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LIVE: Three powerful explosions heard near Ukraine's Lviv, says governor

'There were three powerful explosions near Lviv from the direction of Kryvchytsy, now there is an air raid warning, so keep calm and take shelter,' said regional Governor in an online post

Image BS Web Team New Delhi

Smoke rises after an airstrike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv (Photo: Reuters)

Live news updates: The BJP's "massive" victory in four states is the testimony to the acceptance of policies and projects undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India safe, prosperous and powerful, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Saturday. Shah also said Congress is virtually finished in these four states- UP, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand. The Union minister was addressing a gathering at Bhoyan Moti village where he launched and laid the foundation stones for Rs 22-crore worth projects for 34 villages in his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat.

The BCCI this year will earn little over Rs 1,000 crore from the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) central sponsorships, Inside Sport reported. This will be record sponsorship revenue generated by BCCI till date in 15 seasons of IPL. The BCCI this year has signed a new title sponsor in the form of Tata and also two new associate sponsors. The IPL GC recently announced new deals with RuPay and Swiggy Instamart as central sponsors for IPL. 
India's COVID-19 death toll climbed to 520,855 with 4,100 fatalities recorded in a day and Maharashtra reconciling the number of deaths caused by the viral disease in the state, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.

11:47 PM

Biden: Fight against Russia's Ukraine war is a 'new battle for freedom'

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatened to unravel global security, and that the world's democracies must prepare for a long fight against autocracy.
"The West is now stronger, more united than it has ever been," Biden told hundreds of Polish elected officials, students and U.S. embassy staff, many holding U.S., Polish and Ukrainian flags.
"We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead." Calling the fight against Vladimir Putin a "new battle for freedom," Biden said Putin's desire for "absolute power" was a strategic failure for Russia and a direct challenge to a European peace that has largely prevailed since World War Two.
11:45 PM

Biden on Putin: 'This man cannot remain in power'

US President Joe Biden on Saturday called for Russian leader Vladimir Putin's removal, saying, “For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Biden also used a speech in Poland's capital to make a vociferous defense of liberal democracy and the NATO military alliance, while also saying Europe must steel itself for a long fight against Russian aggression.
In what was billed by the White House as a major address, Biden spoke in front of the Royal Castle, one of Warsaw's notable landmarks that was badly damaged during War II.
He borrowed the words of Polish-born Pope John Paul II and cited anti-communist Polish dissident and former president, Lech Walesa, as he warned that Putin's invasion of Ukraine threatens to bring “decades of war”.
11:20 PM

Lviv mayor reports further strike after rockets hit outskirts of western Ukrainian city

The mayor of Lviv said another rocket had hit the city in western Ukraine on Saturday, not long after two rockets struck its outskirts in what appeared to be the first attacks within the city's limits since the start of the war with Russia.
Lviv, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the Polish border, has so far escaped the bombardment and fighting that has devastated some Ukrainian cities closer to Russia since Moscow launched its invasion on Feb. 24.
But on Saturday Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said two rockets had struck the city's eastern outskirts in the mid-afternoon and ordered residents to take shelter.
10:08 PM

Chernihiv in Ukraine encircled, mayor says

Even as the southern port city of Mariupol remains under siege, Chernihiv in Ukraine’s north, close to the Belarus border, is also encircled by Russian troops, Mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko said in a televised briefing where he warned of an expanding humanitarian crisis. 
“The city is reduced to ashes,” Atroshenko said. He said more than 120,000 people remained of a pre-war population closer to 250,000, and at least 200 civilians had been killed in the past month. 
Russian troops blew up a bridge that connected the city with a key road, and for now there are no evacuation routes working and no ability to get aid in, Atroshenko said.
9:49 PM

American held by Russians in Ukraine released

A Winona, Minnesota man taken into custody by Russian forces in Ukraine has been released, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.
Tyler Jacob had been detained earlier this month while trying to cross from Ukraine into Turkey. Klobuchar said she reached out to the U.S. State Department and connected with John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, who discussed the situation with the Russian government.
The 28-year-old Jacob went to Ukraine in November, where he took a job teaching English to be with his longtime girlfriend, a Ukrainian, the Star Tribune reported. The couple married in January and lived in Kherson, a southern port on the Black Sea. Jacob stayed even after Russia invaded last month, but finally decided he should try to get out.
9:45 PM

Kremlin says Biden's Putin comments limit prospects of mending ties

New comments by U.S. President Joe Biden about his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin narrow the prospects for mending ties between the two countries, TASS news agency cited a Kremlin spokesman as saying on Saturday.
Biden referred to Putin as a "butcher" during a visit to NATO ally Poland and said he was not sure Russia was changing its strategy in Ukraine, despite getting bogged down in some areas.
Putin sent Russian troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what he calls a "special military operation".
Moscow denies targeting civilians.
9:43 PM

Five wounded after rocket strikes hit Ukraine's western city of Lviv, says governor

