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LIVE updates: Ukraine agrees for talks with Russia on Belarus border

News live updates: As the West imposed more crippling sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, 240 more Indian nationals returned home safely. Catch all the live updates here

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Militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic stand in front of an apartment building, which locals said was damaged by recent shelling, in the separatist-controlled town of Yasynuvata (Yasinovataya) in the Donetsk region (Photo: Reuters)

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Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections LIVE: The voting for the fifth phase of state assembly elections will be held on February 27. The 5th phase comprises 61 assembly constituencies across 12 districts. There are a total of 692 candidates are in the fray for the fifth phase of polling and their fate will be decided by 22.4 million voters.

The districts going to the polls on Sunday include Sultanpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Prayagraj, Barabaki, Bahraich, Shravasti and Gonda. Amethi and Raebareli, once considered as Congress bastions, Ayodhya, the epicentre of movement for the construction of Lord Ram temple too go to the polls on Sunday.

Prominent among those in the fray for the 5th phase of assembly elections include Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is contesting from the Sirathu assembly seat in the Kaushambi district. He is facing Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) candidate Pallavi Patel. Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who is the MLA from Kunda since 1993, is once again in the fray from his party Jansatta Dal with his old aide Gulshan Yadav pitted against him on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Russia-Ukraine War: The United States, European Union and United Kingdom agreed to put in place crippling sanctions on the Russian financial sector, including a block on its access to the global financial system and, for the first time, restrictions on its central bank in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine. The United States and Albania have requested an emergency United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the third flight to Delhi with 240 Indian nationals has taken off from Hungary's Budapest under Operation Ganga, informed External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Sunday morning. So far, a total of 469 Indian nationals have been evacuated from war-hit Ukraine, out of which 200 landed in Delhi on Sunday morning and 219 landed in Mumbai on Saturday evening.

10:34 PM

PM Modi holds high-level meeting on Ukraine crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday, official sources said. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was part of the meeting which was also attended by top government officials.
 
Modi presided over the meeting immediately upon his return from Uttar Pradesh, where he addressed rallies as part of the BJP's campaign for the state assembly polls.
 
A large number of Indians, mostly students, are stranded in Ukraine following Russia's attack on the country. India has begun evacuating them, and over 900 people have been brought back since Saturday. Modi has also spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, with India calling for dialogue to defuse the crisis.
10:12 PM

Kerala eases Covid restrictions, allows full occupancy at theatres, bars, clubs, hotels

As the number of COVID-19 cases has declined in the State, the Kerala government lifted certain restrictions and decided to allow 100 per cent occupancy in theatres. In an order on Sunday, the government allowed the bars, hotels, clubs, restaurants and eateries to also function with full occupancy. The order said the government, semi-governmental offices can hold meetings or training off-line, if required.
 
The restrictions at the district-level on the basis of the number of people hospitalised are also lifted.
 
The government had authorised the State Disaster Management Authority to divide the districts into three groups - A, B and C - based on the number of people admitted to hospitals and imposed restrictions accordingly. As the cases showed a dip, the State administration opened schools, college and creches. Today, the State recorded 2,524 fresh COVID-19 infections which raised the total to 64,97,204 till date.
9:42 PM

Slovakia ready to organize talks between Russia, Ukraine in Bratislava: Prime Minister

Slovakia is ready to organize talks between Russia and Ukraine in Bratislava if both sides agree to it, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said Sunday.
 
"Ukraine named Bratislava as one of the places where Russian-Ukrainian talks could take place. Slovakia is ready to do everything possible to organize such talks if there is an actual proposal," the prime minister said as aired by TA3 broadcaster.
9:09 PM

Indian students evacuated from Ukraine reached Thiruvananthapuram

9:02 PM

Three Odisha students escape hours before Russian invasion of Ukraine

Three medical students from Odisha studying in Ukraine were lucky as they got their tickets online and left Kyiv the night before Russia invaded the country.
 
All of them are third-year medical students at the V N Karazin Kharkiv National University and were residing in Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv, which is near the Russian border.
 
