Ukraine Russia war news Updates: Volodymyr Zelensky signs EU membership application

Levelling allegation against Indian government of not taking effective steps to bring Indians stranded in Ukraine amid ongoing Russian military operations in the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “missing in action.”

Sharing a video of a student stranded in Ukraine, the Wayanad MP tweeted, “Conditions of Indians stranded in Ukraine are worsening. Yet, GOI is not taking effective steps to bring them home. As usual, PM is MIA (missing in action).” In the video, the student can be seen sharing the name of an official who allegedly works at the Indian embassy. The students alleged that the official kept “rejecting call” even after they shared videos of girls being allegedly beaten at the Romanian border.


Rights groups have called on Russia to stop using cluster munitions in Ukraine, saying fatal strikes using the indiscriminate weapons on a hospital and a school could constitute war crimes.

Amnesty International said cluster bombs hit a preschool in northeastern Ukraine on Friday that was being used to shelter civilians, killing three people, including a child.


Ukraine Russia war

PM Modi chairs another high-level meeting on Ukraine crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening chaired a second high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis after it was decided in an earlier meeting to send four Union ministers to the neighbouring countries of the war-hit nation to coordinate efforts to evacuate Indian students stranded there.

Union ministers Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and V K Singh, who will be flying as India’s “special envoys” to spearhead evacuation efforts, were present in the evening meeting, besides External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and top bureaucrats.


Ukraine Russia war

With sanctions, Russian Sberbank faces ‘failure’ in Europe

Faced with a rush of people withdrawing money, Sberbank and the Russian bank’s subsidiaries in southeastern and central Europe are facing closures or takeovers following international sanctions imposed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

The European Central Bank said Monday that Vienna-based Sberbank Europe AG and its branches in Slovenia and Croatia are failing or likely to fail after they “experienced significant deposit outflows” because of the impact to their reputation from the conflict.


Ukraine Russia war

Olympic body calls for Russia to be excluded from sports

In a sweeping move to isolate and condemn Russia after invading Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee urged sports bodies on Monday to exclude the country’s athletes and officials from international events.

The IOC said it was needed to “protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants.”

The decision opened the way for FIFA, the governing body of soccer, to exclude Russia from a World Cup qualifying playoff match on March 24. Poland has refused to play the scheduled game against Russia.


Ukraine Russia war

Russian mogul uses UK paper for anti-war plea

Russia-born media mogul Evgeny Lebedev has used the pages of a British newspaper he owns to implore Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the invasion of Ukraine.

London’s Evening Standard on Monday features a front-page statement by Lebedev headlined “President Putin, please stop this war,” alongside an Associated Press photo of medics battling to save a 6-year-old girl killed by shelling in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Lebedev wrote: “As a Russian citizen I plead with you to stop Russians killing their Ukrainian brothers and sisters. As a British citizen I ask you to save Europe from war.”


Ukraine Russia war

Russian tycoon Deripaska says time to end ‘state capitalism’ in Russia

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska on Monday said it was time to put an end to “all this state capitalism” and change policies as the country’s economy reeled from the effects of Western sanctions over Moscow’s assault on Ukraine.

“It is necessary to change the economic policy, it is necessary to end all this state capitalism,” Deripaska said on messaging app Telegram, demanding “explanations” from officials on what was going to happen to the economy in the next three months.


Ukraine Russia war

Russia’s Lavrov cancels trip to UN in Geneva: official

Russia’s foreign minister has cancelled a trip to the United Nations in Geneva due to the “anti-Russian sanctions” imposed by EU countries, Russia’s mission in Geneva said Monday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had been scheduled to address the UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament in person Tuesday, and had also been due to give a press conference.


Ukraine Russia war

Russia reels from sanctions as Putin calls West ’empire of lies’

The ruble collapsed Monday, Russians sought to withdraw their savings and a prominent tycoon urged an end to “state capitalism” in Russia as the country reeled from the effects of Western sanctions over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin raged against the West as he convened a meeting with officials including central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina and the CEO of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, German Gref, to address what the Kremlin called a new “economic reality”.


Ukraine Russia war

Switzerland adopts same sanctions as EU against Russia: president

Traditionally neutral Switzerland will adopt all the sanctions that the European Union has already imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis said Monday.

