- Ukraine’s president urges residents to take up arms, as heavy fighting rages around the capital.
Russia Ukraine War News Live Updates February 26: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reportedly killed hundreds and thousands of people. While Ukraine claimed that its forces killed more than 1,000 Russian soldiers, the Russian Defense Ministry said that its troops destroyed 211 military infrastructure in Ukraine.
The Russian-Ukraine crisis deepened after Kiev was attacked by Russian missiles this week after Russia’s Vladimir Putin declared war. “We are all here defending our freedom, our country, and it will remain so,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a message late last night. Meanwhile, the US government joined European nations in imposing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Amid the chaos, Russia vetoed a UN resolution condemning “aggression” in Ukraine, while UN chief Antonio Guterres said Russian troops “need to return to their barracks”. Stay tuned to Indiatoday.in for live updates.
- Street fighting has broken out with Russian forces in the capital, Kyiv, which was rocked with intense gunfire and explosions overnight.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenkskyy has pledged to not surrender and continue fighting to defend his country.
- The Russian army said it has taken control of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol and targeted the country’s military infrastructure with air and sea-based cruise missiles.
- United States says it will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
- Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, has barred Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platform.
- UN says more than 50,000 Ukrainians have fled to other countries since the fighting started.
Ukraine President dials PM Modi, seeks support in UN Security Council
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to PM Modi on Saturday seeking political support in UN Security Council.
Russia warns local media over Ukraine war coverage
Russia’s communications regulator accused 10 local media outlets on Saturday of falsely depicting what Russia calls a special military operation in Ukraine and distributing false information about events there.
Among those sent warning letters were Echo Moskvy, a popular radio station, and Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper critical of the government whose editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was awarded a Nobel Peace prize last year.
Roskomnadzor, the regulator, ordered the media to delete the offending information or face restricted access to their websites and media resources.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last week, saying it needed to demilitarise its neighbour. (Reuters)
India’s Embassy in Slovak Republic issued advisory for Indians in Ukraine desiring to be evacuated via Slovakia
The Embassy of India in Bratislava, Slovak Republic issued an advisory for Indians in Ukraine desiring to be evacuated via Slovakia.
Ukranian MP Kira Rudik says, ‘I am angry….How can Putin deny Ukraine right to exist’
In an exclusive chat with India Today, Ukranian MP Kira Rudik says, “I am angry….How can Putin deny Ukraine the right to exist?”
Internet in Ukraine disrupted as Russian troops advance
Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been badly affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet blockage observatory Net Blocks said on Saturday. (Reuters)
Italy supports Russia’s disconnection from SWIFT: President Zelenskyy
This is the beginning of a new page in the history of our states. Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi in a phone conversation supported Russia’s disconnection from SWIFT, the provision of defense assistance. Ukraine must become part of the EU: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Jharkhand government to reimburse ticket amount for people returning from Kyiv
In the midst of the impasse in Ukraine, the Jharkhand government will reimburse the ticket amount for the people of the state coming back to at their personal expenses. The state government, along with the Central government, is working to provide all possible help to all the people of the state: CM Hemant Soren.
France is ready to supply weapons and military equipment, Ukrainian FM says
Ukraine Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said, “Spoke with my French counterpart, France supports banning Russia from SWIFT. I urged to immediately introduce the third package of EU sanctions to stop the Russian invasion. France is also ready to supply weapons and military equipment to help Ukraine defend itself.”
Scenes of destruction from Kyiv, Ukraine
India Today’s ground report by Aabha Bakaya from Medyka, Ukraine-Poland border.
Russian forces continue to advance, now at 30km from centre of Kyiv: UK Ministry of Defence
Russian forces have continued their advance on Kyiv with the bulk of their forces now 30km from the centre of the city. The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to put up staunch resistance across the country: UK Ministry of Defence.
Residents donate blood in Ukrainian city of Mariupol
Dozens of residents have made their way to Mariupol’s hospital to donate blood, as Ukrainian forces are blocking the southeastern city’s main roads with trees to stave off Russian forces from entering.