Two rocket strikes hit Ukraine's western city of Lviv on Saturday, wounding five people, regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said, after local authorities told residents to seek shelter in the wake of powerful blasts on the city's outskirts.
"There have been two rocket strikes within the (city) limits of Lviv," said regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy in an online post.
Earlier he had reported three powerful explosions in the eastern edge of Lviv. Reuters witnesses saw heavy black smoke rising from the northeast side of the city.
9:06 PM

Three powerful explosions heard near Ukraine's western Lviv city, says governor

Authorities in Ukraine's western Lviv region on Saturday reported three powerful explosions near the regional capital Lviv and urged residents to take shelter.
"There were three powerful explosions near Lviv from the direction of Kryvchytsy, now there is an air raid warning, so keep calm and take shelter," said regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy in an online post, referring to an area in the eastern outskirts of the city.
Reuters witnesses saw heavy black smoke rising from the northeast side of the city. The cause could not be immediately verified.
8:24 PM

Biden says he is not sure that Russia has changed strategy in Ukraine

United States President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he was not sure that Russia had changed its strategy in its invasion of Ukraine, after Moscow said its focus was now to completely "liberate" the breakaway eastern Donbass region.
"I am not sure they have," Biden said when asked by a reporter if Russia had changed its strategy.
8:21 PM

US President Joe Biden meets Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw

8:09 PM

'Your freedom is ours': Biden affirms allegiance to Poland

On his final day in Europe, President Joe Biden on Saturday sought to reassure Poland that the United States would defend against any attacks by Russia and he acknowledged that the NATO ally bore the burden of the refugee crisis from the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
“Your freedom is ours," Biden told Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, echoing one of Poland's unofficial mottos.
At the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, the two leaders spoke of their mutual respect and shared goals to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
7:18 PM

Govt extends free foodgrain scheme PMGKAY by six months till September

6:53 PM

Poland taking big responsibility in Ukraine crisis, says Biden

Poland is taking a "significant" responsibility in the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden said during a visit to Warsaw on Saturday, adding that the world should help lessen the burden.
Biden also told his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda he views NATO's Article 5 guarantee of mutual defence between member-states as a "sacred" commitment.
6:37 PM

Ukraine's grain export situation worsening by the day, says agriculture minister

Ukraine's new agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi on Saturday said Ukraine's ability to export grains was getting worse by the day and would only improve if the war with Russia ends.
Speaking in a televised briefing, Solskyi said Ukraine, one of the world's top grain producers, would normally be exporting 4-5 million tonnes of grain per month - a volume that has fallen to just a few hundred-thousand tonnes.
"The impact (on global markets) is direct, dramatic and large. And it continues. Every day the situation will become more and more difficult," he said.
6:11 PM

Russian tension risk seen in Finnish NATO bid

Finland's president says his country would likely be targeted by Russian cyber warfare and could face border violations if it decides to apply for membership in NATO.
Several polls in recent weeks have shown a majority of Finns now supporting NATO membership, up from 25% at most before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview Saturday with public broadcaster YLE that the biggest benefit would be “gaining a preventive effect." But he pointed to a risk of disruptive behavior by Russia during an accession process, which would take at least months.
He said an application would lead to tensions at Finland's 1,340-kilometer border with Russia, including the possibility of “robust” border and territorial violations — not just by Russian aircraft, as Finland has experienced in the past.
5:51 PM

Ukraine foreign minister Kuleba says got more US security assurances

Ukraine received additional security pledges from the United States on developing defence co-operation, its Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday.
"We did receive additional promises from the United States on how our defence co-operation will evolve," Kuleba told reporters.
5:37 PM

Ukraine urges gas-rich Qatar to boost energy supplies for Europe

Ukraine’s president called on gas-rich Qatar and others to boost their energy exports to Europe in order to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian hydrocarbons.
“Responsible states like the state of Qatar are reliable and solid exporters of natural resources, and they can make their contribution to the stabilization in Europe,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the Doha Forum in Qatar’s capital on Saturday via a video address.
“The future of Europe rests with your efforts,” he said.
4:37 PM

Russia holds military drills with S-400 missiles in Kaliningrad region

Russia has staged military drills engaging S-400 surface-to-air missiles in its western Kaliningrad exclave, Interfax reported on Saturday, citing the Baltic Fleet.
It said that Su-27 fighter jets were also deployed in the exercises.
Russia was also on Saturday conducting drills on islands claimed by Japan.
4:17 PM

Ukraine's capital announces new 35-hour curfew

Authorities in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, have announced a new 35-hour curfew in the city.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the curfew will run from 8 pm local time on Saturday to 7 am on Monday, with local residents allowed to leave their homes only to get to a bomb shelter.
Klitschko said that shops, pharmacies, gas stations and public transport will not be operating during the curfew.
4:13 PM

Moscow Exchange to resume shares and bond trading in normal mode on Monday

The Russian central bank said on Saturday that the Moscow Exchange will resume trading on Monday, with shares and bonds in normal mode.
It said the trading session will last from 9:50 a.m. until 1:50 p.m. Moscow time (0650-1050 GMT).

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First Published: Mar 26 2022 | 7:14 AM IST

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