“This is a big step for Switzerland,” Cassis told a press conference, after the neutral Alpine nation had for days hesitated over whether to join the international move to sanction Moscow over the attack on its neighbour.


Ukraine crisis: Moscow, Kyiv plan second round of talks; Putin bars money transfers abroad as ruble crashes

Putin also told his French counterpart on Monday that the demilitarisation of Ukraine and Western recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula were prerequisites to ending fighting in Ukraine

Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia will return to their capital cities for consultations and have plans for fresh talks, both sides announced Monday after meeting for their first talks since the outbreak of war last week.

“The delegations are returning to their capitals for consultations and have discussed the possibility of meeting for a second round of negotiations soon,” Ukrainian negotiator Mikhailo Podolyak said.

“We agreed to keep the negotiations going,” the Russian delegation head, Vladimir Medinsky said.

This came, as Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday banned residents from transferring money abroad as part of measures to prop up the ruble which has plummeted in value as a result of Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A decree signed by Putin also said that exporters would be required to hold at least 80 per cent of revenue in rubles in a move to prop up the Russian economy.

Russian and Ukrainian officials met for talks Monday amid high hopes but low expectations for any diplomatic breakthrough, after Moscow ran into unexpectedly stiff resistance when it unleashed the biggest land war in Europe since World War II.

Outgunned Ukrainian forces managed to slow the Russian advance, and Western sanctions began to squeeze the Russian economy, but the Kremlin again raised the specter of nuclear war, reporting that its land, air and sea nuclear forces were on high alert following President Vladimir Putin’s weekend order.

Stepping up his rhetoric, Putin denounced the US and its allies as an “empire of lies.”

‘Appeal to EU for immediate accession’

Meanwhile, Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed an application for the membership of Ukraine in the European Union. This came hours after he urged the European Union to grant his country “immediate” membership.

“We appeal to the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure,” the 44-year-old leader said in a new video address.

“Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing. I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible.”

He said 16 children had died during the first four days of Moscow’s assault and another 45 were wounded as he hailed “Ukrainian heroes.”

The UN’s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday that at least 102 civilians, including seven children, had been killed but warned the real numbers were probably far higher.

“Ukrainians have shown the world who we are. And Russia has shown what it has become,” Zelensky said.

Putin demands recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea

Putin also told his French counterpart on Monday that the demilitarisation of Ukraine and Western recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula were prerequisites to ending fighting in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that a settlement is possible only if Russia’s legitimate security interests are unconditionally taken into account, including the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukrainian state and ensuring its neutral status,” according to a Kremlin readout of the call.

Macron on Monday called on Putin to spare civilians in Ukraine, the French leader’s office said in a statement.

Macron’s office said that in a 90-minute phone call he had asked the Russian leader to stop attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, and secure major roadways, in particular the road from the south of Kyiv.

“President Putin confirmed his willingness to make commitments on these three points,” the statement said.

Macron also “reiterated the demand of the international community to stop the Russian offensive against Ukraine, and reaffirmed the need to implement an immediate ceasefire,” the Elysee said, but did not give the Russian leader’s response.

Macron also called on Putin to respect international humanitarian law, and allow aid shipments to reach the population, the statement said.

The call was the latest in a series of exchanges between both men in which Macron first sought to prevent the Russian invasion, and then to limit its damage.

Earlier this month, Macron went to Moscow to talk with Putin in person, returning to Paris with assurances of what he called Putin’s “desire to maintain stability and the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

After the latest conversation Monday, Macron suggested the two leaders remain in contact in the coming days “to prevent a worsening of the situation”, to which Putin agreed, the Elysee said.

PM Modi chairs high-level meet on Ukraine

Stepping up its efforts to evacuate thousands of Indians stuck in Ukraine, the government on Monday decided to send four Union ministers to the neighbouring countries of the war-torn country to coordinate the evacuation process even as the external affairs ministry said nearly 8,000 nationals have returned in the last fortnight.

The decision to send Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and V K Singh as “special envoys” of India to coordinate the evacuation process was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also held another high-level meeting in the evening on Ukraine, government sources said.

Official sources said Modi spoke to all four ministers personally to convey the decision that they will be coordinating evacuation efforts on the ground from the countries in Ukraine’s neighbourhood.

Scindia will take care of evacuation efforts from Romania and Moldova while Rijiju will go to Slovakia, sources said, adding Puri will go to Hungary and Singh will be in Poland to manage the evacuation.

