recognised the separatists-controlled territories of Donestsk and Luhansk as independent on Monday.
10.40 pm: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says that he received a call from Ukrainian Foreign Minster Dymtro Kuleba, who shared his assessment on the crisis.
“I emphasised that India supports diplomacy and dialogue as the way out,” tweets Jaishankar. “Discussed predicament of Indian nationals, including students. Appreciate his support for their safe return.”
10.35 pm: Ukrainian Foreign Minster Dymtro Kuleba says that he spoke to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and asked him to use all influence with Russia to force it to cease military aggression against Kyiv.
“Urged India as a non-permanent UNSC member to support today’s draft resolution on restoring peace in Ukraine,” he tweets.
10.30 pm: Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy writes to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, seeking his intervention to ensure the safe return of Indian nationals stuck in Ukraine, reports ANI.
10.27 pm: Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev writes “no war please” on a TV camera during a tournament in Dubai.
10.21 pm: India is planning to pay in Rupees for its first long-term urea import deal with Iran to avoid itself from disruptions caused global supply, higher prices and foreign exchange market changes, which have not been complicated due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an unidentified officail told Reuters.
In 2019, India had halted importing urea from Iran due to United States’ sanctions on Tehran. Delhi had then turned to China, Ukraine and Russia to meets its demand.
“Now, the Russia-Ukraine issue has added to uncertainties over supplies and prices,” the official told Reuters.
10.18 pm: Important helpline numbers for Indians stranded in Ukraine.
10.14 pm: After Ukraine, the International Atomic Energy Agency also says the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant is reporting higher-than-usual radiation levels. It, however, adds that current radiation levels do not pose a threat to the public.
9.54 pm: The first batch of evacuees from Ukraine has reached Romania, says external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
9.50 pm: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says his country is in favour of cutting Russia off the the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, the worldwide interbank payments system, reports AFP. However, he adds, that other European countries have expressed their reservations on it.
9.44 pm: The Kremlin says the prospects for possible peace talks between Russia and Ukraine seem uncertain due to differences over a venue, reports the Associated Press.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that President Vladimir Putin had agreed to send a delegation to Minsk in Bealrus. He adds that after the parties discussed Minsk as a possible venue, Ukrainian officials changed course and said would prefer to meet in Poland, a member of the The North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
9.43 pm: Czech Republic’s Transport Minister Martin Kupka says his country has banned all Russian airlines from its airports, reports the Associated Press.
9.37 pm: The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee urges international sports federations to relocate or cancel their sports events planned in Russia or Belarus. In a statement, it says that no Russian or Belarussian flag displayed and their anthem be played in international sports events.
“They [sports bodies] should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments into account and give the safety and security of the athletes absolute priority,” it says.
9.26 pm: The Council of Europe suspends Russia over Ukraine invasion, reports AFP. The body had been formed after World War II to protect human rights and the rule of law across Europe.
9.22 pm: Most of Russian troops are about 50 kilometres away from the Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv, says United Kingdom’s defence ministry.
9.18 pm: “Take power into your own hands,” Russian President Vladimir Putin tells Ukrainian military in a video message, reports The Guardian.
9.14 pm: Ukraine’s deputy defence minister has claimed that approximately 2,800 Russian troops have been killed so far, reports Al Jazeera.
9.11 pm: The International Chess Federation Council decides not to hold the 44th Chess Olympiad in Russia, reports ANI.
9.09 pm: The Ministry of External Affairs issues a fresh list of helpline numbers of New Delhi’s embassies in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.
8.34 pm: The Indian embassy in Ukraine says that more than 470 students will leave the country and enter Romania through the Porubne-Siret Border for evacuation.
“We are moving Indians located at the border to neighbouring countries for onward evacuation,” it says. “Efforts are underway to relocate Indians coming from the hinterland.”
8.33 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin urges the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country, reports Reuters.
“I once again appeal to the military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: do not allow neo-Nazis and [Ukrainian radical nationalists] to use your children, wives and elders as human shields,” Putin says, according to Reuters. “Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to reach agreement.”
8.29 pm: The Kremlin says that Russia will impose retaliatory sanctions on Western countries on the basis of reciprocity, reports Reuters.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that sanctions would cause problems for Russia but they would be solvable as Moscow had reduced its dependence on foreign imports.
8.25 pm: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that his country was ready to talk to Kyiv if the Ukrainian military surrendered, reports AFP.
“We are ready for negotiations at any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to our call and lay down their arms,” Lavrov says.
8.09 pm: Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, the director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, says the world leaders are reluctant to exclude Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, the worldwide interbank payments system, because it is the “nuclear option” of sanctions, reports the Associated Press.
8.08 pm: Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have crossed into Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia amid the Russian invasion, reports Reuters.
8.06 pm: Ukrainians take shelter inside a metro station in Kyiv.
