10.45 pm: The BBC is temporarily suspending news operations in Russia after the country’s Parliament passed a law criminalising distribution of “fake news” about the military with up to 15 years in prison amid the conflict with Ukraine.

“The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs,” BBC Director General Tim Davie says in a statement.

10.30 pm: In a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Russian President Vladimir Putin denies claims that his troops were bombing Ukrainian cities, reports AFP. “The alleged ongoing air strikes of Kyiv and other large cities are gross propaganda fakes,” the Kremlin says.

10.10 pm: Ukraine is planning to hold a third round of talks with the Russian delegation this weekend, negotiators tell AFP.

8.58 pm: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that that more than 1.2 million, or 12 lakh, people have left Ukraine since Russian invasion began on February 24, reports the Associated Press.

It says that over 1,65,000 people left the country on Thursday, slightly lowed than Wednesday’s count and well under the nearly 2 lakh that left the war-torn country on Tuesday.

The UN refugee agency adds that 331 people have been killed and 675 people injured since February 24.

8.54 pm: German Chancellor Scholz urges Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone call to end hostilities in Ukraine, reports AFP.

8.53 pm: Ukraine president’s advisor says his country was planning to hold the third round of talks with Russian officials this weekend, reports AFP.

8.08 pm: Following the attack on a nuclear plant in Ukraine, the United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at 10 pm Indian Standard Time.

Russia has blamed the attack at the Zaporizhzhia plant on Ukrainian saboteurs, saying it is a “monstrous provocation”.

7.45 pm: The Russian Parliament has passed a law criminalising distribution of “fake news” about the military with up to 15 years in prison amid the conflict with Ukraine, reports Reuters.

7.07 pm: Indian students stranded in Sumy fill their water bottles with ice to drink after water station was bombarded, a student tells Scroll.in

7.02 pm: Bagchi adds that the ministry is not aware of reports of any Indian being held hostage.

6.51 pm: On evacuations of Sumy, Bagchi reiterates that it is a conflict zone. He says that government is in touch with the students.

“We are with you [the students],” he says. We are trying to find a solution to get them out of there. They are probably better where they are than probably walking around in violence.”

6.46 pm: The ministry of external spokesperson says that there are about 300 stranded students in Kharkiv and over 700 in Sumy.

6.40 pm: Bagchi says that the core problem the Indian government is facing is that the students are far from the buses that have reportedly been made available but the areas are also in a conflict zones.

6.38 pm: The ministry of external spokesperson says that the Indian government would incur the costs of treatment of Indian student Harjot Singh, who has been hospitalised after being shot in Kyiv.

6.34 pm: Bagchi says that the ministry of concerned about the students stranded in Sumy in the north-eastern part of Ukraine.

6.28 pm: Union Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says buses are available but the stranded students are 50-60 kms away from them. He says that a local ceasefire could help. He urges Russia and Ukraine to have a local ceasefire at least so that Indian citizens and students could be evacuated.


5.50 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin states the country’s neighbours must not escalate tensions with Moscow, reports Al Jazeera. Russian forces continue to press ahead with their invasion of Ukraine and campaign to “demilitarise” the country.

“I would... advise them [our neighbours] not to escalate the situation, not to introduce any restrictions,” the Russian president says in televised speech.

5.30 pm: The United Nations Human Rights Council, however, approves investigation into alleged Russian violations in Ukraine and formation of a committee to look into the matter, reports Al Jazeera.

5.19 pm: At the United Nations Human Rights Council, India abstains from voting on formation of an independent international inquiry panel after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reports ANI.

5 pm: The Ukrainian culture ministry calls for closing the skies over the country, The Guardian reports.

“Russia’s missiles and planes are deliberately destroying historic centers of big cities,” says Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s minister of culture and information policy. “Putin wants to destroy Europe’s heritage and culture, wipe it from the face of the earth.”

4.55 pm: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi criticises Russia’s “atrocious attack” on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, saying the act threatens “everyone’s security”, reports Reuters.