The decision to send these ministers came a day after Modi asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government’s top priority. Monday meeting was also attended by several ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla among other senior officials.

Also on Monday, Shringla briefed a parliamentary panel on the situation in Ukraine amid a Russian military offensive and India’s efforts to evacuate its citizens through land check-posts with five neighbouring countries, sources said.

They said the foreign secretary informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs that in the next two days the government is planning to operate 13 evacuation flights to the neighbouring nations of the war-torn country and the number of daily flights would be increased to nine. During the briefing, Shringla also said that Russian-speaking officers had been sent to the border check-posts and Indian embassies in Ukraine’s five neighbouring countries — Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova — to boost evacuation efforts.

Asserting that India has managed to accelerate its efforts to get its nationals out of Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the MEA said a total of 1,396 Indians were brought back home in six flights as part of the evacuation mission.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also said the total number of Indians who have left Ukraine since India issued the first advisory earlier this month is around 8,000.

India is also sending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, the ministry said.

Calling Modi’s decision to send four ministers a “visionary step”, Singh told reporters “I am leaving for Poland today and will coordinate with both Ukraine and Poland to facilitate the evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine. “The other three ministers are likely to leave on Tuesday.

After Singh’s travel announcement, Poland’s Ambassador to India Adam Burakowski held a closed-door meeting with the Union minister. Describing his meeting with Singh as “very good”, the ambassador said his country is allowing entry to people of all nationalities who are leaving war-hit Ukraine by road and food and shelter will be provided to them.

Amid reports claiming that Indians were facing difficulties on the Poland-Ukraine border, the ambassador said those who are trying to cross to Poland from Ukraine must refer to the social media handles of the Indian embassy in Warsaw and the Twitter handle of Operation Ganga.

“I would like to request all Indian nationals who are trying to cross to Poland from Ukraine that they must refer to the social media of Indian embassy in Warsaw and Twitter account of Operation Ganga,” Burakowski told PTI.

Modi had chaired a meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday too.

It was decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to expedite the evacuation of Indian students, sources had said. According to sources, India has agreed to send humanitarian assistance including medical supplies to Ukraine at the request of the government there

UN rights council votes to hold debate on Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Council voted Monday to hold an urgent debate about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, further isolating Moscow which had resisted Kyiv’s attempt to spotlight abuses committed in the war.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine dominated the start of the UN body’s main annual session in the Swiss city of Geneva, and countries rallied around Kyiv’s demand to scrutinise Russia’s actions.

Ukraine’s ambassador in Geneva Yevheniia Filipenko warned that Russia’s invasion “was an attack not only on Ukraine”.

“It was an attack on every UN member state, on the United Nations and on the principles that this organisation was created to defend,” she told the council.

Russia has become an international pariah since its invasion Thursday, and rejected the call for the debate and demanded the issue be put to a vote.

But 29 of the council’s 47 members backed Kyiv’s request, while only five voted no, including Russia and China. The remaining 13 countries abstained.

US ambassador Sheba Crocker hailed the result as proof that “Russia is totally isolated at the council”.

The debate on the conflict in Ukraine is to take place Thursday, when the council will consider a draft resolution presented by Kyiv.

It calls for a high-level investigation into alleged violations committed in the conflict, dating back to 2014 when the Kremlin annexed Crimea and supported a separatist movement in Ukraine’s east.

In her opening statement Monday, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said “throughout history, there have been moments of profound gravity, that cut the course of events between a ‘before’ and a very different, more harmful, ‘after’.”

“We are at such a tipping point,” she warned.

Her office said more than 100 civilians, including seven children, have been killed in the five days since the invasion began, warning the true toll was likely higher.

The UN refugee agency said more than half a million people have already fled into neighbouring countries.

Lavrov visit cancelled

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who had been scheduled to address the rights council Tuesday, was forced to cancel his trip. Russia’s mission in Geneva said Monday this was because of “an unprecedented ban on his flight in the airspace of a number of EU countries”.

The EU banned all Russian carriers from its airspace over the weekend.

Switzerland also decided Monday to join the harsh sanctions and closed its airspace to Russian aircraft, although it made an exception for diplomatic flights.

Lavrov will likely still address the rights council Tuesday via video message, as will his US, British and European Union counterparts.