When the Indian embassy advised all Indian nationals to leave Ukraine amid high level tension and uncertainties, they desperately tried to leave the country. They were lucky to get the tickets online.
8:54 PM

Delhi logs 484 Covid cases, three deaths in a day; positivity rate 0.95%

Delhi on Sunday recorded 484 fresh COVID-19 cases and three deaths while the positivity rate stood at 0.95 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.
 
With this, the national capital's case count increased to 18,59,634 and the death toll climbed to 26,122.
 
The number of COVID-19 tests conducted a day ago stood at 50,759, the health bulletin stated. Delhi on Saturday reported 440 fresh COVID-19 cases and two deaths while the positivity rate was 0.83 per cent. A day earlier, it recorded 460 cases with a positivity rate of 0.81 per cent and two deaths.
8:36 PM

2,000 Indians evacuated from Ukraine: Foreign Secretary

India has evacuated around 2,000 of its citizens from Ukraine after the conflict began and efforts are on to facilitate the exit of the remaining stranded Indians through various border transit points to the neighbouring countries, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Sunday.
 
At a media briefing, Shringla said he held separate meetings with the ambassadors of Ukraine and Russia and shared with them the locations of the Indian citizens in Ukraine for ensuring their protection.
 
The foreign secretary said though the border crossings to Hungary and Romania are functioning, the exit point to Poland has been clogged with lakhs of Ukrainians and foreign nationals trying to leave the strife-torn through it.
8:36 PM

Russians advance on Ukraine's ports, meet resistance in city

Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's second-largest city and Russian troops squeezed strategic ports in the country's south Sunday, advances that appeared to mark a new phase of Russia's invasion following a wave of attacks on airfields and fuel facilities elsewhere in the country.
 
The capital, Kyiv, was eerily quiet after huge explosions lit up the morning sky and authorities reported blasts at one of the airports. Only an occasional car appeared on a deserted main boulevard as a strict 39-hour curfew kept people off the streets.
 
Terrified residents instead hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian assault.
 
The past night was tough more shelling, more bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. "There is not a single facility in the country that the occupiers wouldn't consider as admissible targets.
8:27 PM

Assembly polls: Uttar Pradesh records 54.53% voting in fifth phase

Approximately 54.53 per cent voter turnout was registered in the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, as per the Election Commission. The polling was held in 61 Assembly constituencies spread in 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission said that 54.53 per cent voter turnout figure was an approximate trend as data from some polling stations takes time toreach.
 
The highest voter turnout of 59.64 per cent was recorded in Chitrakoot district followed by Ayodhya 58.01 per cent and Shrawasti 57.24 per cent.
 
The lowest turnout was registered in Prayagraj with 51.99 per cent, while Amethi registered 53.99 per cent turnout, Baharaich 54.60 per cent, Barabanki 54.65 per cent, Gonda 54.66 per cent, Kaushambi 57.01 per cent, Pratapgarh 51.99 per cent, Rae Bareli 56.06 per cent, and Sultanpur 54.88 per cent.
8:15 PM

Class 1 student develops Covid symptoms in Delhi; school switches to online classes

A private school in north Delhi decided to switch to online classes after a first grade student developed mild Covid-like symptoms following which all students and parents were advised to take precautionary measures, the school administration said on Sunday.
 
The student had on Thursday attended the school at Model Town, but his parents informed the administration on Saturday that he had developed Covid-like symptoms like headache and pain, it said.
 
As a precautionary measure, the school administration decided not to conduct offline classes for students from nursery to class 5 on Monday.
8:12 PM

Indian students stranded in Ukraine arrived at Delhi airport

8:09 PM

Putin puts Russia's nuclear forces on alert, cites sanctions

In a dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert on Sunday in response to what he called aggressive statements by leading NATO powers.
 
The order means Putin wants Russia's nuclear weapons prepared for increased readiness to launch and raises the threat that Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and the West's response to it could boil over into nuclear warfare.
 
Amid the worrying development, the office of Ukraine's president said a delegation would meet with Russian officials as Moscow's troops drew closer to Kyiv.
 
