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Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: Ukraine president says hundreds still trapped under bombed theatre in Mariupol

Russia-Ukraine War News, Russia Ukraine Conflict Crisis News Highlights: Meanwhile, Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova Friday said so far 130 people have been rescued from the rubble of a theatre in Mariopol which had been hit by an air strike on Wednesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 19, 2022 7:32:16 am
General view of the remains of the drama theatre which was hit by a bomb when hundreds of people were sheltering inside, amid ongoing Russia's invasion, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 18, 2022. (Photo: Azov Handout/ via REUTERS)

Russia Ukraine War Crisis Highlights: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Friday said rescue work was underway to save hundreds of people who are feared to be trapped under the rubble of a theatre in Mariupol which had been hit by a Russian air strike on Wednesday. Earlier, Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova had stated 130 survivors had been rescued so far, but said there was still no information on more than 1,000 other people who were sheltering there when the bomb fell.

Russian forces Friday launched new missile strikes and shelling on the capital city of Kyiv and the outskirts of the western city of Lviv, as world leaders pushed for an probe of the Kremlin’s repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals and residential areas.

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At least three blasts were heard in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in the morning, said media reports, with the city mayor adding that Russian missiles struck an area near the airport of Lviv. Casualties climbed following persistent Russian shelling, with a US citizen — who had been remained in the country to be alongside his Ukrainian partner with multiple sclerosis — being one of the latest to be killed.

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Russia-Ukraine crisis: Russian sanctions over Ukraine grow; Biden to talk to Xi.

07:31 (IST)19 Mar 2022
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00:18 (IST)19 Mar 2022
No deaths in Mariupol theatre strike: Reports

A Russian strike on a theatre sheltering civilians in Mariupol badly wounded one person but did not kill anyone, AFP reported quoting authorities. Hundreds of people were trapped inside the theatre that was hit by a Russian airstrike on Wednesday. 

23:44 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Lebanon's Hezbollah chief denies sending fighters to support Russia in Ukraine: Al Mayadeen TV

Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday denied reports about sending fighters and experts to fight alongside Russia in Ukraine, Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV reported.

"No one from Hezbollah, neither a fighter nor an expert, went to this arena or any of the arenas of these wars," Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV quoted him as saying.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the green light for up to 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to be deployed alongside Russian-backed rebels to fight in Ukraine. (Reuters)

22:36 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Nearly 6.5 million people displaced inside Ukraine because of Russia's invasion, UN estimates

UN migration agency estimates nearly 6.5 million people displaced inside Ukraine because of Russia's invasion, reports AP.

22:06 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Russian oil sale to India complicates Biden's efforts

US President Joe Biden's campaign to unite the globe against the Russian invasion of Ukraine is being challenged not only by adversaries such as China but also by the world's most populous democracy, India. An Indian government official said on Friday that the country will increase its imports of Russian oil, allowing it to boost energy supplies at a discount as its economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The official, who was not authorised to talk to reporters and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the latest purchase was 3 million barrels. --AP

20:41 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Concerned about 'progressively deteriorating situation in Ukraine': India at UNSC

At UNSC, India expressed concerns about "progressively deteriorating situation in Ukraine". "We welcome latest round of diplomatic talks b/w Russia & Ukraine. We believe immediate cessation of hostilities & diligently pursuing path of dialogue & diplomacy is the only way forward," India added.

20:28 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Ukraine president says hundreds still trapped under bombed theatre in Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday said rescue work was ongoing to save hundreds of people still believed to be trapped under the rubble of a bombed theatre in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Earlier, human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova reported 130 survivors had been rescued from the rubble, but said there was still no information on more than 1,000 other people official figures suggest were sheltering there when the bomb fell.

Ukraine accuses Russia of carrying out the powerful air strike that destroyed the theatre on Wednesday. Russia has denied bombing the theatre or attacking civilians. --Reuters

19:37 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Mortal remains of Indian student who died in Ukraine to be brought to Bengaluru

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the mortal remains of Naveen SG, a medical student who died in Ukraine, will reach Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday.  