Ukraine’s top diplomat is scheduled to do the same on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s raging conflict is expected to deepen the increasing polarisation seen at the council in recent years.

The main actors in the conflict are currently members of the already polarised council, including Russia, Ukraine and the United States, which rejoined last month after having been withdrawn by former president Donald Trump in 2018.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will use his speech to the council Tuesday to “spell out clearly the threat posed by Russia”, his spokesman Ned Price said.

Rights groups in Geneva have called on the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia’s membership in the rights council over the invasion.

At least 11 killed in Kharkiv

At least 11 people were killed and a dozen others were injured in Russian shelling on Ukraine’s Kharkiv city on Monday, the regional governor said.

“The Russian enemy is bombing residential areas,” Oleg Sinegubov, wrote on the Telegram messaging app, saying, “As a result of the bombardments that are ongoing, we cannot call on the emergency services. Currently there are 11 dead and dozens wounded”, he said. On Sunday morning, two large explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv

Traditionally neutral Swiss adopts sanctions

Traditionally neutral Switzerland will adopt all the sanctions already imposed by the EU on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including against President Vladimir Putin, Bern said Monday.

“This is a big step for Switzerland,” Swiss President Ignazio Cassis told a press conference, after the neutral Alpine nation had for days hesitated over whether to join the international move to sanction Moscow over the attack on its neighbour.

As the European Union last week slapped Russia with biting sanctions after it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Bern initially said only that it would ensure that those penalties could not be circumvented via Switzerland.

But following a government meeting Monday, Switzerland announced it was now fully onboard with the sanctions.

“Switzerland will implement the sanctions in coordination with the EU,” the government, known as the Federal Council, said in a statement, adding that these were “primarily goods and financial sanctions.”

But they also included the freezing of the assets of persons and companies.

In particular, the government said Switzerland would with “immediate effect” impose the sanctions already imposed by the EU on Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


“In so doing, Switzerland is responding to the serious violations of international law for which these individuals are responsible,” it said.

The announcement came as Russia’s mission in Geneva announced that Lavrov, who had been scheduled travel to the Swiss city on Tuesday to address the United Nations Human Rights Council, had been forced to cancel his trip due to the “anti-Russian sanctions” imposed by EU countries.

The Swiss government said Monday that it would also close Swiss airspace to all flights from Russia and to all movements of aircraft with Russian markings, except for flights for humanitarian, medical or diplomatic purposes.

Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter meanwhile told reporters that five oligarchs close to the Russian president and who had strong ties to Switzerland had been banned from entering the country.

And Bern said it had decided to partially suspend a 2009 agreement on visa facilitation for Russian nationals, although holders of diplomatic passports would still be permitted to enter Switzerland without a visa.

Switzerland had come under increasing pressure to get in line with the EU and US sanctions against Russia, with nearly all political parties backing the move.

And on Saturday, as many as 20,000 demonstrators marched in Switzerland in solidarity with Ukraine, with many loudly calling on Bern to impose sanctions.

Before shifting its approach, the government said it had carefully considered “Switzerland’s neutrality and peace policy considerations”, but that “Russia’s unprecedented military attack on a sovereign European country was the deciding factor.”

Bern stressed though that it remained willing to “actively contribute to a solution to the conflict through its good offices.”

It also said Switzerland would deliver 25 tonnes of relief supplies to Poland within coming days to help people in need in neighbouring Ukraine.

Russia bans airlines from 36 countries

Russia announced Monday it was banning flights by airlines from 36 countries including Britain and Germany in response to a slew of bans on its planes. Moscow’s statement came as Russian airlines are now unable to enter the airspace of the vast majority of European countries as well as Canada. Its list includes Jersey, which is a dependency of the UK, and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory.

Russia’s civil aviation authority said it was bringing in the restrictions “as a retaliatory measure for the ban by European states on flights by civil aviation operated by Russian airlines or registered in Russia”. Airlines will only be able to enter Russian airspace with a special permit.

Last week Russia banned UK airlines after Britain barred Aeroflot, the country’s flagship carrier, as well as private jets. The European Union announced Sunday that it was closing its airspace to Russian aircraft, including private jets. These measures will mean airlines have to make long detours on some routes, potentially raising the cost of tickets.

