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Russian President Vladimir Putin Orders Military to Put ‘Deterrence Forces’ on High Alert

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said in a video message Saturday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev offered to help organize such talks. He added that “we can only welcome that."

Updated: February 27, 2022 11:33 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Victor Dasgupta

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to the media during a joint news conference with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. (AP Photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered his defence chiefs to put the country’s “deterrence forces” on high alert as he accused Western countries of taking “unfriendly” steps against his country amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, news agency AFP reported. Earlier, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the world to scrap Russia’s voting power at the UN Security Council and said Russian actions verged on ‘genocide’.

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Speaking at a meeting with his top officials, Putin asserted that leading NATO powers had made “aggressive statements” along with the West imposing hard-hitting financial sanctions against Russia, including the president himself.

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The alert means Putin has ordered Russia’s nuclear weapons prepared for increased readiness to launch. He told the Russian defense minister and the chief of the military’s General Staff to put the nuclear deterrent forces in a “special regime of combat duty.”

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in televised comments.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces has secured full control of Kharkiv following street fighting with Russian troops in the country’s second-biggest city, the local governor said. “Kharkiv is fully under our control,” the head of the regional administration, Oleg Sinegubov, said on Telegram, adding that the army was expelling Russian forces during a “clean-up” operation.

Russia hits Ukraine fuel supplies, airfields in new attacks

Russia unleashed a wave of attacks on Ukraine targeting airfields and fuel facilities in what appeared to be the next phase of an invasion that has been slowed by fierce resistance. The U.S. and EU responded with weapons and ammunition for the outnumbered Ukrainians and powerful sanctions intended to further isolate Moscow.

Huge explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, where people hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces.

Flames billowed into the sky before dawn from an oil depot near an air base in Vasylkiv, where there has been intense fighting, according to the town’s mayor. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said another explosion was at the civilian Zhuliany airport.

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Published Date: February 27, 2022 6:53 PM IST

Updated Date: February 27, 2022 11:33 PM IST