Live: Putin flaunts nuclear-capable missile as Ukraine war continues

Live news updates: Sarmat missile will 'provide food for thought' to Russia's enemies, says president.

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Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with government members via a video link in Moscow (Photo: Reuters)

Live news updates: Russia said on Wednesday it had test-launched its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow's enemies something to think about.

Putin was shown on television being told by the military that the missile had been launched from Plesetsk in the country's northwest and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east. "The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and won't have for a long time to come," Putin said, according to Reuters.

"This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia's security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country."


10:03 PM

Inflation in Russia hits highest since early 2002

Annual inflation in Russia accelerated to 17.62% as of April 15, its highest since early 2002 and up from 17.49% a week earlier, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, as the volatile rouble sent prices soaring amid Western sanctions. Prices on nearly everything from vegetables and sugar to clothes and smartphones have risen sharply in recent weeks after Russia on Feb. 24 began what it calls "a special military operation" in Ukraine.
9:17 PM

No surrender in Mariupol as Russian deadline expires

A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to surrender or die expired on Wednesday afternoon with no mass capitulation, but the commander of a unit believed to be holding out in the besieged city said his forces could survive just days or hours.
8:15 PM

Delhi makes Covid-19 masks must

Amid an uptick in Covid-19 cases, Delhi made masks mandatory in public again. The the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said on Wednesday a fine of Rs 500 would be imposed on violators. The DDMA also directed authorities to begin aggressive testings across the city.
 
7:09 PM

Delhi makes facemasks mandatory again

The Delhi government on Wednesday made facemasks mandatory in public places and impose a fine of Rs 500 in case of a violation, bringing back the rule after a spike in coronavirus cases. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which also decided not to shut schools and come up with separate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in consultation with experts for them.
 
6:12 PM

Finland's Wartsila writes off 200 mn euros in Russian assets

Finland's Wartsila , a top global marine and energy equipment maker, will write off 200 million euros ($217 million) in assets and business operations in Russia due to Moscow's attack on Ukraine, the company said on Wednesday. Wartsila, which condemned the war in Ukraine, said it would downscale Russian operations because they were no longer viable and said Russia-related activities accounted about 5% of net sales in 2021, including 40 million euros in service net sales.
 
5:15 PM

Number of refugees fleeing Ukraine war exceeds 5 mn: UN agency

The number of people fleeing Ukraine to escape Russia's invasion has passed 5 million in Europe's worst refugee crisis since the end of World War Two, U.N. refugee agency said on Wednesday. Russia's invasion has triggered a massive displacement of people in the nearly eight weeks since it began, including more than 7 million Ukrainians within the country, Reuters reported.
4:29 PM

Russia says it is not banning foreign journalists

Russia is not planning to stop foreign journalists from entering the country but it is tightening visa rules for those from "unfriendly countries", a deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday. Yevgeny Ivanov told parliament this was in response to moves by the European Union and other countries to make it harder for the Russian business community to obtain visas, Reuters reported.
3:37 PM

Sanctions-hit Gazprombank demands loan repayment from miner

Sanctions-hit Russian lender Gazprombank has called on Petropavlovsk to immediately repay a term loan worth $201 million, the gold miner said on Wednesday, highlighting the difficulties caused by Western restrictions on Russian firms. London-listed Petropavlovsk said last month the sanctions imposed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine meant it was prohibited from making the repayment.
3:36 PM

China says will strengthen diplomatic ties with Russia

A senior Chinese diplomat said Beijing would strengthen its strategic ties with Russia, reaffirming support for President Vladimir Putin as his forces face allegations of war crimes for killing civilians.
 
2:54 PM

India's R value increases above 1 for first time in 3 months, says researcher

India's effective reproduction number (R) for Covid, an indicator of how quickly the infection is spreading, has increased to over one for the first time since January, estimates a researcher from Chennai's Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The country's R value, steadily increasing over the last few weeks, is 1.07 for the week between April 12-18, according to Sitabhra Sinha. In the preceding April 5-11 week, it was 0.93.

The last time the R was above 1 was in the week between January 16-22, when the value was 1.28, Sinha said.

"This increase in R-value is not just because of Delhi but also Haryana and Uttar Pradesh," the mathematician, who has been tracking R for India since the beginning of the pandemic, told PTI.

An R value over 1 indicates that the number of active cases has increased. R should be contained below 1 to control the pandemic. An R number lower than 1 indicates that the disease will stop spreading as there aren't enough people being infected to sustain the outbreak.

2:25 PM

Frame national policy on loudspeakers, implement it in Guj, Delhi first: Shiv Sena tells PM

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday demanded that the Union government come out with a national policy on the use of loudspeakers, and implement it in BJP-ruled states first.

