Ukraine Russia war LIVE Updates: Strategic Ukrainian port Mariupol ‘blockaded’ by Russian forces, says mayor

09:58 (IST) Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates Indigo flight carrying 229 Indians land in Delhi A special flight carrying 229 Indians fro...

09:58 (IST)

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates

Indigo flight carrying 229 Indians land in Delhi

A special flight carrying 229 Indians from Ukraine arrived in Delhi from Suceava in Romania, said news agency ANI.

09:52 (IST)

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates

'Cyberattack' knocks thousands offline in Europe

Thousands of internet users across Europe have been thrown offline after what sources said Friday was a likely cyberattack at the beginning of Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

According to Orange, nearly 9,000 subscribers of a satellite internet service provided by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are without internet following a "cyber event" on February 24 at Viasat, a US satellite operator of which it is a client. 

Eutelsat, the parent company of the bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed to AFP on Friday that around one-third of bigblu's 40,000 subscribers in Europe, in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Poland, were affected by the outage on Viasat. 

09:42 (IST)

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates

UNSC to meet Monday on humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday on the humanitarian crisis triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, diplomats said Friday.

After this public session, the 15 members of the council will confer behind closed doors to discuss a possible draft resolution, a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.

This latter meeting has been proposed by Mexico and France, who are pushing a draft that calls for an end to hostilities in Ukraine, unhindered flow of humanitarian aid and protection of civilians.

09:26 (IST)

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates:

Strategic Ukrainian port Mariupol ‘blockaded’ by Russian forces: mayor

Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol is under a “blockade” by Russian forces after days of “ruthless” attacks, its mayor said on Saturday, calling for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.

Located on the Sea of Azov, the city of 450,000 people has been bombarded by shellings and cut off without water or electricity in the depths of winter.

“For now, we are looking for solutions to humanitarian problems and all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” said Vadim Boychenko in a message posted to the mayor’s Telegram account.

09:16 (IST)

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates:

What is happening on the ground in Ukraine?

Battles involving airstrikes and artillery continued Friday northwest of Kyiv, and in the northeast, with the cities of Kharkiv and Okhtyrka coming under heavy strikes, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said.

Ukrainian defense forces were holding on to the northern city of Chernihiv, and have prevented Russian efforts to take the important southern city of Mykolaiv, he said. Ukrainian artillery has been defending Odesa from repeated attempts by Russian ships to fire on the Black Sea port city, he said, insisting there's no immediate threat to the city.

Some Ukrainian drone enthusiasts are risking their lives by forming a volunteer drone force to help their country repel the Russian invasion. Civilians are using aerial cameras to track Russian convoys and relay the images and GPS coordinates to Ukrainian troops.

-AP

Ukraine Russia war LATEST Updates: Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol is under a “blockade” by Russian forces after days of “ruthless” attacks, its mayor said on Saturday, calling for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.

Located on the Sea of Azov, the city of 450,000 people has been bombarded by shellings and cut off without water or electricity in the depths of winter.

“For now, we are looking for solutions to humanitarian problems and all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” said Vadim Boychenko in a message posted to the mayor’s Telegram account.

Ukraine and its allies expressed fury on Friday after Europe's largest atomic power plant was attacked and seized by invading Russian forces, which continued to shell major cities.

The six reactors at Zaporizhzhia, which can power up to four million homes, appeared undamaged by the fighting and a fire that broke out in a training facility.

But Kyiv accused the Kremlin of "nuclear terror", and US envoy to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the attack was "incredibly reckless and dangerous".

Moscow's UN ambassador called accusations that Russian forces had shelled the plant part of "an unprecedented campaign of lies".

According to Ukraine, thousands of civilians have died since President Vladimir Putin's military invaded on February 24, claiming to be fighting a Western-leaning "Nazi" threat on its border.

In a Kyiv hospital, wounded soldiers told AFP of their grim battle against the Russian advance on the capital, and vowed to return to the frontline.

"We were on reconnaissance and came across an enemy column that had made a breakthrough," said Motyka, 29, who was hit by shrapnel on his right side.

"We fought them and killed their soldiers on foot, but they showered us with mortar fire."

On Friday, missile and bomb attacks on cities continued, the Ukrainian military said on Facebook, adding that the main focus of Russian troops was to encircle Kyiv.

It added that Russian artillery and multiple launch rocket systems were pounding residential buildings and infrastructure.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack at the nuclear plant "could have stopped the story, the history of Ukraine, the history of Europe."

"Russian tank commanders knew what they were firing at," he said, adding: "The terrorist state now resorted to nuclear terror."

Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday told German chancellor Olaf Scholz that dialogue on Ukraine would be possible only if Russian demands are met, the Kremlin readout on a phone call between the two leaders said.

'These include the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, its 'denazification', recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and of the 'sovereignty' of separatist territories in eastern Ukraine," the Kremlin added.

Kyiv on Friday also said that it was planning to hold the third round of talks with Moscow this weekend.

The two sides held the first and second rounds of negotiations on 28 February and 3 March respectively.

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