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ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal and NorthEast United conclude clash with a draw

Marco Sahanek (45+1′) scored his first goal for NEUFC to give them the lead in the first half but the equaliser came through Antonio Perosevic (55′ P) who scored from a precise penalty

SC East Bengal and NorthEast United FC at play on 28 February, 2022. Twitter/@IndSuperLeague

Goa: NorthEast United played a 1-1 draw in their final league game of the season against fellow strugglers SC East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium. Goals from Marco Sahanek and Antonio Perosevic managed to split the points either way as Khalid Jamil’s men ended the season with only three wins. As for SC East Bengal, their winless run extended to seven matches.

Marco Sahanek (45+1′) scored his first goal for NEUFC to give them the lead in the first half but the equaliser came through Antonio Perosevic (55′ P) who scored from a precise penalty.

Two good chances fell SCEB’s way in the early stages with Lalrinliana Hnamte making the goalkeeper pull off a good save and Mahesh Naorem Singh hitting the crossbar from long-range. NEUFC survived another scare after the half-hour mark as a volley by Antonio Perosevic missed the target by a whisker.

However, it was the Highlanders that took the lead just a minute before the halftime whistle. A header from Deshorn Brown hit the left post and fell kindly to Marco Sahanek who made no mistake and buried his left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner. Thanks to that goal, NEUFC went into the break with their noses in front.

The second half did not begin according to plan for Khalid Jamil and co as Patrick Flottmann’s push on Fran Sota during an aerial battle was deemed as a foul in the box, leading to a penalty. Perosevic scored the equaliser from the penalty spot, after sending Mirshad Michu towards the wrong way.

Marcelinho came off the bench for NEUFC to inject some energy in the final third and combined with Suhair but the latter’s volley was expertly punched away by Sankar Roy in goal. Four minutes were added for stoppages but neither team had the cutting edge to score the winner in the end. With nothing to separate the teams, the game ended in a draw, much to the disappointment for both sets of players.

SC East Bengal will pull the curtains on their ISL season by playing Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Saturday while NorthEast United’s campaign has come to an end.

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LIVE Cricket Score, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test Day 5 at Christchurch

Dean Elgar and Tom Latham, captain of South Africa and New Zealand respectively, pose with the winner’s trophy. AFP

Toggle between the tabs above to switch between quick scorecard, full scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary

Day 4 report: Kyle Verreyne stepped boldly into the vacancy left by the sudden retirement of Quintin de Kock with a maiden century Monday which put South Africa in total control of the second cricket test against New Zealand by the end of the fourth day.

Verreyne’s unbeaten 136 allowed South Africa to declare its second innings at 354-9 just before tea, setting New Zealand 425 to win in about 136 overs or four sessions.

Kagiso Rabada, who supported Verreyne with a career-best innings of 47 from only 34 balls, then dismissed both New Zealand openers to leave the home side in a desperate position at 9-2.

An unbeaten 60 by South Africa-born Devon Conway lifted New Zealand to 94-4 at stumps, leaving it still 332 runs behind and with only six wickets to survive the final day. Tom Blundell was with Conway at the close of play, scoreless after 17 balls.

Blundell technically is New Zealand’s last specialist batsman. Still to come is the all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, a century-maker in the first innings, then the bowlers.

South Africa’s performance over the first four days of the match marked an extraordinary form reversal after their defeat by an innings and 276 runs in the first test in which they were bowled out for 95 and 111.

New Zealand needed only to draw the second test of the two-match to achieve its first series win over South Africa in 17 attempts over 19 years. But they saw their hopes of that historic achievement dissolve Monday in the face of Verreyne’s magnificent innings.

The one high point in the field for New Zealand on Monday was the catch by Will Young to dismiss Marco Jansen from the bowling of de Grandhomme. Young’s effort ranks as one the great outfield catches: he was left to guard a huge amount of real estate on the leg side had had to dash a long distance before grabbing the ball out of the air with his left hand as it passed him, tumbling as he secured the catch.

It was a brief moment of joy for New Zealand. When South Africa finally declared after exactly 100 overs in their second innings, the home team faced the prospect of having to achieve a world-record fourth innings run chase in order to win.

The previous highest winning fourth-innings total was the West Indies’ 418 against Australia in 2003.

There was some surprise that Proteas captain Dean Elgar batted on as long as he did. There were no milestones pending and every minute South Africa took up before the declaration was a minute less New Zealand would have to bat to save the match.