8.04 pm: Officials and diplomats of the European Union says the bloc has agreed to freeze the European assets linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reports AFP.
8.02 pm: An Indian student stranded in Ukraine he and others were taking shelter at underground metro stations in Kharkiv on the eastern side of Ukraine but the the evacuations are taking place though Poland that is on the western side, reports ANI.
“We have no information on how we’ll travel to the evacuation zones,” he adds.
8.01 pm: Moldova’s naval agency says its ship in “neutral waters” of the Black Sea has been hit by a missile and that two crew members have been injured, reports the Associated Press.
7.59 pm: Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will receive Indians arriving from Ukraine in a special flight on Saturday in Delhi, reports ANI.
7.47 pm: Ukraine’s interior ministry says that its military vehicles are entering Kyiv to defend the capital city against Russian troops, reports Al Jazeera.
7.41 pm: As Russian troops close in on Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv, here is a look of the territories that the two armies hold currently.
7.39 pm: Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. The call came hours ahead of voting on a crucial draft resolution of the UN Security Council on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“He shared his assessment of the current situation.I emphasized that India supports diplomacy & dialogue as the way out,” Jaishankar writes in a tweet. “Discussed predicament of Indian nationals, including students. Appreciate his support for their safe return.”
7.25 pm: The European Union agrees to freeze European assets linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reports AFP
7.24 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says India’s development is challenged by the global developments following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports PTI.
7.21 pm: Kremlin says Russia is ready to send a delegation to Belarus for talks with Ukrainian officials, reports PTI, citing the Associated Press.
6.51 pm: Russia claims to have taken control of the Hostomel airport, located seven kilometres northwest of the Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv, reports AP, citing the Russian military. The news agency, however, could not verify the claim independently.
6.49 pm: Ukraine defence ministry claims that more than 1,000 Russian troops have been killed since Friday morning, reports the Kyiv Independent
6.27 pm: Beijing’s state-controlled television channel China Central Television says Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, that Moscow is willing to negotiate with Ukraine, reports the Associated Press.
6.23 pm: Russian defence ministry claims Kyiv has been blockaded from the west.
6.18 pm: The Cabinet Committee on Security is likely to meet again on Saturday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, PTI reports citing unidentified officials. After a meeting of the committee on Thursday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and appealed for an “immediate cessation of violence”.
6.09 pm: President Volodymyr Zelensky claims that the Western countries are slow in helping Ukraine against the Russian invasion, reports AFP.
6.07 pm: The first batch of Indian students leave Ukraine’s city of Chernivtsi for the Ukraine-Romania border for evacuation, reports ANI.
6.03 pm: Formula 1 announced that it has cancelled the Russian Grand Prix, an annual motor racing event, for 2022.
“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” it says in a statement. “We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.”
5.58 pm: Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov claims that the personnel of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were continuing to work and monitor the radiation at the station as usual, reports PTI, citing state-run news agency TASS.
On Thursday, Russian forces had taken over over the decommissioned nuclear power plant, where nuclear radiation is still leaking after the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.
The advisor to the commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces had said that Russian forces were holding the staff of the power plant hostage.
5.55 pm: Russia says it will examine Ukraine’s offer to discuss a non-aligned status for his country, reports the Associated Press. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had said he was ready to hold talks on the matter.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov describes Ukraine’s offer as “a move in a positive direction”.
5.53 pm: Syrian President Bashar Assad lauds Russia’s invasion and condemns the “western hysteria” surrounding it, reports the Associated Press.
“What is happening today is a correction of history and a restoration of balance which was lost in the world after the breakup of the Soviet Union,” Assad says, according to state-run news agency SANA.
5.45 pm: In an unprecedented papal gesture, Pope Francis visits the Russian embassy in Rome to express his concern about the war in Ukraine, reports the Associated Press.
Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni confirmed that the the pope’s gesture was to clearly “express his concern about the war.”
5.43 pm: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, calls for “negotiation” with Ukraine, reports AFP.
5.28 pm: Air India is planning to operate two flights to Romanian capital Bucharest on Friday to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine, PTI reports citing unidentified government officials.
5.19 pm: In a video message, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “sit down at the negotiating table to stop the loss of lives”.
“The invasion of Ukraine isn’t just an invasion, but the start of a war against Europe,” Zelensky says. “A war against Europe’s unity. Against basic human rights in Europe.”
4.32 pm: Russia claims it has destroyed 118 Ukrainian military assets as it pushes into the outskirts of Capital Kyiv, reports the Associated Press.
4.21 pm: Authorities in Kyiv have warned those living in the city’s Obolon area to stay off streets as “active hostilities” are approaching, reports Al Jazeera.
4.17 pm: The charge d’affaires of the Russian embassy in New Delhi, Roman Babushkin, says Moscow expects support from India at the UN Security Council when the global body takes up a resolution on the military operation in Ukraine, PTI reports.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to vote on Friday evening on a draft resolution on the matter.