Addressing the press meet on Friday, Bommai said that Naveen's mortal remains will reach Bengaluru at 3 am. The sources said that his body will be taken directly to his native Chalageri village in Haveri district, 300km away from Bengaluru.

Naveen S G, a fourth-year medical student at Kharkiv National Medical University in Ukraine, was killed in an explosion when he stepped out of a bunker to bring groceries for his juniors. Naveen was the first Indian to die in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. 

The family members who previously demanded the government to bring the mortal remains on Friday said that they were relieved that atleast his mortal remains are brought to Bengaluru. Speaking to Indian Express, Naveen's elder brother Harsha SG said that they had received a call from the Indian Embassy and also from aviation authorities over the same. "They informed me about bringing my brother's body on Friday afternoon. They also said that his body will be airlifted on Saturday evening," he said.

19:31 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Biden talks with China’s Xi, aims to press him on Russia war

Two key figures in determining the course of a war half a world away, President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke Friday as the White House looks to deter Beijing from providing military or economic assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Planning for the call has been in the works since Biden and Xi held a virtual summit in November, but differences between Washington and Beijing over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s prosecution of his three-week-old war against Ukraine are expected to be at the centre of the call.

The two leaders began their call at 9:03 am EDT. Read more

18:35 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Russia loses bid to freeze ban from World Cup qualifying

Russia's request to freeze a FIFA ban on its soccer teams ahead of next week's World Cup qualifying playoffs was denied Friday.

FIFA said the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the Russian soccer federation's bid for an urgent interim ruling to freeze the ban pending a full appeal, which could come within weeks.

The CAS decision means Russia will not be able to play Poland in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

The latest ruling follows a similar CAS refusal on Tuesday to freeze UEFA's ban on Russian national and club teams in European soccer. --AP

18:34 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Indian Embassy in Ukraine releases new advisory for nationals in Kyiv

With new Russian strikes on Kyiv, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine released a new advisory for the Indian nationals living there informing them that its office continues to function and it can be contacted for any help 24x7. 

17:26 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Ukraine says 130 people have been rescued so far from bombed Mariupol theatre

Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova on Friday said 130 people had been rescued so far from the rubble of a theatre hit by an air strike on Wednesday in the besieged eastern city of Mariupol.In a televised address, Denisova said rescue work was ongoing at the site, where many people were sheltering underground before the building was hit, according to the Ukrainian authorities. --Reuters

17:23 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Russia says post-1991 'illusions' about the West are over

Russia has lost any illusions about ever relying on the West and Moscow will never accept a world order dominated by the United States, which is acting like a sheriff seeking to call all the shots in a saloon bar, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Western nations have imposed sweeping sanctions across Russia's financial and corporate sectors in response to Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, plunging Russia's economy into its gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. --Reuters

17:22 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Russian strikes hit Ukrainian capital and outskirts of Lviv

Russian forces Friday launched new missile strikes and shelling on the capital city of Kyiv and the outskirts of the western city of Lviv, as world leaders pushed for an probe of the Kremlin’s repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals and residential areas. --Reuters

16:04 (IST)18 Mar 2022
'173,500 people evacuated from front line towns'

Ukraine human rights ombudsman  says 173,500 people in total have evacuated from front line towns, reported Reuters.

15:49 (IST)18 Mar 2022
India's legitimate energy transactions shouldn't be politicised: Govt

India's legitimate energy transactions shouldn't be politicised, say govt sources on country's crude oil imports, energy ties with Russia. Countries with oil self-sufficiency or those themselves importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading, say govt sources. --PTI

15:13 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Lavrov says Russia will adjust its economy to sanctions

Facing global sanction over its invasion of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country will adjust its economy to the sanctions. He also stated that Russia has lost all illusions about relying on the West and Moscow will never accept a view of the world dominated by a United States that wants to act like a global sheriff. (Reuters)

14:34 (IST)18 Mar 2022
UK revokes Russian channel RT's licence after probe into Ukraine coverage

Britain's media regulator said Friday it has revoked Russian-backed television channel RT's licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect after a probe into the impartiality of its coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The regulator, Ofcom, said in a statement it was not satisfied that RT could be a responsible broadcaster.

