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Putin Drags World to War: Here’s What We Know So Far

Russia-Ukraine News: Putin's announcement comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and made a passionate, last-minute plea for peace. In an indirect appeal to citizens, Zelensky had said that the government, as well as the people of Ukraine, want peace.  

Updated: February 24, 2022 2:35 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

Putin Drags World to War: Here's What We Know So Far
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attends a ceremony to sign documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, with the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics Leonid Pasechnik (L) and Denis Pushilin (C) during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022. President Vladimir Putin said on February 21, 2022, he would make a decision "today" on recognising the independence of east Ukraine's rebel republics, after Russia's top officials made impassioned speeches in favour of the move. Alexey NIKOLSKY / Sputnik / AFP

New Delhi: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dragged the world to war after announcing an operation to demilitarize Ukraine. Justifying his stand, the Russian leader said that the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine. He also claimed that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine but will move to “demilitarize” it and bring those who committed crimes to justice.

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“People’s republics of Donbass approached Russia with a request for help. In connection therewith, I made the decision to hold a special military operation,” Putin had said in a special television address.

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His announcement came hours after the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and made a passionate, last-minute plea for peace. In an indirect appeal to citizens, Zelensky had said that the government, as well as the people of Ukraine, want peace.

“But if we come under attack, if we face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs”, Zelenskyy said in an emotional overnight address.

Powerful Explosions, Air Raid Sirens Heard in Kyiv

Air raid sirens and explosions have gone off in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, indicating that the city is under attack. BNO News has shared a video where air raid sirens can be heard wailing across Ukraine’s capital.

The sirens were heard in multiple live television reports from Ukraine. However, contrary to the reports, the Russian military claimed that it is not targeting Ukrainian cities.

In a statement, the Russian military said that the Russian Armed Forces are not launching any missile or artillery strikes on the cities of Ukraine. “High-precision weapons destroy military infrastructure: military airfields, aviation, air defense facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The civilian population is not at risk”, the statement also read.

Ukrainian Airbases, Air Defences, Thermal Power Plant Destroyed

Russia’s defence ministry claimed it had neutralised Ukrainian military airbases and its air defence systems. “Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action,” the defence ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, which added that Kyiv’s air defence systems were “eliminated”.

Stocks Slump, Rupee Slides, Gold Glitters

Markets were awash in red and the Indian currency slumped against the dollar amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine pushing investors to seek refuge in safe-haven assets. Gold, as well as crude oil prices, surged, with the latter even crossing the USD 102 per barrel mark.

The domestic stock market opened deep in the negative territory, tumbling over 1,700 points and eroding investors’ wealth by more than Rs 8 lakh crore in less than an hour of start of trade today.

Gold prices rallied on safe-haven buying along with the US dollar on deepening geopolitical risks and fears of severe sanctions on Russia and possible disruption of supplies of commodities. Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures jumped 5.61 per cent to USD 102.27 per barrel.

Martial Law Imposed 

Zelenskiy declared martial law across the nation and urged its citizens to not panic. Martial law would impose harder restrictions, which could include bans on meetings, movements, and political parties.

“We’re introducing martial law in the whole territory of our country,” Zelensky said in a statement. He also informed that he spoke with US President Biden and Washington has already started mobilizing international support.

Furthermore, he added, “Today each of you should keep calm. Stay at home if you can. We are working. The Army is working. The whole sector of defense and security is working.”

EU Plans Harsh Sanction Package Against Russia

The European Union is planning the strongest, the harshest package of sanctions it has ever considered at an emergency Thursday, as the Russian military attacked Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order, and we will hold President (Vladimir) Putin accountable for that .

We will present a package of massive and targeted sanctions to European leaders for approval, she said. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called it the strongest, the harshest package ever considered.

‘Maintain Calm, Remain Safe’

The Indian embassy in Ukraine asked Indians in that country to maintain calm and remain safe wherever they are. Issuing a fresh advisory, Indian embassy said as Russia carries out a military operation in Ukraine, triggering a major confrontation between the two sides.

“The present situation in Ukraine is highly uncertain. Please maintain calm and remain safe wherever you are, be it in your homes, hostels, accommodations or in transit. All those who are travelling to Kyiv, including those travelling from western parts of Kyiv, are advised to return to their respective cities. temporarily, especially towards safer places along the western bordering countries,” it said.

It said further advisories will be issued for any updates. Official sources in New Delhi said India is looking at ways to assist its nationals, especially the students, in Ukraine.

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Published Date: February 24, 2022 2:27 PM IST

Updated Date: February 24, 2022 2:35 PM IST