Russia-Ukraine war Highlights: Putin accuses Ukraine of 'war crimes' in call with Macron

Mar 18, 2022 10:42 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine war updates: A Russian airstrike before dawn on Thursday killed 21 people and destroyed a school and community centre in Merefa near the northeast city of Kharkiv, local authorities said.

Russia-Ukraine war updates: More than 3,50,000 people continue to hide in shelters and basements in the southern city of Mariupol where the situation remains “critical" with the Kremlin offensive in Ukraine entering the 23rd day. At such a time, Kyiv says, that power crisis has affected over 1.3 million. About 80% of residential buildings are damaged, and 30% are beyond repair. An average of 50 to 100 bombs falling on the city each day, local officials say.

A woman reacts while speaking near a block of flats, which was destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. 
A woman reacts while speaking near a block of flats, which was destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. (REUTERS)

A Russian airstrike before dawn on Thursday killed 21 people and destroyed a school and community centre in Merefa near the northeast city of Kharkiv, local authorities said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised the latest wave of military assistance from the US and declined to provide details of his country’s negotiating tactics with Russia. US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are scheduled to speak by phone on Friday. Biden also plans to travel to Europe next week for talks with European leaders about the Russian invasion, and will attend an extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels.

India has emphasised that humanitarian action shall be guided by the principles of humanity and should not be politicised while reiterating its previous calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Thursday. India's representative also raised concerns on the ongoing humanitarian situation, including the displacement of thousands of people internally and the outflow of more than three million refugees to neighbouring countries, news agency ANI reported.

The fighting has led more than 3 million people to flee Ukraine, the UN estimates. Ukraine has said thousands of civilians have died.

Follow all the updates here:

  • Mar 18, 2022 10:42 PM IST

    Nearly 6.5 million people displaced inside Ukraine amid Russian invasion: UN report

    The UN migration agency estimates that nearly 6.5 million people have now been displaced inside Ukraine due to Russia's invasion, on top of the 3.2 million refugees who have already fled the country, reports The Associated Press.

  • Mar 18, 2022 10:39 PM IST

    Putin accuses Ukraine of 'war crimes' in call with French President Macron

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of 'war crimes' in a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, the Kremlin said, as quoted by AFP.

  • Mar 18, 2022 10:07 PM IST

    Russia accuses Google, YouTube of 'terrorist' activities

    Russian regulators on Friday accused US tech giant Google and its video subsidiary YouTube of "terrorist" activities, the first step towards a possible access ban.

    Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor said YouTube users "are sharing adverts with calls to shut down railway communications between Russia and Belarus".

    "The YouTube administration's activities are terrorist in nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens," Roskomnadzor said, quoted by Interfax news agency.

  • Mar 18, 2022 08:43 PM IST

    India calls for prohibition of biological weapons at UNSC meeting

    India attaches high importance to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as a key global and non-discriminatory disarmament Convention, prohibiting an entire category of weapons of mass destruction, says R Ravindra, DPR at UNSC briefing.

    It's important to ensure full and effective implementation of the BTWC in letter and spirit. We also believe that any matter relating to obligations under the BTWC should be addressed as per the provisions of the Convention and through consultations and cooperation, he adds. Read full story

  • Mar 18, 2022 08:27 PM IST

    Body of Indian student killed in Ukraine to be brought to Bengaluru on Monday: Bommai issues correction

    Body of Naveen Gyandagoudar to be brought to Bengaluru on Monday, Karnataka CM Bommai corrects his tweet. His earlier tweet read that Naveen's body would be brought back to Bengaluru on Sunday.

  • Mar 18, 2022 07:28 PM IST

    130 people saved from Mariupol theatre bombing, 'hundreds' still trapped: Zelensky

    Ukraine President Zelensky says 130 people saved from Mariupol theatre bombing, 'hundreds' still trapped, reports AFP.