Putin, in giving the nuclear alert directive, cited not only the alleged statements by NATO members but the hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including the Russian leader himself.
7:59 PM

US providing nearly $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine: Secy of State

7:51 PM

Three more Air India flights bring back 688 Indians from Ukraine

As many as 688 Indian nationals returned here on Sunday from strife-torn Ukraine on board three Air India evacuation flights from Romanian capital Bucharest and Hungarian capital Budapest.
 
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that approximately 13,000 Indians are stranded in Ukraine as of now, and the government is making efforts to bring them back as soon as possible.
 
Following the Russian military offensive against Ukraine, India has brought back a total of 907 stranded citizens from that country since Saturday when the first evacuation flight from Bucharest with 219 people on board landed in Mumbai under Operation Ganga. READ MORE...
7:40 PM

Ukraine, Russia diplomats to meet on Belarus border

7:33 PM

100,000 in Berlin protest Ukraine invasion

Approximately 100,000 people have turned out in Berlin to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine and show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
 
Police said large crowds have filled the area originally planned for the demonstration, around the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, and that they were allocating additional space to accommodate the protesters.
 
Sunday's protest was peaceful, including many families with children. People waved yellow and blue Ukrainian flags to show their support. Some carried placards with slogans such as Hands off Ukraine" and Putin, go to therapy and leave Ukraine and the world in peace.
 
Beate Schmid, who works as a scientist in Berlin, said she works closely with academics in Ukraine.
 
Their sons and brothers and husbands are now being drafted to fight against the Russians, she said. It's so sad. Simply unbelievable.
7:22 PM

14 students back to Hyderabad from Ukraine

The first batch of 14 students from Telangana, who were stranded in war-hit Ukraine, arrived here on Sunday. The Telangana government brought the 14 from Mumbai where they arrived on Saturday by a special flight, officials said.
 
On the orders of the Chief Minister of the State K Chandrashekhar Rao, arrangements were made to bring the students from the foreign nation, said an official press release.
 
They thanked Rao for their safe return. The Telangana government is in constant touch with the Union External Affairs Ministry, and the Indian Embassy in Ukraine. Another batch of 23 students from Telangana landed in New Delhi and is expected to reach Hyderabad tonight, an official told PTI.
7:20 PM

PM Modi to preside high-level meeting on Ukraine crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday, official sources said.

He is expected to preside over the meeting immediately upon his return from Uttar Pradesh, where he addressed rallies as part of the BJP's campaign for the state assembly polls.

A large number of Indians, mostly students, have been stuck in Ukraine following Russia's attack on the country. India has begun evacuating them, and over 900 people have been brought back since Saturday.

Modi has also spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, with India calling for dialogue to defuse the crisis.

6:30 PM

Kremlin: Israel has offered to mediate peace

The Kremlin says Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has offered to help broker an end to fighting in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said Bennett told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Sunday that Israel is ready to play mediator. It didn't say whether the Russian leader accepted the offer.

The Kremlin said Putin told Bennet that Russia has sent a delegation to Gomel in southern Belarus to conduct peace talks with Ukrainian officials, who have refused to come. Ukrainian officials described the Russian move as a manipulation, noting that Ukraine hasn't agreed to hold talks in Belarus.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasised the country's readiness for peace talks but said that they can't be held in Moscow's ally Belarus, which has allowed Russia to use its territory as a staging ground for the invasion that began Thursday.

6:29 PM

Kremlin: Israel has offered to mediate peace

The Kremlin says Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has offered to help broker an end to fighting in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said Bennett told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Sunday that Israel is ready to play mediator. It didn't say whether the Russian leader accepted the offer.

The Kremlin said Putin told Bennet that Russia has sent a delegation to Gomel in southern Belarus to conduct peace talks with Ukrainian officials, who have refused to come. Ukrainian officials described the Russian move as a manipulation, noting that Ukraine hasn't agreed to hold talks in Belarus.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasised the country's readiness for peace talks but said that they can't be held in Moscow's ally Belarus, which has allowed Russia to use its territory as a staging ground for the invasion that began Thursday.

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First Published: Feb 27 2022 | 6:40 AM IST

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