LIVE: India brings back 219 citizens from Ukraine; 250 more on their way

First Air India flight carrying 219 Indian evacuees from Ukraine lands at Mumbai airport from Bucharest at 7.50 pm

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Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal welcomes Indian students evacuated from Ukraine at Mumbai Airport (Photo: ANI)

An adviser to Ukraine's president says that fighting is raging in the capital and in the country's south, and that the Ukrainian military is successfully fending off Russian assaults.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Saturday that small groups of Russian forces tried to infiltrate Kyiv and engaged in fighting with Ukrainian troops. He said that Russia wants to seize control of the Ukrainian capital and destroy the country's leadership, but said the Russian military has failed to make any gains and that the Ukrainian forces control the situation in Kyiv.

He said Russian forces were also focusing on the country's south, where intense fighting is underway in Kherson just north of Crimea, and in the Black Sea ports of Mykolaiv, Odesa and around Mariupol.

Yesterday, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops, a defeat the United States and its supporters knew was inevitable but said would highlight Russia's global isolation. The vote on Friday was 11 in favour, with Russia voting no and China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining, which showed significant but not total opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of his country's smaller and militarily weaker neighbour.

Stayed tuned for LIVE updates on Russia-Ukraine crisis
10:45 PM

More US military aid to arrive in Ukraine soon

A $350-million package of additional US military assistance to Ukraine announced Saturday includes anti-armour, small arms and various munitions, body armour and related equipment, according to John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

Separately, a senior defense official said the assistance includes Javelin anti-tank weapons and that it will be delivered to Ukraine in phases and as soon as possible.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, said the U.S. has delivered military assistance to Ukraine by unspecified means as recently as the last couple of days, and that ground routes for delivery of the additional material would certainly be on the list of options we would consider.

10:27 PM

Chhattisgarh govt to bear travel expenses of people of state returning from Ukraine: CM

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said his government would bear the travel expenses of people from the state who were returning home from Ukraine.
10:06 PM

Russians about 30km outside Kiev: US official

A senior US defense official has said that according to United States estimates more than 50 per cent of Russian combat power arrayed along Ukraine's borders has entered Ukraine. That is up from a US estimate on Friday that one-third of the Russian force had been committed to the fight. The official, who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal US assessments, did not say how many Russian troops were inside Ukraine, but the US had estimated the total Russian force arrayed near Ukraine at more than 150,000.
9:25 PM

Second flight from Bucharest has taken off for Delhi with 250 Indians: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has confirmed that the second Air India flight has taken off from Bucharest for Delhi with 250 Indian nationals on board.
9:18 PM

Putin paused military operation but resumed after Ukraine refused to negotiate: Kremlin spokesperson

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of advancement of its military forces in Ukraine on Friday but the operation was resumed Saturday afternoon after the Ukrainian leadership refused to talk, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "Yesterday afternoon, in connection with the expected negotiations with the Ukrainian leadership, the Russian President and supreme commander ordered the suspension of the advance of the main forces," Peskov said.

9:00 PM

UK says Russian advance has slowed, likely caused by logistical problems, resistance

The Russian advance into Ukraine has temporarily slowed, probably because of logistical problems and strong resistance, Britain's defence ministry said on Saturday.
"The speed of the Russian advance has temporarily slowed likely as a result of acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance," the ministry said in a regular intelligence update posted on Twitter.
"Russian forces are bypassing major Ukrainian population centres while leaving forces to encircle and isolate them.
Overnight clashes in Kyiv are likely to have involved limited numbers of pre-positioned Russian groups. The capture of Kyiv remains Russia's primary military objective." 
8:56 PM

Russia resumes Ukraine offensive from all directions after pause: Report

All Russian units in Ukraine were on Saturday given the order to resume their offensive from all directions after a pause on Friday, the RIA news agency quoted Russia's defence ministry as saying.
Echoing similar comments by the Kremlin, the ministry said Friday's pause had been made in anticipation of talks between Moscow and Kyiv but the offensive resumed after Ukraine refused to negotiate.
8:43 PM

Our main objective was to bring back each and every Indian stranded in Ukraine: Goyal

8:34 PM

Piyush Goyal welcomes Indian students evacuated from Ukraine

8:30 PM

Russian forces frustrated by 'viable' Ukrainian resistance: US official

Russian forces are becoming increasingly frustrated by what the United States believes is "viable" Ukrainian resistance, a U.S. defense official said on Saturday.
"We know that they have not made the progress that they have wanted to make, particularly in the north. They have been frustrated by what they have seen is a very determined resistance," the official said, without providing evidence.
"It has slowed them down," the official added.
8:20 PM

Official Kremlin website down amid war in Ukraine

The official website of the Kremlin, the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, , was down on Saturday, following reports of cyberattacks on various other Russian government and state media websites.
8:09 PM

AI flight carrying Indian evacuees from Ukraine lands in Mumbai

7:51 PM

Kyiv city imposes curfew from Saturday evening until Monday morning

Kyiv city mayor has imposed a curfew that would last from Saturday evening until Monday morning without breaks, the mayor's office said, clarifying an earlier announcement.
Kyiv said earlier that the curfew would last from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. every day.
"For more effective defence of the capital and security of its residents the curfew will run from 1700 today, February 26, 2022, until the morning February 28," it said in a statement.
It said that strict rules were needed to clean the city, which is being under shelling and gunfire, from "the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance groups".
7:44 PM

Ukraine not refusing to negotiate but not ready for Russian ultimatums: Official

Ukraine on Saturday denied suggestions that it was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia but said it was also not ready to accept ultimatums or unacceptable conditions.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, told Reuters Ukraine has prepared a negotiating position but was faced with impractical negotiating conditions from Russia.
"It was yesterday that the aggressive actions of the armed forces of the Russian Federation escalated, up to evening and night mass air and missile strikes on Ukrainian cities," he said in a message. "We consider such actions only an attempt to break Ukraine and force it to accept categorically unacceptable conditions."
7:35 PM

Masks no longer mandatory for travellers in private car: Delhi govt

7:22 PM

PM Modi reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence: PMO

7:08 PM

UK's Prince William and wife say they stand with Ukraine

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate said on Saturday they stood with the people of Ukraine as they "bravely fight" the invasion by Russia, in a rare public comment for British royals on political issues.
"In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President (Volodymyr) Zelenskiy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine's future," Queen Elizabeth's grandson William and Kate said on Twitter.
"Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine's people as they bravely fight for that future." The British royal family do not usually comment on major political matters, sticking to a constitutional norm that they should remain neutral.
However, William's younger brother Harry and his wife Meghan, who have stepped down from royal duties to move to Los Angeles, said on their website on Thursday that they also stood with the Ukrainian people "against this breach of international and humanitarian law".
6:51 PM

Piyush Goyal to receive the Indian nationals safely evacuated from Ukraine

6:37 PM

'Urged India to give us support in UNSC,' tweets Ukraine President

6:35 PM

Delhi government lifts all Covid restrictions

First Published: Feb 26 2022 | 07:15 AM IST

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