The latest developments on Ukraine-Russia tensions after Russia launches military operation against Ukraine
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 Sunday in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by leading NATO powers. The order to put Russia’s nuclear weapons in an increased state of readiness for launch raised fears that the crisis could boil over into nuclear warfare, whether by design or miscalculation. Amid the mounting tensions, Ukraine announced that a delegation would meet with Russian officials for talks. But the Kremlin’s ultimate intentions toward Ukraine — and what steps might be enough to satisfy Moscow — remained unclear. The fast-moving developments came as Russian troops drew closer to Kyiv, a city of almost 3 million, street fighting broke out in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and strategic ports in the country’s south came under pressure from the invading forces. Ukrainian defenders put up stiff resistance that appeared to slow the invasion.
Sanctions on Russia have been intensified with U.S., European Union, and United Kingdom agreeing to block “selected” Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial system.
India began efforts to evacuate its citizens via Ukraine’s neighbouring countries after the strife-torn country shut its airspace for commercial flights. As many as 688 Indian nationals returned on Sunday from Ukraine on board three Air India evacuation flights from Romanian capital Bucharest and Hungarian capital Budapest.
The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.