RT responded by saying the regulator had shown itself to be nothing more than a tool of the British government. (Reuters)

14:33 (IST)18 Mar 2022
Missiles damage buildings near Lviv airport

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said Friday on Telegram that several missiles hit a facility used to repair military aircraft and damaged a bus repair facility, though no casualties were immediately reported.

The plant had suspended work ahead of the attack, the mayor said.

The missiles that hit Lviv were launched from the Black Sea, but two of the six that were launched were shot down, Ukrainian air force's western command said on Facebook. (AP)

13:59 (IST)18 Mar 2022
A new Arab Spring, thanks to the Ukraine war?

Bread is a staple food in the Middle East, eaten with most meals. Researchers suggest that, depending on the country, bread and grains make up to half of the average local’s diet there, compared to up to a quarter of the average European’s.

Bread prices are rising in the Middle East, due to war in wheat-exporting Ukraine. (File photo from a protest in Sudan, via Reuters)

“In these countries, affordable bread for the working masses is a social contract,” Michaël Tanchum, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who specialises in political economics of the Middle East and Africa, explained. Many Middle Eastern countries subsidise bread for low-income families.

In the past, rising bread prices have been a catalyst for political change in the region. (Read more)

As the war entered the fourth week, the United States voiced concern that China might assist Moscow with military equipment. US President Joe Biden is scheduled to call Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday evening and is expected to tell Beijing that it will pay a price if it supports Russia's military operations in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, India told UNSC that it is deeply concerned over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. This comes as several Indian-American lawmakers urged India to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The lawmakers, led by Congressman Joe Wilson and Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, had a call with India's top envoy to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu where they discussed the matter.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invoked 9/11 during an urgent appeal to the US Congress for more weapons to stem the Russian assault. US President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million for Ukraine's military.

Meanwhile, the United States remains in touch with Indian leaders and continues to encourage them to work closely with it to stand up against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the White House said Wednesday. Observing that India walks a difficult middle ground on the Ukraine crisis, two Democratic lawmakers urged India to condemn Russian military operations against Ukraine which they said have no place in the 21st century.

The White House said that India taking up Russia's offer of discounted crude oil would not be a violation of American sanctions. However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that we should "think about where you want to stand when history books are written at this moment in time." India has not supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. New Delhi has consistently asked all stakeholders to resolve differences through dialogue. It has, however, abstained in all United Nations resolutions against Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will virtually address the US Congress at 9 am (1300 GMT) on Wednesday, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a joint letter to US lawmakers.

“The Congress remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face Putin’s cruel and diabolical aggression, and to passing legislation to cripple and isolate the Russian economy as well as deliver humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine,” they wrote on Monday.

Aleksander, 41, presses his palms against the window as he says goodbye to his daughter Anna, 5, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station. (AP)

Meanwhile, the United Nations chief has warned that Russia's war on Ukraine is holding "a sword of Damocles" over the global economy, especially poor developing countries that face skyrocketing food, fuel and fertiliser prices and are now seeing their breadbasket "being bombed".

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that 45 African and least developed countries import at least one-third of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia, and 18 of them import at least 50 per cent.

Ukraine War Update, March 14: A reporter is killed, and foreigners join the fighting

In other news, the Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin had another call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to talk about Ukraine. Bennett told Putin about his contacts with other heads of states, and Putin shared his assessments of talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives via video calls, the Kremlin said in a statement.

A senior Israeli official said Bennett's conversation with Putin lasted 90 minutes, with discussions focusing on cease-fire talks and humanitarian issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic matters.

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