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Live: Russia extends military drills; West worries invasion imminent

Live news updates: India on Sunday advised its citizens 'whose stay is not deemed essential' to leave Ukraine temporarily.

Image BS Web Team New Delhi
A member of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces participates in a drill during training at a former asphalt factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. (Photo: Ethan Swope/Bloomberg)

A member of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces participates in a drill during training at a former asphalt factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. (Photo: Ethan Swope/Bloomberg)

Live news updates: Russia will extend military drills in Belarus that were due to end on Sunday, the Belarusian defence ministry announced, in a step U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said made him more worried about an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

The defence ministry said the decision was taken because of military activity near the borders of Russia and Belarus as well as the situation in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region..

India on Sunday advised its citizens "whose stay is not deemed essential" to leave Ukraine temporarily as fears mount of a Russian invasion. The embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, said commercial flights are available for travel and asked Indian students to track its updates on social media.

A total of 59 constituencies spread across 16 districts in Uttar Pradesh are voting in the third phase of polling on Sunday. Congress-ruled Punjab is also voting. By 5 pm, Punjab had a voter turnout of 63.44 per cent and in Uttar Pradesh it was 57.44 per cent.

9:32 PM

Centre's week-long celebrations on S&T achievements begin Tuesday

India's achievements in the field of science and technology and participation in futuristic mega science projects will be the highlight during week-long celebrations beginning Tuesday.
Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh will launch the commemoration, titled 'Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate', which will be held simultaneously at 75 locations across the country to bring to the fore stories of scientists responsible for the country's strides in the sector.
The event, part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, would display the country's scientific legacy and technology prowess that has helped find solutions to defence, space, health, agriculture, astronomy, and other sectors, an official statement said.
A science and technology mega expo, National Science Book Fair will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital.
9:24 PM

Karnataka sees 1,001 Covid cases, 18 deaths

COVID-19 cases in Karnataka declined from 1,137 cases on Saturday to 1,001 cases on Sunday while 18 deaths took place today. These took the total infected and fatalities till date to 39,36,586 and 39,795, said the State Health Department.
A bulletin said 1,780 people were discharged. The total recoveries were 38,84,120 so far.
Active cases stood at 12,634. Bengaluru urban district reported 485 infections and 12 deaths. Other districts too had fresh cases: 93 in Tumakuru, 51 in Belagavi, 48 in Mysuru, 46 in Ballari and 42 in Kodagu.
8:38 PM

US convinced Putin has mind made up on Ukraine: Kamala Harris

US intelligence on Russia’s intentions toward Ukraine and a potential invasion within days is solid, Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Sunday. “Putin has made his decision. Period,” Harris said as she prepared to return to the U.S. from two days of high-level meetings at the Munich Security Conference. She was speaking before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s interview to CNN.
8:17 PM

USA will use every opportunity for diplomacy to dissuade Putin, says Blinken

Until the tanks are actually rolling, we will use every opportunity to see if diplomacy can dissuade Russia’s Putin from invading Ukraine: USA’s Antony Blinken.
8:02 PM

Russia on the brink of an invasion of Ukraine: Blinken

Everything that we are seeing suggests that we are on the brink of an invasion of Ukraine: USA’s Antony Blinken
7:46 PM

Russia extends troop drills near Ukraine as violence spikes

Russia extended military drills near Ukraine's northern borders Sunday amid increased fears that two days of sustained shelling along the contact line between soldiers and Russa-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine could spark an invasion.
The exercises, originally set to end Sunday, brought a sizable contingent of Russian forces to neighbouring Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north. The presence of the Russian troops raised concern that they could be used to sweep down on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The announcement came from the defense minister of Belarus, who said the two countries would continue testing the response forces.
Western leaders warned that Russia was poised to attack its neighbour, which is surrounded on three sides by about 150,000 Russian soldiers, warplanes and equipment. Russia held nuclear drills Saturday as well as the conventional exercises in Belarus, and has ongoing naval drills off the coast in the Black Sea.
7:28 PM

63% voter turnout in Punjab till 5 pm

Sixty-three per cent of over 2.14 crore voters in Punjab turned out on Sunday till 5 p.m. to elect 117 members of the Assembly amid minor skirmishes and snags in EVMs, officials said.
"The voter turnout was 63 per cent with chances of the final figures likely to increase over 70 per cent. Rural areas saw high percentage of polling compared to urban ones," an electoral officer told IANS. The Malwa region, which has the highest number of 69 seats, saw the highest poll percentage compared to Doaba and Majha regions.
Except some incidents of minor clashes, no major poll-related violence has been reported in the state so far. Punjab is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgenders in the fray. The polling will be conducted till 6 p.m. and the counting of ballots will take place on March 10.
7:09 PM

Pakistan govt considers borrowing people's gold

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is considering a proposal to borrow gold biscuits and bars from the people to increase foreign exchange reserves that are dipping despite the country taking $5 billion loans in the past three months from bilateral and multilateral creditors, PTI reported citing local media report.
6:47 PM

Delhi logs 570 new cases of Covid-19

Delhi recorded 570 new cases of Covid-19 and four deaths from the disease, said the state government on Sunday. Positivity rate is at 1.04 per cent, referring to the number of tests that turn out positive for the disease.

5:34 PM

British Queen tests positive for Covid-19

Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms. The palace said Sunday that the 95-year-old British monarch will continue with light duties. The queen has received three jabs of coronavirus vaccine, the AP reported.
4:40 PM

India advises all citizens leave Ukraine temporarily

India advises all citizens "whose stay is not deemed essential" to leave Ukraine temporarily amid fear of Russian invasion. The advisory come from the Indian embassy in Kyiv.
3:48 PM

SP used fear to retain power: PM Modi

"People of Hardoi have seen those days when these people had given a free hand to those using 'katta' (illegal gun) and those in 'satta' (power)," Prime Minister Narendra Modi says at election rally, alluding to the time when the Samajwadi Party governed Uttar Pradesh.
3:41 PM

Indian delegation to visit Pakistan in March for talks on river water sharing

A 10-member Indian delegation will visit Pakistan March 1-3 for the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission, the Jal Shakti Ministry said on Sunday. n a first since the signing of the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries, three female officers will also be part of the Indian delegation, which will be advising the Indian Commissioner on various issues during the meeting, the official said. The agenda for the meeting is being finalised between the two countries, officials told PTI.
3:11 PM

Opposition parties will get befitting reply on March 10: Modi

Political parties who used to stop our festivals for appeasement politics will get people's response in votes on March 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells election rally in Hardoi, referring to day votes will be counted after elections in five states.
3:08 PM

Some political parties sympathetic to terrorists: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at an election rally in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. He refers to the 2008 serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, says some political parties are sympathetic to "such terrorists". A court in Ahmedabad on Friday gave the death sentence to 38 convicts for their roles in the blasts.

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First Published: Feb 20 2022 | 6:44 AM IST

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