Ukraine on Sunday agreed to meet with the Russian delegation for “peace talks” in Belarus. The delegation will meet at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River.
Ukraine has been under attack by Russia since Thursday. Russia has said that it launched a “military operation” in Ukraine, citing alleged threats emanating from the latter country.
Earlier today, the United Nations’ refugee agency said that as many as 3,68,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion by Russia began.
Meanwhile, Russian troops entered Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv as Moscow’s invasion entered its fourth day, said the former Soviet country’s adviser to the interior minister.
The Russian forces also targeted oil facilities near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The forces blew up an oil terminal in Vasylkiv town, located southwest of Kyiv, and a gas pipeline in Kharkiv.
Here are updates from the day:
9 pm: Canada closed its airspace for Russian aircraft operators from Sunday, reports Reuters.
7.45 pm: Ukraine agrees to hold “peace talks” with Russia in Belarus, The Kyiv Independent reports.
“President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River,” Zelensky’s office says.
7.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a high-level meeting on the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine tonight, reports ANI.
7.30 pm: Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered his military to put the country’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, The Guardian reports. Putin says his order is in response to the “aggressive statements” made by NATO countries.
7.15 pm: The Indian Embassy in Ukraine is advising the Indian diaspora to move away from conflict zones to the Western region.
5.30 pm: The United Nations’ refugee agency says that as many as 3,68,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion by Russia began, the Associated Press reports.
5.15 pm: Ukraine says it has submitted an application against Russia in the International Court of Justice.
“Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. “We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week.”
3.15 pm: The United Arab Emirates says taking sides in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict would only encourage violence, reports Reuters.
“In the Ukrainian crisis, our priority is to encourage all parties to resort to diplomatic action and to negotiate to find a political solution,” Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, says.
Earlier, along with India and China, the United Arab Emirates had abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution that deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine.
3.00 pm: Britain says that Russians are advancing into Ukraine from multiple directions but are facing “stiff resistance” from the Ukrainian armed forces.
2.55 pm: United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says she has no trust in “negotiation” efforts of the Russians, reports The Guardian.
“Now if the Russians are serious about negotiations they need to remove their troops from Ukraine,” she says.
1.42 pm: Here are images of some of the passengers who arrived in Mumbai on a special flight of evacuees on Saturday.
1.23 pm: However, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejects Russian claims that they are ready for talks, reports The Guardian. Zelenskyy says he is open to talks held in areas not acting against Ukraine.
Ukraine earlier shot down a jet in Belarusian territory.
The president also says that talks in Minsk would have been possible if Russia had not attacked Ukraine from Belarusian territory.
1.10 pm: A Russian delegation has arrived in Belarus for talks with Ukraine, reports AP. “The Russian delegation is ready for talks, and we are now waiting for the Ukrainians,” AP quotes Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Peskov says their delegation includes diplomats and military officials.
12.40 pm: China’s envoy to Ukraine says the current conditions were too unsafe to evacuate its citizens, reports Al Jazeera.
“We must wait until it is safe before leaving,” says Fan Xianrong in a video message.
12.37 pm: Russian troops take over the city of Nova Kakhovka, or New Kakhovka, in southern Ukraine, reports BBC, citing Ukrainian media. The city is strategically located on the Dnieper River and directly supplies the Crimean peninsula with water channels.
12.33 pm: SpaceX chief Elon Musk says that his company’s Starlink service was now active in Ukraine and more terminals were en route.
The response came on a tweet by Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked Musk to provide the country with Starlink stations, a satellite-based internet system.
12.32 pm: An air raid alert has been sounded in Kyiv, reports The Kyiv Independent.
11.50 am: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, says more than 1.5 lakh people have fled Ukraine.
11.47 am: Russian troops have entered Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv, reports The Guardian. Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the interior minister, says, “A group of special forces of the Russian Federation has just burst into the city [Kharkiv] through Alekseevka. On the street.”
11 am: Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweets images of fighting from the country and says global support for them must be stronger.
“72 hours of resistance! The world didn’t believe,” he tweets. “The world doubted. But we did not just stand, we confidently continue to fight with russian occupant!We showed the world - don’t be afraid 🇷🇺, be strong & repel it! Support of 🇺🇦 must be more stronger! Your safety depends on us!”
10.34 am: Google bars Russian state-owned media from receiving money for ads on their YouTube videos, websites and apps, reports Reuters. Russian media will also not be allowed to buy ads through Google Tools or place ads on Google services, a spokesperson told Reuters.
10.17 am: Protests continue around the world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. People have come out on the streets in several countries including South Korea (image below), Mexico, US, Poland, Canada and others.
10.01 am: Ukravtodor, a Ukrainian company in charge of building and maintaining roads, says it was removing road signs that could be used by Russian forces to find their way around the country, reports Reuters.
“The enemy has poor communications, they cannot navigate the terrain,” the company says in a Facebook update.