The use of loudspeakers has become a hot-button issue after MNS chief Raj Thackeray earlier this month demanded that loudspeakers at mosques in Maharashtra be removed. "On behalf of my party, I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to frame a national policy on the use of loudspeakers and implement it first in the states like Bihar, Delhi and Gujarat," Raut told reporters here.

Maharashtra will follow suit automatically as it abides by the law of the land, he added. "Your people have created a controversy over the use of loudspeakers, so a national policy is required," he further said, taking a swipe at the BJP. Loudspeakers have not been removed in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh yet, said Raut, a Rajya Sabha member. The Union government framed a policy banning cow slaughter, but exempted the northeastern states and Goa since the chief ministers of these states opposed the ban on cow slaughter, he said, asking "where is the national policy in this regard."

2:13 PM

A BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was testfired by the Indian Navy warship INS Delhi on Apr 19

2:10 PM

NDMC stops anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri following SC order

Bulldozers razed several structures in violence-hit Jahangirpuri on Wednesday during an anti-encroachment drive by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation but it was stopped within hours following a Supreme Court order. The anti-encroachment drive continued even after the Supreme Court directed authorities to stop it.

An NDMC official, requesting anonymity, said the drive continued because of the absence of a written order from the Supreme Court. It was stopped as soon as the order was received, the official added.

2:08 PM

Russia hits Ukrainian cities, pours more troops into war

Russia hurled its military might against Ukrainian cities and towns and poured more troops into the war, seeking to slice the country in two in a potentially pivotal battle for control of the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories.

The fighting unfolded along a boomerang-shaped front hundreds of miles long in what is known as the Donbas. If successful, it would give President Vladimir Putin a victory following the failed attempt by Moscow's forces to storm the capital, Kyiv, and heavier-than-expected casualties.

In Mariupol, the devastated port city in the Donbas, Ukrainian troops said the Russian military dropped heavy bombs to flatten what was left of a sprawling steel plant believed to be the defenders' last holdout and hit a hospital where hundreds were staying.

1:37 PM

Demolition process stopped in Delhi's Jahangirpuri

The demolition process was stopped after several illegal encroachments were demolished by the Municipal Corporation in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of the national capital.

Among the demolished were a tobacco shop, a scrap dealer's shop, a juice corner and the front gate of a mosque.

The residents were extremely angry over the development.

1:34 PM

Mamata expands income support programme to cover 500,000 more women beneficiaries

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday launched the expanded version of the state's basic income support programme for female heads of families called 'Lakshmir Bhandar' (Lakshmi's treasury) which will cover 500,000 more families from now on, with the click of a button at a mega-business summit being held here.

Under the scheme, launched last year, the state government provides Rs 1,000 per month to women heads of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families, and Rs 500 per month to those belonging to general category. With the expansion, the programme will now cover 15.5 million families.

1:31 PM

World Bank ready to provide emergency support to Sri Lanka: report

The World Bank is ready to provide emergency support to Sri Lanka and protect the vulnerable people amidst the unprecedented economic crisis in the country, a media report on Wednesday quoted a senior official of the global lender as saying.

Sri Lanka, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, is grappling with an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948.

World Bank Vice President Hartwig Schafer held talks with Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry in Washington on Tuesday, the Colombo Gazette reported on Wednesday.

1:20 PM

Russia is against use of nuclear bombs in Ukraine, says Lavrov

Russia is committed to avoiding nuclear war, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, after he was quizzed repeatedly about the possible use of atomic weapons in Ukraine.
 
Lavrov made the comments in an interview Tuesday with India Today TV in which he avoided a direct answer on the subject. He isn’t responsible for military decision-making. In the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion, the foreign minister regularly denied the Kremlin planned a military operation against Ukraine. 
12:18 PM

Despite SC order, NDMC continues anti-encroachment drive in the Jahangirpuri

12:02 PM

Utilised 65.5% of capital budget on indigenous procurement: MoD

The Defence Ministry on Wednesday said it had set aside 64 per cent of the capital acquisition budget for domestic industry in the financial year 2021-22 and has been able to "over achieve" the target. The ministry said it has utilised 65.50 per cent of the capital acquisition budget on making procurements from domestic sources.

"The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had earmarked 64 per cent of capital acquisition budget for domestic industry in financial year 2021-22," it said in a statement.

"At the end of 2021-22, the MoD has been able to over achieve this target and has utilised 65.50 per cent of capital acquisition budget on indigenous procurements through Indian industry to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'," it said.

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First Published: Apr 20 2022 | 6:33 AM IST

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