“Heavy fighting is taking place near Mariupol,” Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelenksyy’s adviser, told a briefing earlier. “But there is no chance that Mariupol will surrender or be captured.”
Ukraine says 198 civilians killed in Russian invasion (Russia Ukraine war)
Ukraine’s health minister said the Russian military had so far killed 198 civilians, including three children.
“Unfortunately, according to operative data, 198 people died at the hands of the invaders, including 3 children, 1,115 were injured, including 33 children,” wrote Health Minister Viktor Liashko on Facebook.
Ukrainian rush Kiev’s train stations
Crowds of people rushed to Kiev’s railway stations to escape the city as Russian forces continued their assault on Ukraine.
A young girl told at the train station. “We’ve been trying to quit all day since this morning. But as you can see it’s unrealistic.”
The soldiers reportedly opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd.
More than 100,000 people have already arrived in neighbouring countries – a figure that the United Nations estimated could rise up to five million.
Russia warns local media over Ukraine war coverage
Russia’s communications regulator accused 10 local media outlets of misrepresenting a special military operation in Ukraine by Russia and distributing false information about events there.
Roskomnadzor, the regulator, ordered several independent media outlets, including the television channel Dozhd and Echo of Moscow Radio, to remove objectionable information or face restricted access to their websites and media resources.
It called on outlets to remove reports describing Moscow’s attack on Ukraine as an “assault, invasion or declaration of war”.
Zelenskyy calls on Ukraine to grant EU membership (Russia Ukraine war)
President Zelenskyy has called for his country to join the European Union.
Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter: “Once and for all long-standing. This is an important moment to close the discussion and decide on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.”
Zelenskyy said he discussed “further effective aid” as well as “the heroic struggle of Ukrainians for their free future” with European Council President Charles Michel.
Kearla students on evacuation flights from Ukraine will be provided air tickets to return to state: CM Vijayan
CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced that students on evacuation flights from Ukraine who will reach Delhi or Mumbai will be provided air tickets to return to Kerala.
The state govt has taken measures to collect information before hand regarding Malayalees arriving in India from Ukraine.
The arrangement is being made by the Resident Commissioner and NORKA officials. District collectors have been asked to make the necessary arrangements for those reaching airports in Kerala.
Ukrainian MP who posed with Kalashnikov says ‘we’re ready to fight’ | Exclusive (Russia Ukraine war)
Speaking exclusively to India Today TV, Ukraine MP Kira Rudik said every Ukrainian man and woman is ready to pick up weapons and fight against the invading Russian forces. Rudik’s photo posing with a Kalashnikov rifle went viral on Twitter after she posted it on Feb 25.
“We’re not the ones who started the war,” said Rudik. “We’re a peaceful country. Then they come. And because of that people like myself who were not supposed to bear arms, are doing so. We are prepared to fight for what we believe in, not to conquer and take from others, but to protect what’s ours, our freedom, our people, our nation.”
Russian forces gained no tactical advantage, we’re winning, says Ukraine
Russia says it has captured Ukraine’s Melitopol
Russian troops have captured the city of Melitopol in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhya region, Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday. The ministry also said Russia had used air- and ship-based cruise missiles to carry out overnight strikes on military targets in Ukraine.
Poland, Lithuania, Germany to discuss sanctions on Russia today
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Saturday to discuss sanctions on Russia, Polish government spokesperson Piotr Muller said on Twitter.
“At the initiative of Prime Minister Morawiecki a meeting will be held in Berlin today. Prime Minister Morawiecki together with the President of Lithuania will hold talks with the German Chancellor,” Muller said in a tweet early on Saturday.
“The European Union must immediately adopt a package of ruthlessly harsh sanctions against Russia.”
Will not lay down arms, says Ukraine president in new video (Russia Ukraine war)
In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “There is a lot of fake information on the networks that I am calling on our army to surrender and that there is an evacuation, but I am here. We will not lay down our weapons. We will fight for our land.”
Kyiv high-rise hit by missile, no word on casualties: Mayor
Russia suspends space launches from French Guiana over sanctions
Russia has suspended space launches from French Guiana after US and Nato allies imposed punitive sanctions on it for invading Ukraine. Earlier, President Joe Biden had said Russia’s space program will degrade under new US sanctions.
