Conflict Escalates In Kharkiv, Russia Denies Damage To Civilian Infra

As the Russia-Ukraine enters its seventh day, the tensions in Ukraine’s Kharkiv heightened with missiles damaging the government offices, residential buildings in the city. However, Kremlin has denied the reports of attacking infrastructure, residential areas in Ukraine.

Furthermore, a Russian missile struck a residential building in Zhytomyr located in the north of the western half of Ukraine. As per the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the airstrikes resulted in piles of debris, flattened homes and buildings.

Meanwhile, voting took place at United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in the 11th emergency special session and fourth plenary meeting on the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.

Voting results displayed on screens at the UN General Assembly showed that 141 nations voted in favour of the move and five nations were against it, with 35 countries abstained.

As the crisis continues, US President Joe Biden extended the national emergency regarding Ukraine by one year due to extraordinary threat national security and foreign policy threats posed to the United States by the situation in the Eastern European country.

The permanent representatives of EU countries have agreed on new sanctions against Belarus, including the economic ones, the French Presidency of the Council of EU States said.

Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi also conducted consultations in order to address an overnight request from Ukraine’s nuclear regulator to extend immediate assistance to ensure the safety of Chernobyl NPP and other nuclear facilities in the country.

After the increased conflict in Kharkiv, Indian Embassy in Kyiv issued an ‘urgent advisory’ for its nationals stranded in Ukraine asking them to leave Kharkiv immediately and to proceed to settlements at Pesochyn, Babai and Bezlyudivka by 1800 hrs (Ukrainian Time) on foot if they are unable to find vehicles for commuting to specified locations.

The Embassy issued this ‘urgent advisory’ for Indian Nationals stranded in Kharkiv in view of the ‘deteriorating situation in the city.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been speaking to the leaders of several countries and has been sharing his concerns over the escalating turn of events in Ukraine.

Amid the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine, PM Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting on the issue. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other officials.

For the past few days, the Prime Minister has been chairing crucial meetings on the issue.

PM Modi spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reviewed the situation in Ukraine, especially in Kharkiv. Both the leaders also discussed the safe evacuation of the Indian nationals from the conflict areas.

“The leaders reviewed the situation in Ukraine, especially in the city of Kharkiv where many Indian students are stuck. They discussed the safe evacuation of the Indian nationals from the conflict areas,” the PMO statement said.

MEA added that nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine’s border since the first travel advisory was issued by the Indian Embassy in Kyiv and as many as 15 flights were scheduled over the next 24 hours.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia also informed that a total of 6 flights with 1300 Indian students onboard from Bucharest (Romania) to India will be deported today. Scindia met Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca in Romania and thanked the latter for facilitating the safe evacuation of Indian citizens amid heightened tensions in Ukraine.

Showing solidarity with the Indian students, Polish universities said that they will be opening their doors to Indian students evacuated from Ukraine so that they can finish their studies, informed Union Minister VK Singh.

Amid the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe, the number of refugees is also rising by the day. Refugees from Ukraine do not need to go through the asylum procedure, and will receive immediate protection for up to three years in the European Union, German Minister of the Interior, Building and Community Nancy Faeser said.

“We provide help quickly and without bureaucracy. Refugees from Ukraine do not need to go through the asylum procedure. They receive immediate protection in the EU for up to three years,” Faeser tweeted.

As the temperature in conflict-ridden Ukraine continues to rise, in the latest development, the Ukrainian flag was removed from the flagpole of the Ukrainian embassy in Russia amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kyiv, state media reported on Wednesday. (ANI)

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