4.45 pm: The BBC says its content can be accessed by readers in restricted countries through the “dark web”. This comes after access to the BBC and several foreign news organisations’ websites was restricted by Russia.

4.29 pm: The mayor of the city of Enerhodar, the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, says the situation is “extremely tense”, reports CNN.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine had said that the Russian forces have seized the plant.

Mayor Dmytro Orlov says the city has no heating because of damages due to the shelling. “Those who stayed in the shelter for the night, you can return home,” he adds. “However, due to the extremely tense situation nearby, we recommend you spending less time outside and stay at home.”

3.26 pm: Toll from airstrikes in the north Ukrainian city of Chernihiv rises to 47, The Guardian reports, citing local authorities. Earlier the authorities had said that 33 people have died.

2.37 pm: Ukraine forces estimate that 9,166 Russian troops have been killed, 251 tanks and 33 planes destroyed, reports The Kyiv Independent.

2.33 pm: Russian Parliament passes law that makes it a criminal offence to spread “fake” information about its armed forces, reports The Guardian.

Those found breaking the law will face up to three years in prison.

2.30 pm: Foreign ministers from from North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Group of Seven countries and the European Union will meet in Brussels to assess their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and decided on what should be done, reports BBC.

2.23 pm: United Kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab says Russia’s shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was an example of the more brutal tactics Vladimir Putin is resorting to as his invasion was facing greater resistance than he had expected, reports the Associated Press.

“It was clearly a reckless bombardment of a very sensitive and precarious and dangerous facility,” Raab says. “And the fact that the Russians kept bombarding it after there was the fire and the Ukrainian emergency rescue team were trying to get to that makes it doubly reprehensible.”

2.16 pm: China says it is “seriously concerned” about safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities following a blaze at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, reports the Associated Press.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin says that China “calls on all parties concerned to maintain calm and restraint, prevent further escalation of the situation and ensure the safety of the nuclear facilities concerned”.

2.13 pm: Ukrainian authorities says that the fire at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been extinguished, reports the Associated Press.

2.05 pm: Russian legislators have approved a law providing for up to 15 years’ imprisonment for publishing fake news about the armed forces, AFP reports.

The law has been approved as Russia’s attack on Ukraine has entered the ninth day.

1.48 pm: The Indian student who has been hospitalised after being shot in Kyiv is Harjot Singh, a resident of Chhattarpur in Delhi, NDTV reports.

Singh is currently at the Kyiv City Hospital. He says that he was hit multiple times, and his leg was fractured.

The student tells the channel that he was in a cab, and was trying to get to the city of Lviv in western Ukraine from the capital Kyiv, when he was shot.

“I contacted the embassy people and asked if they can provide the facility to take me to Lviv,” he says. “I can’t walk. But all I get is fake comments.”

1.35 pm: A Spicejet flight carrying 188 Indian students stranded in Ukraine will leave the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia on Friday, ANI quotes India’s Ambassador to Slovakia Vanlalhuma as saying.

The ambassador adds that an Indian Air Force plane will also take off from the city later in the day with 210 students.

1.30 pm: Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian president, posts visuals of the Russian strikes at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which led to a fire at the spot.

“The entire Europe is at risk of a repeat of the nuclear catastrophe,” he says.

12.52 pm: Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has restricted several media websites, Al-Jazeera reports. The websites include the BBC, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Latvia-based independent website Meduza and the Russian website of Radio Free Europe.

The authority reportedly took the decision based on a request from prosecutors.

12.32 pm: Russian forces have seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine, Reuters reports quoting the regional state administration.

“Operational personnel are monitoring the condition of power units,” the administration says.

A fire had erupted at the power plant in the early hours of Friday after it was hit by Russian forces.

12.08 pm: Home space rental firm AirBnB is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus, says Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky.

12.03 pm: The radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are unaffected, The International Atomic Energy Agency says.