4.09 pm: Russian Finance Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow is ready for talks once Ukraine’s army stop fighting, reports ANI.
3.45 pm: The Indian Embassy in Ukraine says it is working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary.
The embassy said that teams are being placed at Chop-Zahony (towns on the Ukraine-Hungary border near Uzhhorod) and at Porubne-Siret (towns on the Ukraine-Romania border near Chernivtsi).
“Indian nationals, especially students living closest to the above border checkpoints are being advised to depart first,” the embassy says.
3.25 pm: The Union of European Football Associations has announced that it will no longer host the Champions League final in Russia after Moscow launched an attack on Ukraine. The game has been moved to Paris from Russia’s St Petersburg.
2.55 pm: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that the Russian military’s claim it is not targeting civilian areas is “a lie”. He says both military and civilian areas in Ukraine are being hit by the Russians, The Associated Press reports.
2.45 pm: Ukraine’s nuclear agency says it is recording higher radiation levels from Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Reuters.
Russian troops have seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. An explosion at the power plant on April 26, 1986, led to the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The plant was decommissioned after the disaster, and it later became a tourist attraction.
2.30 pm: Huge explosion seen in sky over Kyiv, reports BBC.
2.20 pm: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the central government to help Indians stranded in Ukraine, Live Law reports.
“The government has a responsibility to protect the life and liberty of its citizens guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution not only in its country but in foreign Countries also,” the plea says.
2.10 pm: Russia bans British airplanes from landing or crossing its airspace, according to Reuters.
2.05 pm: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says that the European Union wishes to isolate Russia financially, reports Reuters.
“We are going to strike the Russian banks...We want to cut off all the links between Russia and the global financial system,” he says.
1.55 pm: Tamil Nadu’s MK Stalin says that the state government will bear all the expenses related to the return of students from his state stranded in Ukraine, reports PTI.
1.45 pm: Indian chess player Anwesh Upadhyaya, who is stuck in Ukraine, says the situation in the country is scary.
“I am here in my apartment alone. And I don’t know what is in store. The attack happened all of a sudden,” he said, according to PTI.
1.35 pm: Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar says the Russian military seized two cars of the Ukrainian armed forces before changing into the uniform of the Ukrainian army.
“They are followed by a column of Russian military trucks,” Malyar says, according to The Kyiv Independent.
1.20 pm: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he has spoken with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda on Friday to seek international assistance.
“Together we have to put Russia at the negotiating table. We need [an] anti-war coalition,” he wrote on Twitter.
1.10 pm: Ukraine says its armed forces are fighting Russians just outside the capital Kyiv, AFP reports.
1.00 pm: Visuals of a burning apartment building in Kyiv emerge as the Ukrainian capital witness a series of explosions overnight, Deutsche Welle reports.
12.50 pm: China’s Embassy in Ukraine says it is arranging evacuation flights for its citizens.
The embassy in a statement says that conditions in Ukraine have “deteriorated sharply” but makes no mention of the Russian invasion, reports The Associated Press.
12.40 pm: Visuals shared by Ukraine’s state emergency service show the aftermath of the shelling in Starobilsk, Luhansk and the eastern Ukrainian region.
12.30 pm: Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil says that the Centre should focus on evacuating Indian students in Ukraine instead of “misusing” central agencies for its political aspirations.
He made the remark in connection with the arrest of state minority affairs minister Nawab Malik by the Enforcement Directorate yesterday.
12.20 pm: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin says Russian forces that entered from Belarus were about 20 miles from Kyiv. He made the claim on a phone call with lawmakers, reports The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the call.
12.10 pm: Ukraine says it is expecting a Russian tank attack on Kyiv later today, reports The Guardian, citing an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister.
12:05 pm: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hails Ukrainians for their “heroism” as Russia continues its military advance. “Doing everything possible,” he says, according to AFP.
11.55 am: Some visuals from Ukraine.
11.36 am: The Ukrainian ambassador to Japan requests China to stop the Russian invasion of his country, reports AP.
“We would very much welcome that China exercises its connection with Russia and talks to Putin and explains to him that it is inappropriate in the 21st century to do this massacre in Europe,” Sergiy Korsunsky says at a press conference.
This comes a day after Ukraine’s envoy to India, Igor Polikha, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to persuade Russia to not escalate the armed conflict further.
11.30 am: In a televised speech this morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Russia to stop the attacks, reports The Guardian.
“Russia will have to talk to us sooner or later about how to end hostilities and stop this invasion,” he said. “The sooner the conversation begins, the smaller Russia’s losses will be.”
11.18 am: Companies Brewer Carlsberg, Japan Tobacco and Coca-Cola bottler have shut their factories in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, reports Reuters. Japanese auto supplier Sumitomo Electric Industries and delivery firm FedEx have suspended operations.