  • Mar 18, 2022 07:22 PM IST

    Body of Indian student killed in Ukraine to be brought to Bengaluru on Sunday, tweets CM Bommai

    The body of Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudarm, a final year medical student of Kharkiv Medical University who died in a shelling attack in Ukraine, will arrive at the Bengaluru airport on Sunday, March 20, says Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai in a tweet.

  • Mar 18, 2022 06:53 PM IST

    Biden, Xi begin talks on Russia's Ukraine invasion

    US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping began a phone call Friday in which Biden will pressure his counterpart to join Western pressure on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

    The two leaders started the call, their first since a video summit in November, at 9:03 am (1303 GMT), the White House said.

  • Mar 18, 2022 06:31 PM IST

    Visuals from a war-torn Ukrainian capital Kyiv

  • Mar 18, 2022 06:09 PM IST

    Indian Embassy in Kyiv temporarily shifts to Poland: Advisory 

  • Mar 18, 2022 05:16 PM IST

    Bulgaria expels 10 Russian diplomats, reports AFP

    Bulgaria expels 10 Russian diplomats, reported news agency AFP quoting official.

  • Mar 18, 2022 05:14 PM IST

    Top ex-Kremlin official quits post after condemning Ukraine war

    A former Russian deputy prime minister who spoke out against the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine has quit as chair of a prestigious foundation after a lawmaker accused him of a "national betrayal" and demanded his dismissal. 

  • Mar 18, 2022 04:53 PM IST

    India defends purchases of Russian oil

    Centre on Friday defended the continued buying of Russian oil, saying European countries were still purchasing hydrocarbons from Moscow and that high crude prices left New Delhi with little choice.

    Indian oil refiners have in recent days reportedly purchased several million barrels of discounted Russian oil even as the West seeks to isolate Moscow economically over its invasion of Ukraine.

  • Mar 18, 2022 03:25 PM IST

    Putin accuses Ukraine of stalling talks

    Putin accuses Ukraine of stalling talks, says Moscow ready to search for 'solutions', reported AFP quoting Kremlin after Putin call with Germany's Scholz.

  • Mar 18, 2022 02:53 PM IST

    More than 2 million Ukraine refugees in Poland: Report

    More than 2 million Ukraine refugees in Poland, news agency AFP reported, quoting border guards.

  • Mar 18, 2022 02:23 PM IST

    Russian missiles strike near Lviv airport

    Russian missiles struck an area near the airport of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv early on Friday, the mayor said, while Japan and Australia imposed new sanctions on Russian entities as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.

    Western sources and Ukrainian officials said Russia's assault has faltered since its troops invaded on February 24, further dashing its expectations of a swift victory and the removal of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's government. (Reuters)

  • Mar 18, 2022 01:45 PM IST

    Fighting in Mariupol city centre: Russian ministry

    Russian troops and their separatist allies were fighting Friday in the centre of Mariupol, a strategic port city in the southeast of Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry said as per news agency AFP.

    "In Mariupol, units of the Donetsk People's Republic, with the support of the Russian armed forces, are squeezing the encirclement and fighting against nationalists in the city centre," the ministry said in Moscow.

    Backed by Russian troops, separatists from Lugansk have "liberated more than 90 percent of the republic's territory," the ministry added, referring to the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic, whose independence Moscow recognised on February 21.

  • Mar 18, 2022 12:27 PM IST

    What weapons is Ukraine using to fight Russian invasion

    Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a desperate appeal to the US Congress on Wednesday, asking for additional military support to help fight off Russia. Within hours president Joe Biden promised $800 million in weapons to fight 'war criminal' Vladimir Putin.

    Here's what we know about the weapons that will be provided (or have already been provided) to Ukraine, not just by the United States but also by other countries. Read more

  • Mar 18, 2022 11:46 AM IST

    Russian forces strike Lviv airport area in west Ukraine: mayor

    Russian forces struck an area around Lviv's airport in western Ukraine, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on Friday, with ambulance and police vehicles racing to the scene, AFP reported.