“The Ukraine regulatory authority said a fire at the site had not affected ‘essential’ equipment and plant personnel were taking mitigatory actions,” it said. “There was no reported change in radiation levels at the plant, it said.”

11.27 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a meeting to review the situation related to Ukraine, reports ANI.

11.14 am: The Moscow stock exchange has remained closed for five days.

11.09 am: The BBC says that its services have been restricted in Russia. Two other news outlets, Menduza and Radio liberty have also been blocked.

10.25 am: Ukraine’s State Emergency Services say that the fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been extinguished at 6.20 am local time (9.50 am Indian Standard Time). In an update on messaging platform Telegram, the officials say that that there were no casualties.

10.21 am: The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has waived the mandatory Covid-19 testing for those travelling back to America from Russia and Belarus, reports Al Jazeera.

10 am: In an update on messsaging platfrom Telegram, Ukraine’s State Emergency Services say that the fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been “localised to an area of two thousand square meters”.

9.37 am: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the “horrific attacks” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

“These unacceptable attacks by Russia must cease immediately,” Trudeau,” Trudeau says in a tweet.

9.35 am: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he would seek an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

9.32 am: Firefighters have made their way into the Zaporizhzhia power plant. Ukraine’s State Emergency Services say in a Facebook post that the responders had entered the power plant at 5.20 am local time (8.50 am Indian Standard Time).

9.27 am: The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant’s reactors have been safely shut down, says secretary of US’ Department of Energy.

9.14 am: The International Atomic Energy Agency says that the fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has not affected its “essential” equipment.

The global atomic energy body has also deployed its Incident and Emergency Centre in “full 24/7 response mode”.

9 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accuses Putin of endangering all of Europe, after parts of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant catch fire.

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of President Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe,” AFP quotes a statement from 10, Downing Street as saying.

8.48 am: Ukraine emergency workers claim Russian troops are not allowing them access to the nuclear station to put out the fire, reports AFP.

8.40 am: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station director says radiation security at the site “has been secured”, reports Reuters.

8.37 am: Union minister VK Singh says he has been told that an Indian student returning from Kyiv was taken back midway after getting shot, reports ANI.

8.15 am: US President Joe Biden has spoken to his Ukrainian counterpart and joins him in asking Russia to stop attacks, following the fire at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

8.10 am: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accuses Russia of nuclear terrorism and asks them to stop attacking the nuclear plant immediately, reports The Guardian. “We must stop Russian troops,” he tells Europeans. “Tell your politicians: Ukraine is 15 nuclear units. If there will be an explosion, it will the end to all of us, the end of Europe, the evacuation of Europe.”

7.55 am: A video shared by journalist Johnattan F Bilancieri shows at least two blasts at the nuclear power plant.

7.50 am: Ukrainian authorities tell the International Atomic Energy Agency that there has been no change reported in radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after a fire broke out there.

The international agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi spoke to Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal and appealed for a halt on the use of force. He warned of severe danger if the reactors were hit.

7.45: A fire has broken out at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Ukraine after it was hit by Russian forces, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says.

Kuleba warns that if the plant blows up, it will be “10 times larger” than the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is the biggest one in Europe.

Russian armed forces, however, are continuing to carry out shelling at the site, AP reports.

7.40 am: Here is a roundup of the top developments in Ukraine that took place on Thursday:

  • Thirty-three people were killed in Russian air strikes in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, close to the border with Belarus.
  • At the end of the second round of talks, Ukraine and Russia reached an understanding on creating a humanitarian corridor to safely evacuate Ukrainians in besieged towns and cities.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for direct talks with Vladimir Putin and military aid from Western nations. He added thatthat Ukraine had no plans to attack Russia.
  • India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that 18 flights were slated to go to neighbouring countries of Ukraine soon to evacuate citizens stranded in the country.
  • India voiced concern over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine at the 49th Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, and called for an immediate end to hostilities.