Rabada made even a draw unlikely with his outstanding opening spell. He removed Young with only the third ball of the New Zealand second innings, caught by Temba Bavuma at gully. Tom Latham followed in the third over, turning a ball from Rabada directly to the man at short leg who took a sharp catch.

Keshav Maharaj struck a critical blow when he dismissed Daryl Mitchell 17 minutes before stumps, after Mitchell had made 24 and shared a 98-minute partnership with Conway for New Zealand’s fourth wicket, adding 56.

With inputs from AP

People struggle to keep their pets safe as Russia continues to pummel Ukraine

While Romania has allowed even unvaccinated pets from Ukraine to enter their country, Poland and Hungary too have also relaxed their requirements, allowing animals to enter without a microchip, tattoo or vaccinations

An elderly woman and her pet wait for a train inside Lviv railway station in Lviv, west Ukraine.AP

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began near eastern borders on early morning of 24 February, scores of people in the war-hit country have been fleeing to its neighbouring countries. However, while some have left their pets behind, others have ensured to take them along when they fled.

As reported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Romania has allowed animals coming from Ukraine to enter with their human guardians, even if they are not vaccinated. Poland and Hungary have also relaxed their requirements, allowing animals to enter without a microchip, tattoo or vaccinations.

Photos and videos of Ukraine citizens sheltering their pets and fleeing with their beloved animals have been going viral on social media, ever since Russia begun its attack on the country.

A user shared a number of pictures where Ukrainians can be seen carrying their pets while they travel away from the war-torn region.

Ukrainian soldiers were also seen taking care of their pets amidst the invasion.

An Indian student, Rishabh Kaushik who has been pursuing a course in computer engineering from Ukraine, refused to leave the country without his pet dog, Malibu.

Rishabh Kaushik, who is currently in Kyiv and studied at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, refused to leave his dog in a life-threatening situation. The young student has been asked to get all paperwork done so that he can leave with his pet. Kaushik said that he was trying to reach the Indian Embassy but has not received much help in evacuation.

Former USAF special operations pilot and war reporter based in Ukraine, Nolan Peterson took to Twitter and shared a picture with his cat, narrating how she has been brave throughout the crisis. Peterson posted from inside a bomb shelter in Ukraine.

A number of other posts about pet owners in Ukraine, trying to flee with their animals have been doing the rounds on social media.

Take a look at them here:

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‘Long live Ukraine’: Video showing woman soldier’s hope for future goes viral, watch here

In the 13-second video clip, the Ukrainian woman soldier can be heard saying that she is alive and everything will be fine

Screen grab from viral video.Twitter/@KyivIndependent

Amid the rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, a video of a Ukrainian woman soldier has gone viral on the internet. Social media users were moved by the lady soldier’s optimism about the future.

In the 13-second video clip, the Ukrainian woman soldier can be heard saying that she is alive and everything will be fine ‘Long live Ukraine’. The name of the soldier and the video’s original source is unknown.

Watch the video clip here:

As the internet is filled with photos and videos showing people’s plight amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the positive outlook and upbeat attitude of Ukrainian soldiers and citizens are comforting millions of people who are disturbed by the current situation. According to Kyiv Independent, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry issued an order in December last year that expanded the scope of conscription for women in the event of a war-like emergency. Women aged between 18 to 60 years who work in almost 100 professional fields were obliged to register with their local conscription office, as per the order. Professionals from the banking industry, the media and even restaurant workers were among those on the list. The Wall Street Journal reported that women account for 15 percent of Ukraine’s armed force. This percentage is likely to have increased as a result of the full military mobilisation orders. However, people have praised the woman soldier for her bravery and hopefulness. They also prayed for the safety of the soldier. Saluting the woman soldier for her optimism, a Twitter user prayed for her safety.

Another user prayed for the glory of the Ukrainian soldiers.

A Twitter user supported Ukrainian people by saying the world is with them. Another user prayed for the woman soldier’s safety.

‘Extraordinary soldier’, said a Twitter user.

What are your thoughts about the video?

Ukraine Russia war news Live Updates: Envoys from Moscow and Kyiv talk under shadow of nuclear threat

Indian Embassy in Ukraine issues second advisory

The Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued a second advisory to all Indian nationals/students in Ukraine today as on 28 February 2022.

