Even as war-hit Ukraine plans to carry a 3rd spherical of talks with Russian officers this weekend, the United Nations Security Council known as for an emergency assembly early on Friday after Russia attacked and seized Europe’s largest atomic energy plant in Zaporizhzhia.
Ukraine has accused Russia of “nuclear terror” and the West expressed fury over the “reckless” transfer. Major Ukrainian cities are nonetheless going through heavy bombardment on the ninth day since Russian forces launched their offensive towards their neighboring nation.
The G7 has warned towards “further severe sanctions” on Russia whereas additionally calling for “rapid humanitarian corridors in Ukraine”. According to the UN, at the very least 331 civilians have died because the invasion, whereas Moscow on Wednesday stated it had misplaced 498 troopers. The UN additionally stated over 1.2 million refugees have flooded from Ukraine into neighboring international locations.
Here are the highest developments as Russia intensifies its invasion, even because it has turn into an financial, sporting and cultural pariah:
Europe’s largest atomic energy plant attacked: Europe’s largest atomic energy plant at Zaporizhzhia was attacked by Russian forces, which triggered an emergency assembly of the UNSC. There was combating and a fireplace on the plant however the six reactors, which may energy sufficient power for 4 million houses, had been apparently undamaged. Monitors reported no spike in radiation. The assault killed three Ukrainian troopers, in accordance with Kyiv’s nuclear operator Energoatom. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated an explosion on the plant would have equalled “six Chernobyls”, referring to the location of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe in 1986. A Russian UN envoy, nevertheless, denied that the Russian army had shelled the nuclear energy plant. Russian protection ministry and Igor Konashenkov claimed that the assault was staged by “Ukrainian sabotage groups, with the participation of foreign mercenaries”.
Third round of talks planned: After a second round of talks on Thursday, Moscow agreed to a Ukrainian request for human corridoritarians to allow terrified residents to flee. But there was no clarity on how these would work, and no sign of any move towards a ceasefire. Ahead of a third round of talks this weekend, Zelenskiy has urged the West to step up military assistance and to “give me planes”. He additionally known as for direct talks with Putin.
German chancellor talks to Putin: After German Chancellor Olaf Scholz telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin urging him to finish hostilities in Ukraine and permit support, Putin denied Russia bombing Ukrainian cities and dismissed such info as “gross propaganda fakes”.
NATO rules out no-fly zone over Ukraine: Fearful of provoking its own war with nuclear-armed Russia, NATO once again ruled out enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military organization will not police a no-fly zone over Ukraine and is warning that such a move could end in a widespread war in Europe.
Russia intensifies ground strikes: There were fresh reports of civilian casualties and devastating damage coming out of Ukraine, particularly in southern areas near Kherson, the first city to fall to Moscow’s troops. The port city of Mariupol is already cut off without water or electricity. In Chernihiv, 47 people were killed in bombings on Thursday. Parts of Kharkiv have also come under shelling, which UN prosecutors are investigating as a possible war crime.
Putin intensifies crackdown on dissent: The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin told his ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that “the tasks set for the (Ukraine) operations are going according to plan and will be fulfilled in their entirety”. The Kremlin has called on Russians “to unite around our president”, after hundreds braved mass arrests at anti-war demonstrations this week. Authorities have imposed a information blackout and two liberal media teams have halted operations. Russia blocked Facebook contained in the nation whilst a number of media web sites, together with the BBC, had been partially inaccessible in Russia. Russian lawmakers accepted laws to impose fines and jail phrases of as much as 15 years for anybody publishing “fake news” concerning the military. Russians are additionally fleeing their nation, as an impression of robust western sanctions, and even the Kremlin’s crackdown on home dissent. On one of many few remaining routes from Russia to the European Union, trains from Saint Petersburg to Finland have been filled with Russians.
India seeks native ceasefire: India sought a localised ceasefire between Russian and Ukrainian troops in jap Ukraine to facilitate evacuation of Indian residents trapped in battle zones, and insisted it’s but to see the choice by the warring sides to create protected corridors for the exit of civilians materialise. Around 20,000 Indian nationals have thus far crossed the borders of war-torn Ukraine to security, the ministry of exterior affairs stated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the meantime, chaired one more assembly to evaluate the unfolding scenario in Ukraine amid the continuing train to evacuate Indian nationals, largely college students, from the nation battling a Russian invasion. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Union minister Piyush Goyal, and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had been amongst those that attended the assembly.
India to fund remedy of Delhi pupil shot at in Ukraine: The central authorities has determined to bear medical bills of Indian pupil Harjot Singh, who’s recovering at a hospital in Kyiv after sustaining bullet accidents, the ministry of exterior affairs stated. On February 27, the 31-year-old alongside together with his two mates boarded a cab for Lviv in a bid to flee. He acquired 4 bullets, together with one within the chest. Singh is from Delhi. “We are conscious of the case. Our embassy is in contact with them (household). He is at present I feel in a hospital in Kyiv,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. “We are attempting to establish his precise medical standing, together with his readiness to have the ability to transfer,” he added.
(With agency inputs)