“We estimate that we’ll cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports. That will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It’ll degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program,” Biden had said while announcing the sanctions on February 24.
100 armoured vehicles, Russian troops ‘destroyed’ in Kharkiv, claims Ukraine
Need ammunition, not a ride: Zelenskyy turns down US offer to flee Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the US government but turned down the offer.
Zelensky said in response: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation, reported AP.
Russian lawmaker calls for immediate end to attacks on Ukraine
Russian lawmaker Mikhail Matveyev, who voted to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk, called for an immediate end to attacks on Ukraine, news agency BNO reported on Saturday.
I voted for Russia to become a shield … not for Kyiv to be bombed.– Russian lawmaker Mikhail Matveyev
Ukrainian Army says it killed over 1,000 Russian troops
The Ukrainian Army claimed that it has killed over 1,000 Russian troops. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 137 “heroes,” including 10 military officers, had been killed in the Russian invasion.
Russian military hasn’t disclosed number of casualties.
Russia claims to have knocked out 211 Ukraine military structures
Russian Ministry of Defence said its troops have knocked out 211 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine claimed that it has destroyed at least 80 tanks, 516 armoured combat vehicles, 7 helicopters, 10 aircraft and 20 cruise missiles.
Fighting continues but Kyiv ‘is under control’
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Zelenskyy, said Ukrainian forces have been able to mount a strong defence against the Russians.
Russian forces are still trying to move a large number of troops and equipment into the city, and fighting continues to take place on the outskirts, he said.
“Both in the city itself and on the outskirts of Kyiv, the situation is under control,” Podolyak said, according to the country’s UNIAN news agency.
Russia: Over 800 Ukrainian military infrastructure sites destroyed
Russia has crippled the operations of more than 800 Ukrainian military infrastructure sites so far, the defence ministry in Moscow said.
Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said 14 military airfields, 19 command posts, 24 S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and 48 radar stations were destroyed. In addition, eight Ukrainian naval boats were hit, he said.
Ukrainian foreign minister calls for Russian oil embargo
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called for a full isolation of Russia, including an embargo on the purchase of Russian crude.
“I demand the world: fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, oil embargo, ruin its economy,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
Damage to residential building near Kyiv airport
The mayor of the Ukrainian capital says a missile hit an apartment building but no casualties were immediately reported.
Vitali Klitschko said the missile slammed into a high-rise building on the southwestern outskirts of Kyiv near Zhuliany airport. He said rescue workers were heading there.
Poland, Lithuania and Germany to discuss sanctions on Russia
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin to discuss sanctions on Russia, Polish government spokesperson Piotr Muller said on Twitter.
“At the initiative of Prime Minister Morawiecki a meeting will be held in Berlin today. Prime Minister Morawiecki together with the President of Lithuania will hold talks with the German Chancellor,” Muller said in a tweet.
“The European Union must immediately adopt a package of ruthlessly harsh sanctions against Russia.”
Russia suspends space launches from French Guiana over sanctions
Russia is suspending space launches from French Guiana and withdrawing its technical personnel in response to EU sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the space agency said.
“In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners over organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel… from French Guiana,” Dmitry Rogozin, chief of the Russian space agency, said on messaging app Telegram.
Russia targets Ukraine military infrastructure with cruise missiles
The Russian army has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure with air and sea-based cruise missiles, the defence ministry said.
“During the night, the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched a strike with long-range precision weapons using air and sea-launched cruise missiles against the military infrastructure of Ukraine,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks.
The ministry also said its troops have captured the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region.
‘We won’t put down weapons’: Zelenskyy vows to fight on in Kyiv
The Ukrainian president recorded a video address outside his presidential office in Kyiv urging residents not to believe in “fakes” about the surrender of the Ukrainian army.
“I am here. We will not put down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth,” Zelenskyy said, denouncing as disinformation claims that he had surrendered or fled.