    Writing on messaging app Telegram, Sadovyi said he could not give a precise address of the targeted area " but it's definitely not an airport."

  • Mar 18, 2022 11:19 AM IST

    Western city of Lviv faces bombing: Ukrainian media outlet

    At least three blasts were heard in the western city of Lviv on Friday morning, Ukraine 24 television station reported, publishing a short video in which a mushroom-shaped plume of smoke could be seen rising on the horizon.

  • Mar 18, 2022 10:28 AM IST

    Search for Ukraine theatre bombing survivors as war crime claims mount

    Rescue workers searched desperately for any survivors buried beneath the rubble of Mariupol's bombed-out theatre Friday, as Russia's forces pounded residential areas across Ukraine, stoking allegations of war crimes, AFP reported.

    Twenty-four hours after Mariupol's once-gleaming whitewashed theatre was hollowed out by a Russian strike, the number of dead, injured or trapped is still unclear.

  • Mar 18, 2022 09:25 AM IST

    'De-Nazify Ukraine? Not true': Arnold Schwarzenegger's powerful appeal

    Film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger told Russians in a video posted on social media Thursday they’re being lied to about the war in Ukraine. He also accused Putin of sacrificing Russian soldiers’ lives for his own ambitions. Read more

  • Mar 18, 2022 08:42 AM IST

    Japan and Australia impose more sanctions on Russia

    Japan and Australia on Friday slapped fresh sanctions on Russian entities as punishment for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, which the West says has been stalled by staunch resistance but continues to take a devastating toll on civilians.

  • Mar 18, 2022 08:19 AM IST

    Russian shelling continues in Kyiv and other cities

    Shelling continues in Kyiv, the capital, and other cities. According to the UN, 2,032 civilian casualties have been recorded so far in Ukraine - 780 killed and 1,252 injured. The death toll, however, is expected to be much higher.

  • Mar 18, 2022 07:58 AM IST

    Oil climbs near $105 after jumping on doubts over peace talks

    Oil extended gains in Asia after the biggest daily surge in 16 months pushed prices back above $100 a barrel as the Kremlin cast doubt on the progress of peace talks with Ukraine, Bloomberg reported.

  • Mar 18, 2022 06:57 AM IST

    'Will cleanse Russia of scum...': Putin warns Russians

    President Vladimir Putin issued a venomous warning to "traitors" on Wednesday, saying the West would try to use them as a fifth column to destroy Russia, but that Russians would be quickly able to tell the "patriots from the scum". Read more

  • Mar 18, 2022 06:47 AM IST

    Moscow accused of war crimes as Ukraine atrocities mount

    Three weeks into Russia's devastating invasion, the harsh tally of assaults on civilian targets grew to include a school and a cultural centre in the town of Merefa, pounded by overnight artillery fire with 21 people killed, AFP reported quoting officials.

    top US diplomat Antony Blinken said Thursday he saw no sign that Russian leader Vladimir Putin "is prepared to stop."

    "Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction of the past few weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise," he said, following warnings from the G7 that those behind such crimes "will be held responsible."


  • Mar 18, 2022 06:15 AM IST

    Zelenskyy, Macron discuss France's support for Ukraine over phone

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that he held a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss France's support for Ukraine.

    "Discussed the support for Ukrainians in the fight against Russian aggression, especially in the defense sphere," Zelenskyy tweeted. "We must strengthen the anti-war coalition," he added.

  • Mar 18, 2022 05:42 AM IST

    Biden to press Xi to get in line over condemnation of Russia

    US President Joe Biden will warn his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday that he will face "costs" if Beijing rescues fellow authoritarian ally Russia from intense Western sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, news agency AFP reported.

     The two leaders' first phone call since a video summit in November will be a chance to air differences as the United States spearheads an unprecedented pressure campaign on Russia, placing China in a geopolitical bind.

     It's "an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was quoted as saying by AFP.

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