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LIVE: Ukraine Prez, Biden hold talks; US announces $500 mn more in aid

Volodymyr Zelensky discussed specific defensive support with US President in an hour-long call on Wednesday

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Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden (Photo: AP)

Live news updates: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday increased Dearness Allowance for central govt employees and Dearness Relief for pensioners by 3 per cent to 34 per cent with effect from January 1, 2022.

Russia on Wednesday shelled Ukraine's Chernihiv hours after Moscow said it would sharply cut military operations in two Ukrainian cities. 

PM Narendra Modi while addresing the BIMSTEC summit virtually on Wednesday said the Europe crisis has put the stability of international order in question. He added that India has made regional cooperation its priority after "recent developments in Europe."
US deputy NSA advisor Daleep Singh will visit India on March 30 and 31 to discuss the "consequences" of Russia's war against Ukraine. 

UK military intelligence said on Wednesday that Russian troops, who suffered heavy losses in Ukraine, have been forced to return home and to Belarus, which came as an effort to re-organise Moscow's strategy. 
11:19 PM

Ukraine negotiator says Abramovich an effective mediator with Russia, plays down poisoning report

Ukraine sees the billionaire Roman Abramovich as an effective mediator between Kyiv and Moscow who helps prevent misunderstandings from happening between the two sides, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Wednesday.
"It has long been known in the media space that he is an extremely effective mediator between delegations and partially moderates the process so that there is no misunderstanding at the outset," he told a televised briefing.
Podolyak also played down as speculative "conspiracy theories" the reports that Abramovich had been poisoned several weeks ago, saying such reports were meant to put pressure on the delegations.
11:18 PM

Germany's Scholz did not agree with Putin on rouble energy payments: Spokesperson

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is committed to a G7 agreement that energy supplies from Russia would be paid for only in euros or U.S. dollars, a German government spokesman said after Scholz spoke to President Vladimir Putin by phone on Wednesday.
The Russian president told Scholz that nothing would change for European partners and payments would still be made in euros and transferred to Gazprom bank, which is not affected by sanctions, and then converted into roubles, said the German spokesperson.
"Scholz did not agree to this procedure in the conversation, but asked for written information to better understand the procedure," said the German spokesperson, adding that the previous Group of Seven agreement remained.
10:52 PM

Chechen chief Kadyrov says Russia will make no concessions in Ukraine

Ramzan Kadyrov, the powerful head of Russia's republic of Chechnya, said on Wednesday that Moscow would make no concessions in its war in Ukraine and that Kremlin negotiator Vladimir Medinsky had been wrong to suggest otherwise.
In a video statement on his Telegram that appeared to deviate starkly from Russia's official position, Kadyrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not just stop what he had started in Ukraine.
10:48 PM

Ukraine will sanction companies who work with Russian defence industry: Security official

Ukraine is readying sanctions against enterprises which work with Russia's military-industrial complex, Ukraine's top security official said on Wednesday.
Security council secretary Oleksiy Danilov added that sanctions were also being prepared against companies who "help the Russian budget support the army."
10:26 PM

Russian hackers targeted, NATO, eastern European militaries: Google

Russian hackers have recently attempted to penetrate the networks of NATO and the militaries of some eastern European countries, Google's Threat Analysis Group said in a report published on Wednesday.
The report did not say which militaries had been targeted in what Google described as "credential phishing campaigns" launched by a Russian-based group called Coldriver, or Callisto.
"These campaigns were sent using newly created Gmail accounts to non-Google accounts, so the success rate of these campaigns is unknown," the report said.
NATO was not immediately available for comment on the report.
10:22 PM

Ukraine foreign minister: Sanctions on Russia must increase while peace talks ongoing

International sanctions on Russia must be ratcheted up and Ukraine must be further armed while peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are ongoing, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
"The logic is extremely simple - the stronger Ukraine is, the better any future deal will be," he said.
10:22 PM

Zelensky talks defence aid, new Russia sanctions package in call with Biden

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed specific defensive support with U.S. President Joe Biden in an hour-long call on Wednesday, Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter.
The two leaders also discussed a new package of enhanced sanctions against Russia, Zelensky said, as well as financial and humanitarian aid support for Ukraine.
10:02 PM

Biden informed Zelensky that US intends to provide Ukraine with $500 mn in direct budgetary aid

9:58 PM

Inflation in Russia climbs above 15.6%, highest since September 2015

Annual inflation in Russia accelerated to 15.66% as of March 25, its highest since September 2015 and up from 14.53% a week earlier, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, as the battered rouble sent prices soaring amid unprecedented Western sanctions.
Inflation in Russia has accelerated sharply in the past few weeks as the rouble's fall to an all-time low boosted demand for a wide range of goods, from food staples to cars, on expectations that their prices will rise even higher.
8:51 PM

Putin misled by advisers on Ukraine, US intel determines

US intelligence officials have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about Russian forces' performance in Ukraine, according to a US official.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday to discuss the recently declassified intelligence finding, said that Putin has felt misled by the Russian military and there is now persistent tension between him and senior Russian defence officials.
8:49 PM

Russia says forces near Kyiv and in north "regroup" to focus on Donbas

Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday its forces were regrouping near Ukraine's capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernohiv in order to focus on other key areas and complete the "liberation" of the breakaway Donbas region, Russian news agencies reported.
The ministry's statement came a day after Russia said it would scale back operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv to support progress in peace talks.
But Russian attacks in both locations continued on Wednesday, according to Reuters reporters near Kyiv and the mayor of Chernihiv.
8:24 PM

Russian shelling, attacks on cities may amount to 'war crimes', says UN's Bachelet

Ukrainian cities have been pounded by air strikes and heavy shelling in Russia's five-week-old invasion, killing civilians in acts that may amount to war crimes, the top United Nations human rights official said on Wednesday.
Michelle Bachelet, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, called on Russia to withdraw its troops.
She also said her office had received "credible allegations" that Russian forces had used cluster munitions in populated areas of Ukraine at least 24 times and said her office was investigating alleged use of cluster munitions by Ukraine.
8:15 PM

Biden to speak with Ukraine's Zelensky: White House

US President Joe Biden planned to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT) on Wednesday, the White House said.
7:44 PM

We don't want to capture power by killing workers of rival parties: Shah

7:25 PM

Russia says Kyiv has stated willingness to meet Moscow's core demands

Russia's lead negotiator at talks with Ukraine said on Wednesday that Kyiv had stated a willingness to meet Moscow's core demands, but that Russia's position on Donbas and annexed Crimea remained unchanged.

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First Published: Mar 30 2022 | 7:02 AM IST

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