Biden signs order to give Ukraine $600m in military assistance
US President Joe Biden has signed a memorandum to provide up to $600m in “immediate military assistance” to Ukraine.
The order directs Secretary of State Antony Blinken to provide “immediate military assistance to Ukraine” of up to $250m “in assistance without regard to any provision of law”.
A further $350m was allocated “in defence articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training,” the order said.
‘Extraordinarily awful night’ on Kyiv
Ukraine’s capital witnessed relentless bombardment by Russia’s Air Force, shuddering the city with ballistic missiles, Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons said.
“Here in the capital, the force of the conflict has reached a seismic level,” he said, speaking from Kyiv.
“During the night, everyone has take some form of shelter, most of them below the ground, some of them in whatever form of handy shelter people could get. No one slept properly tonight.”
Ukraine reports fresh air, cruise missile strikes
Ukraine’s military command said areas near the cities of Sumy, Poltava and Mariupol were hit by air raids on Friday, with Russian Kalibr cruise missiles launched at the country from the Black Sea.
Russian and Ukrainian forces clash near Kyiv
Russian and Ukrainian forces have clashed on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as authorities urged citizens to help defend the city from advancing Russian forces.
Meta to bar Russian state media from running ads, monetising on platform
Meta Platforms Inc is barring Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platform anywhere in the world, the parent company of social media giant Facebook has said.
“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media,” its security policy head, Nathaniel Gleicher, said on Twitter. “These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend.”
He added, “We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world.”
Japan considering imposing sanctions against Belarus
Japan is considering imposing economic sanctions on Belarus, in line with the United States, for its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two government officials with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters news agency.
It was not immediately clear which individuals or entities would be targeted by such sanctions. The officials said Tokyo will coordinate with other members of the Group of Seven (G7) industrial powers.
Japan has announced sanctions on Russia over the invasion, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida terming Moscow’s moves an unacceptable violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law.
Russian troops attack Kyiv military base, are repelled, Ukraine army says
Russian troops attacked an army base in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv but the assault was repelled, the Ukrainian military has said in a Facebook post.
Separately, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency said Russian soldiers were trying to capture one of the city’s electricity generating stations.
Frequent artillery blasts heard in Kyiv: Witness
Frequent artillery blasts could be heard in Kyiv, coming from an unspecified location some distance from the city centre, the Reuters news agency reported, citing a witness.
‘Nazi-style course of action’: Ukraine blasts Russia at UNSC meet
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations has railed against Russia at a meeting of the UN Security Council, calling the Russian invasion “a Nazi-style course of action”.
Sergiy Kyslytsya also accused Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia of violating Security Council rules by continuing as president of the council during votes and actions that concerned his country.
For his part, Nebenzia thanked the Security Council members who did not support a draft resolution condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which he described as anti-Russian.
“Your draft resolution is nothing other than yet another brutal, inhumane move in this Ukrainian chessboard,” Nebenzia said after the vote.
Guatemalan president orders return of ambassador to Russia
Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei has said that he has ordered the return of the Central American country’s ambassador to Russia, adding that his government rejected Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Giammattei had earlier expressed “full support for the sovereignty of Ukraine as like-minded countries and stand in solidarity with its people and government”.
UN chief says Russian soldiers should ‘return to their barracks’
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on soldiers in Russia’s war on Ukraine to “return to their barracks”.
“We must never give up. We must give peace another chance,” he told reporters after Moscow vetoed a UN resolution condemning its “aggression” in Ukraine.
Australia seeks to join global move to hit Putin with sanctions
Australia seeks to join others in imposing direct sanctions on Putin and has extended its punitive financial measures to members of Russia’s parliament and more oligarchs, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has said.
“It is an exceptional step to sanction leaders, but this is an exceptional situation,” Payne said at a press conference, adding that the government is seeking advice on how to follow other nations in the move.
“Vladimir Putin has unparalleled personal power over his country and he has chosen to go to war against a neighbour that posed no threat to Russia, because he wants to reverse history and take away the freedom and the democracy that the Ukrainian people chose for themselves.”