11.11 am: Russian troops have seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. An explosion at the power plant on April 26, 1986, led to the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The plant was decommissioned after the disaster, and it later became a tourist attraction.
Read more here.
11.02 am: Air raid sirens rang out across Ukraine’s main cities for the second consecutive morning today.
10.59 am: The Ukrainian military has destroyed a bridge on the outskirts of capital Kyiv to stop Russian tanks from further going into the city, the BBC reports, citing online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.
10.55 am: US President Joe Biden says he will consult India about Russia’s large-scale military attack on Ukraine, reports PTI. “We haven’t resolved that [talks] fully,” Biden adds.
The president was responding to questions from reporters on whether India was “fully on board” with the US against the Russian action.
10.48 am: The United States has issued a travel advisory, asking citizens to leave Ukraine immediately.
The advisory by the US embassy in Kyiv says:
“US citizens remaining in Ukraine should carefully monitor government notices and local and international media outlets for information about changing security conditions and alerts to shelter in place. Those remaining in Ukraine should exercise increased caution due to the potential for active combat, crime, and civil unrest.”
10.40 am: Maharashtra’s Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant in a letter asks Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure safe return of 1,200 students from the state, who are in Ukraine, amid the escalating tensions with Russia, reports PTI.
On Thursday, the Russian president ordered what he called a “military operation” into Ukraine after months of tensions with Kyiv and its Western allies. Reports are now emerging about several explosions in Kyiv.
10.33 am: Thousands in Russia, where protests are tightly restricted, have gathered to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of them have been detained, reports AFP.
10.30 am: Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, decries the attack on Kyiv. “Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany,” he tweets. “Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one. Stop Putin. Isolate Russia. Severe all ties. Kick Russia out of everywhere.”
10.22 am: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells ABC News that he is convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to overthrow the Ukrainian government.
In a televised address on Thursday, Putin had claimed that he wants “demilitarisation” of the former Soviet state and has no plans to occupy it.
10.20 am: A day after Russia launched a full-scale invasion, Ukraine’s central bank has banned payments to entities in Moscow and Belarus, reports Al Jazeera.
9.55 am: Earlier on Friday, US President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia, blaming Russian chief Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine. “Putin chose this war,” Biden said. “And now he and his country will bear the consequences.”
9.10 am: A missile strike hits a Ukrainian border post in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhya, killing and wounding guards, the border guard service says.
8.54 am: Taiwan condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and says it joins the countries sanctioning Russia. Taiwan urges “an immediate cessation of military action”.
8.47 am: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announces the approval of another package of “massive and targeted sanctions” against Russia.
“First, this package includes financial sanctions, targeting 70% of the Russian banking market and key state owned companies, including in defence,” she tweets. “Second, we target the energy sector, a key economic area which especially benefits the Russian state. Our export ban will hit the oil sector by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its refineries.”
She also adds that the sale of aircraft and equipment to Russian airlines will be stopped. Technology and visas will also come under the purview of the sanctions.
8.25 am: Two large blasts were heard in central Kyiv early on Friday and a third explosion was heard in the distance, CNN reported.
The capital city was hit by cruise or ballistic missiles, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s chief of the ministry of internal affairs said.
8.15 am: He adds that he and his family have become targets but promises to remain in Ukraine.
8.10 am: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Russia’s attack on his country has shut Moscow off from the civilised world, according to Kyiv Post.
“What do we hear today?” Zelenskyy says. “It’s not just rocket explosions, fighting and the roar of aircraft. This is the sound of a new iron curtain lowering and closing Russia off from the civilised world. Our national task is to make sure this curtain does not fall on our territory but on the homes of Russians.”
8 am: Russia is unlikely to have achieved its planned day 1 military objectives, and Ukrainian forces have presented fierce resistance in all regions, according to an intelligence update from the United Kingdom’s defence ministry.
The ministry says that Russian forces are likely to have captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and have detained workers there. Ukraine’s armed forces have halted Russia’s advance towards the city of Chernihiv.
7.48 am: The UN refugee agency says around 100,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes, reports Al Jazeera.
7.45 am: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that 137 persons, including civilians and military personnel, were killed on the first day of Russia’s “military operation”, Al-Jazeera reported.
He describes those who died as “heroes”.
Zelenskyy adds that 316 people have been wounded on the first day.
7.40 am: Here is an overview of the major developments on the Ukraine crisis from Thursday:
- Shortly after Russia announced the military operations, explosions were heard from many parts of Kyiv.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukrainian military forces to lay down their arms, and said that all personnel who do so will be able to freely leave the combat zone and return to their families.
- Ukraine Police said it logged 203 incidents of attacks since the Russian invasion started.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Putin and called for “immediate cessation of violence”.