9.58 am: Japanese billionaire Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani says he will donate 1 billion (about Rs 64.95 crore) in Yen to Ukraine and calls the Russian invasion “a challenge to democracy”, reports The Japan Times.
9.55 am: Liquor stores and bars across the states of US and Canada are removing vodka, one of the prominent Russian exports, from their shelves, reports The Guardian.
9.53 am: Australia says it will fund the supply of weapons to Ukraine to help it fight the Russian forces, reports BBC.
“The Australian government will continue to stand up for what is right when it comes to Ukraine,” he says. “We’ll be seeking to provide whatever support we can for lethal aid through our NATO partners, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom.”
9.52 am: United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says her country was preparing a “hit list” of Russian oligarchs to be targeted by sanctions in the coming months, reports The Guardian.
9.48 am: The Swift international payments system says that it was preparing to implement the new measures targeting Russian banks in coming days, reports Reuters.
“We are engaging with European authorities to understand the details of the entities that will be subject to the new measures and we are preparing to comply upon legal instruction,” it says in a statement.
9.44 am: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanks the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France and Germany for removing Russian banks from the Swift international payments system.
9.42 am: Former deputy chairman of Russia’s central banks Sergei Aleksashenko says that the decision to remove the Moscow’s lenders from the Swift international payments system will cause a “catastrophe” on the Russian currency market on Monday, reports The Guardian.
“I think they will stop trading and then the exchange rate will be fixed at an artificial level just like in Soviet times,” he adds.
9.17 am: Former United States President Donald Trump condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine. He links the invasion with the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. “The Russian attack on the Ukraine is appalling,” CNN quotes him as saying. “It’s an outrage and an atrocity that should never have been allowed to occur.”
However, this came with praise for the Russian president, something Trump has stated multiple times in the past few days. “The problem is not that Putin is smart, which, of course, he’s smart,” Trump says. “The problem is that our leaders are dumb... and so far, allowed him to get away with this travesty and assault on humanity.”
He adds that Putin is playing US President Joe Biden “like a drum”.
9.03 am: A third Air India evacuation flight, carrying 240 Indians, has left Hungary for New Delhi, reports ANI.
8.45 am: Air India’s second flight from Ukraine, AI 1942 with 250 Indians on board, landed in Delhi early on Sunday, according to PTI. The flight came from Romanian capital Bucharest.
8.16 am: Another oil terminal was set on fire after Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian town of Vasylkiv, located on the southwest of Kyiv, says the mayor, reports Al Jazeera.
“The enemy wants to destroy everything around,” says mayor Natalia Balasinovich in a video posted online.
8.11 am: The Ukrainian president’s office says Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, reports the Associated Press. It warns that the explosion could cause an “environmental catastrophe” and advises its residents to cover their windows with damp cloth or gauze and to drink plenty of fluids.
8.10 am: The United Nations says it has confirmed at least 240 civilian casualties in the fighting in Ukraine, reports the Associated Press. However, the global body says the “real figures are considerably higher” as many reports of casualties remain to be confirmed.
8.08 am: Britain says that the Russian forces are restricting access to a number of social media platforms to its citizens in an attempt to conceal details about the situation in Ukraine, reports Al Jazeera.
8.06 am: Germany says it will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine, reports AFP.
8.02 am: Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of Chelsea FC, says he is handing over the “stewardship and care” of the Premier League club to the trustees of its charitable foundation.
Team manager Thomas Tuchel had admitted on Friday that uncertainty over Abramovich’s future as owner was weighing on the club ahead of Sunday’s League Cup final against Liverpool.
7.59 am: The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom agree to block some Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, a global financial messaging system, reports the Associated Press. They also agree to impose ”restrictive measures” on Russia’s central bank.
7.58 am: Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet says two freelancers working for it were injured when their car was hit by gunfire near the Ohtyrka village in eastern Ukraine, reports the Associated Press.
7.57 am: Some pictures from Ukraine:
7.56 am: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asks the United Nations to strip Russia of its Security Council vote, reports AFP.
7.53 am: Foreign ministers of the European Union will meet later on Sunday to discuss imposing more sanctions on Russia, reports AFP.
7.50 am: The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Here are the top development from Saturday:
- On a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged for India’s “political support” at the United Nations Security Council.
- The Russian troops further closed in on the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv on Saturday. Zelenskyy, however, claimed that Kyiv and other “key places” nearby were under the control of Ukraine.
- Air India’s flight carrying 219 Indians, who were stuck in Ukraine, landed in Mumbai at 7.50 pm on Saturday, PTI reported. The flight had departed from the Romanian capital of Bucharest in the afternoon. Another Air India flight that will conduct evacuation has departed from Delhi at 11.40 am and was scheduled to land in Bucharest on Saturday evening.
- Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenkskyy said Kyiv is open to talks with Moscow, but Russia has been putting forward “categorically unacceptable conditions”