In its new sanctions, Payne said Australia will target 339 members of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament and eight more oligarchs. The new measures follow a series of Australian sanctions announced earlier in the week.
Ukraine says two commercial ships hit by Russian missiles near Odesa port
Ukraine has said Russian warships shelled a Moldovan-flagged chemical tanker and a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship due to load grain near the Odesa port in the Black Sea.
A total of three non-military vessels have now been hit since the start of the invasion. On Thursday, the Turkish-owned Yasa Jupiter cargo ship was struck off Odesa.
Ukraine’s president says Russia will try to ‘storm’ Kyiv overnight
Zelenskyy has said that Russian troops would attempt to take the capital city, Kyiv, during the night.
“I have to say absolutely openly. This night will be more difficult than the day. Many cities of our state are under attack,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to the nation.
“Special attention on Kyiv – we cannot lose the capital,” he added in the clip released by the presidency.
“I am turning to our defenders, male and female, on all fronts: this night the enemy will use all the forces it has to crush our defence in a treacherous, harsh and inhumane way,” he said. “Tonight they will attempt a storming,” he added, in an apparent reference to the capital.
White House asks Congress for $6.4bn for Ukraine crisis
The White House asked Congress to approve $6.4bn in aid to address the Ukraine crisis, including $2.9bn in security and humanitarian assistance and $3.5bn for the defence department, Biden administration and congressional aides have said.
“In a recent conversation with lawmakers, the administration identified the need for additional US humanitarian, security, and economic assistance to Ukraine and Central European partners due to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” an official from the White House Office of Management and Budget said.
Russia ‘cannot veto our voices’, US envoy to UN says
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US envoy to the United Nations, has said that Russia “will not veto accountability” shortly after Moscow vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning its attack on Ukraine.
“Russia can veto this resolution, but cannot veto our voices,” she wrote on Twitter.
Moody’s puts Russia, Ukraine ratings on review for downgrade
Moody’s said it has put the credit ratings of Russia and Ukraine on review for a downgrade.
There are “serious concerns” around Russia’s ability to manage the disruptive impact of new sanctions on its economy, public finances and financial system, the ratings agency said.
Russia currently has an investment-grade rating of Baa3; a downgrade will lower its rating to junk status. Ukraine has a B3 rating and Moody’s said an extensive conflict could pose a risk to the government’s liquidity and external positions, given the country’s sizeable external maturities in the coming years and the reliance of its economy on foreign-currency funding.
Russia vetoes UN Security action on Ukraine, China abstains
Russia has vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution that would have deplored Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, while China abstained from the vote – a move Western countries view as a win for demonstrating Russia’s international isolation.
The United Arab Emirates and India also abstained from the vote on the US-drafted text. The remaining 11 council members voted in favour. The draft resolution is now expected to be taken up by the 193-member UN General Assembly.
Russia’s invasion ‘threatens international system’, US envoy to UN says
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US envoy to the UN, has accused Russia of threatening the international system with its invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s latest attack on our most fundamental principles is so bold, so brazen that it threatens our international system as we know it. We have a solemn obligation to not look away,” she told the UN Security Council.
Echoing Biden’s comments from earlier this week, Thomas-Greenfield said Russia is engaged in a “war of choice” in Ukraine.
“Russia chose to inflict untold suffering on the Ukrainian people and on its own citizens,” she said. “Russia chose to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty, to violate international law, to violate the UN Charter.”
Canada to impose sanctions on Russia’s Putin
Canada is imposing sanctions on Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.
“We will be imposing sanctions on President Putin and his fellow architects of this barbaric war, his chief of staff and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,” Trudeau told a news conference. “These men bear the greatest responsibility for the death and destruction occurring in Ukraine.”
Canada will also levy additional sanctions on Belarus and its leaders for “abetting” Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Trudeau said.
He also expressed support for barring Russia from the SWIFT international financial messaging system.
Ukraine and Russia are discussing place and time for talks: Reports
Ukraine and Russia are discussing a place and time for talks, Zelenskyy’s spokesman has said.
“Ukraine was and remains ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace,” spokesperson Sergii Nykyforov said on social media.