It informed those concerned that weekend curfew has been lifted in Kyiv and advised all students to make their way to the railway station for onward journey to the western parts. It said that Ukraine Railways is putting special trains for evacuations and that for students stranded on the left side of Dnipro, there are metros and buses functioning which can be used to move to the train station for onward movement.

Second Advisory to all Indian Nationals/Students in Ukraine as on 28 February 2022.@MEAIndia @PIB_India @PIBHindi @DDNational @DDNewslive

— India in Ukraine (@IndiainUkraine)

February 28, 2022

Russia-Ukraine talks kick off in Belarus

??????? Russia-Ukraine talks kick off in Belarus

— Belarus MFA ?? (@BelarusMFA)

February 28, 2022

Moscow stock exchange to stay shut on Monday

The Russian Central Bank said that Moscow’s stock exchange will not open Monday after the ruble free fall due to Western sanctions.

“Due to the current situation, the Bank of Russia has decided not to open a stock market section, a derivatives market section, or a derivatives market section on the Moscow Exchange today,” the statement from the bank read.

The Russian Central Bank further said it would announce the opening times for Tuesday on the day, at 9:00 a.m. local time.

Urgently admit Ukraine to EU: Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the European Union to “urgently admit Ukraine” to the bloc on Monday.

“We appeal to the European Union to urgently admit Ukraine using a new procedure. We are grateful to partners for standing with us. But our goal is to be with all Europeans and, to be equal to them. I am sure we deserve it. I am sure it is possible,” Zelensky said in his latest video message.

Russia and Ukraine discuss peace at Belarus Border

Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Belarus have started

Ukrainians say Kyiv attempting to use them for sabotage in Russia

According to a Sputnik News report citing information from the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, Ukrainians are increasingly reporting attempts by Kyiv to use their compatriots living and working in Russia for sabotage operations inside the country.

The FSB is calling upon all those who have come into contact with individuals that could potentially be used by the Ukrainian special services to conduct subversive activities against Russia’s security to step forward and share this information.

“Immediate ceasefire”, withdrawal of Russian forces among Ukraine’s demands

Ukraine demanded an “immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops” on Monday as the country’s delegation arrived for talks with Russia at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, a statement from the Ukrainian presidency said. The delegation includes several high-ranking officials.

Russia to evacuate citizens from Europe, reports Russia Today

The Russian government has announced that it is developing a plan to evacuate its citizens from Europe, after a number of European countries closed their airspace to all Russian airlines as a result of Moscow’s military conflict with Kiev, reported Russian media outlet Russia Today.

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency and Federal Tourism Agency announced on Sunday that they are collaborating with the Russian Foreign Ministry to evacuate Russians from European countries that are continuing to impose sanctions on Russia by blocking Russian aircraft from their airspaces.

Over 100 civilians killed in Ukraine war, toll may climb: UN

The UN human rights chief said Monday that at least 102 civilians, including seven children, had been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion five days ago, warning the true numbers were likely far higher.

“Most of these civilians were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and airstrikes,” Michelle Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, warning that “the real figures are, I fear, considerably higher.”

Ukraine moves ICJ against Russia: International Court of Justice and its jurisdiction explained

At least 532 civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion, including 14 children, Ukraine’s interior ministry said on Monday. It said an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded

Armed civil defense men pose for a photo while patrolling an empty street due to curfew in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. AP

On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has filed a suit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague against Russia.

Zelensky said that Russia must be held accountable for “manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression”.

“Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

In its application to the ICJ, Ukraine “emphatically denied” any occurrence of a genocide in the country’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

At least 532 civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion, including 14 children, Ukraine’s interior ministry said on Monday. It said an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded.

Let’s take a look at the the International Court of Justice (ICJ), how it works and if it has any jurisdiction over the conflict:

What is ICJ?

The International Court of Justice {ICJ} is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.

The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague, which is in The Netherlands.

The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, through judgments which have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, legal disputes submitted to it by states; and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system.

The first case entered in the General List of the Court (Corfu Channel United Kingdom v. Albania) was submitted on 22 May, 1947.

Between 22 May 1947 and 23 September 2021, the ICJ has taken up 181 cases.

ICJ’s jurisdiction in Russia-Ukraine conflict

As per a Reuters report, ICJ does not have automatic jurisdiction in cases involving Russia and Ukraine. To give the court authority to hear the matter, Kyiv will have to base its claim on a UN treaty.

In the past, Ukraine has sought the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which handles war crimes.

After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the subsequent fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces in the eastern regions of the country, Kyiv accepted ICC jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on its territory since February 2014.

In December 2020, the office of the prosecutor announced it had reason to believe war crimes and other crimes were committed during the conflict, the Reuters report said.

A formal request to open a full investigation has not been filed with judges, but ICC prosecutor Karim Khan on Friday expressed his concern over the Russian invasion and said the court may investigate alleged crimes arising from the current situation.

From changing colleges to getting fee refunds: What’s next for Indian students pursuing MBBS in Ukraine

A similar situation had arisen in 2014 when Crimea became a big issue between Ukraine and Russia. Many students studying there transferred to other universities and some in Crimea Federal University went to Russia

Ukraine Russia war: The Air India evacuation flight from Romania with 219 citizens is on its way to Mumbai. Image courtesy: @DrSJaishankar

Despite uncertainty surrounding Indian students of medicine in Ukraine and anxiety gripping their families back home, study abroad consultants believe everything is not lost from an education and career point of view.

In an interview to Moneycontrol, Neeraj Chourasia, head of MBBS Gurukul, a study abroad consultancy for medical education aspirants, explains multiple possibilities for thousands of these students – from fee refund to shifting to other universities in neighbouring countries.

Edited excerpts follow:

What are the options available to Indian students coming back due to war in Ukraine?

There are two options – one, continue with the same institution and university and perhaps study via online mode for a few months, and second, they be allowed to take a transfer to neighbouring countries and other universities. Universities and study abroad consultants can help in placing them in medical colleges in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan among others as they have a largely similar education pattern and fee structure.

Have we seen a similar situation earlier?

A similar situation had arisen in 2014 when Crimea became a big issue between Ukraine and Russia. Students from at least three medical colleges including Crimea Federal University faced a similar situation. Many students studying there transferred to other universities and some of the Crimea Federal University students went to Russia too.

What’s your assessment about education continuity in Ukraine this year?

From an education point of view, we believe the situation will become clear in two months’ time. Besides, in May and June varsities announce vacations, and Indian students come back during that time, and return to their campuses in September. To be sure, right now the priority for everyone is to save lives. In two months -there will be two clear options – if the situation is better, students will go back and resume education; if not they will explore shifting to a new university. Generally, neighbouring countries that were part of erstwhile USSR take back students as laterals.

One of the concerns of Indian parents and students is the fees they have paid. What will happen to funds deposited with universities and will they refund fees while transferring to other universities?

Ukraine is less expensive in terms of medical education. Unlike some Indian varsities, they also don’t demand fees for the entire course duration in the first year itself. In first year of their education, largely students pay Rs 6 to 8 lakh, and from the second year it is much less and paid largely in semester-wise instalments.

Study abroad consultants and parents have requested government authorities and embassy officials to evacuate students and bring them back for free. Just before the war started, we are hearing that students were asked by airlines to pay Rs 75000 for a seat to return and later Indian government chipped in and announced that it will be done free.

India vs Sri Lanka: Cops discover empty bullet shells inside bus meant for visitors, says report

A security incident involving the Sri Lankan cricket team came up on Monday ahead of the first Test against India in Mohali with the Chandigarh police discovering empty bullet shells inside a private bus carrying the visitors.

The shells were discovered when the Sri Lankan players were about to board the bus at the hotel where they’re currently staying. According to a report by The Indian Express, the bus was arranged for by Tara Brothers, a private transporter, and had been used in wedding functions prior to it being arranged for the Sri Lankan team.

“Two empty bullet shells were found during the routine frisking of the bus through metal detector and other sophisticated gadgets. The shells were found in the luggage compartment of the bus. Prior to ferrying the cricket players, the bus had been used in a marriage function a few days back,” a police officer was quoted as saying in the report.

File image of the Sri Lankan team. Sportzpics

The police later filed a DDR at the IT Park police station and the shells were handed over to the forensic team for examination.

The Indian and Sri Lankan teams arrived in the Union Territory from Dharamsala, where the Men in Blue outplayed the Dasun Shanaka-led visitors over the weekend to complete a third consecutive 3-0 T20I series sweep under Rohit Sharma’s leadership. After the T20Is, India host Sri Lanka in a two-Test series starting 4 March at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. The first match will also mark Virat Kohli’s 100th Test appearance.

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