Several other international companies have suspended their operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Saturday’s failed ceasefire in Mariupol has raised questions about the safety of civilians caught in conflict zones.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday that Russia would only halt its military operation if Ukraine stopped the fighting and Moscow’s demands were met. the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin said the operation was going according to plan and schedule, and he hoped Ukrainian negotiators would adopt a more constructive approach during the talks and take into account the reality on the ground, the Kremlin said in a statement. .
He also blamed Ukrainian radicals for a March 3 incident at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the Kremlin said. French President Emmanuel Macron interviewed Putin by phone about a fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. “Vladimir Putin informed [Macron] on the provocation of Ukrainian radicals in the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” the Kremlin said. “Radiation levels are normal.”
Putin also accused Ukraine of preventing civilians from leaving Mariupol.
Here are the other key developments in the Ukraine crisis on Sunday:
UN says 364 civilian deaths have been confirmed so far
The UN human rights office says it has confirmed the death of 364 civilians in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.
The Geneva-based office said another 759 civilians were injured as of midnight on Saturday.
The rights office uses a strict methodology and only reports victims it has confirmed.
He says he thinks the actual numbers are considerably higher, “particularly in government-controlled territories and especially in recent days.” This is because the flow of information has been delayed by the fighting and many reports have yet to be corroborated.
Ukrainian officials presented much higher figures.
Mariupol evacuation fails again
Pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine’s National Guard accused each other of failing to establish a humanitarian corridor from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Sunday, the second time the sides have attempted to organize one.
Ukraine 24 television showed a fighter from the National Guard’s Azov Regiment who said Russian and pro-Russian forces that surrounded the port city of around 400,000 people were continuing to bombard areas believed to be safe.
The Interfax news agency quoted an official from the separatist Donetsk administration who accused Ukrainian forces of failing to respect the limited ceasefire.
The separatist official said only around 300 people had left the town. Ukrainian authorities announced earlier that they planned to evacuate more than 200,000 people from Mariupol.
Now focus on evacuating Indians from Sumy: MEA
India said on Saturday its main objective now was to evacuate around 700 Indian students stranded in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, which has witnessed bombings and airstrikes.
An MEA spokesperson said India was exploring several options for the evacuation of students.
“We are in contact with everyone involved. The best option for us would be a ceasefire that allows our students to get out and we have strongly pressed the Russian and Ukrainian sides to allow this type of ceasefire. local fire,” he said.
Almost all Indians have now left the city of Kharkiv, he added.
Last leg of Operation Ganga flights today: Indian Embassy in Budapest
The tweet from the Budapest Embassy handle reads: The Indian Embassy begins its last leg of Operation Ganga flights today. All students staying in their OWN accommodation (other than those arranged by the Embassy) are requested to come to @Hungariacitycentre, Rakoczi Ut 90, Budapest between 10am and 12pm.
Separately, the Kyiv Embassy also said in a tweet, “All Indian nationals still remaining in Ukraine are requested to fill in the details in the attached Google form on an URGENT basis.”
A link to said form was also provided in the tweet.
Over 13,000 Indians brought back under Operation Ganga
63 flights have brought back more than 13,300 Indians as part of the “Operation Ganga” evacuation mission, the government announced on Saturday.
Since then, a few more flights have landed from countries neighboring Ukraine.
A special flight carrying 154 Indian nationals stranded in crisis-torn Ukraine reached Delhi on Sunday from the city of Kosice in Slovakia.
An Indian Air Force flight carrying 210 Indians has arrived at Hindan Air Base near Delhi from Bucharest, Romania.
Another flight with 183 Indians reached Delhi from Budapest in Hungary.
An Air India Express flight brought 182 back to Mumbai from Bucharest.
Russia, Without Proof, Claims Ukraine Is Building a Nuclear ‘Dirty Bomb’
Russian media quoted an unnamed source on Sunday as saying Ukraine was close to making a “dirty bomb” out of plutonium, although the source did not cite any evidence.
The TASS, RIA and Interfax news agencies on Sunday quoted “a representative of a competent body” in Russia as saying that Ukraine was developing nuclear weapons at the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant which was shut down in 2000.
The Ukrainian government has said it has no intention of joining the nuclear club, having given up its nuclear weapons in 1994 following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Ukrainian city of Mariupol tries again to evacuate civilians
The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian troops, said it would resume efforts to evacuate civilians on Sunday, after earlier efforts were wiped out by ceasefire violations.
“As of 12:00 (10:00 GMT), the evacuation of the civilian population begins,” city officials said in a statement, adding that a ceasefire had been agreed with Russian-led forces. surrounding the city.
An earlier attempt on Saturday to allow civilians to leave by buses and private cars along the northwest road to Zaporizhzhia failed when both sides accused the other of bombing.
Visa and Mastercard suspend operations in Russia
U.S. payment companies Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc said on Saturday they were suspending operations in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and would work with customers and partners to end all transactions in the country. .
In a few days, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and all Visa cards issued outside of Russia will no longer work in the country, the company said.
Mastercard said its cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by Mastercard networks, and any company cards issued outside Russia will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.
The Visa and Mastercard announcements came hours after PayPal also halted services in Russia.
German sportswear maker Puma has decided to suspend operations at all of its stores in Russia, it announced on Saturday. Puma, which has 100 stores in Russia, had already halted deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tell Putin to stop the war, it’s in India’s interest: Ukraine
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday night called on Prime Minister Modi to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that war is not in any country’s interest. In a virtual press conference, Kuleba said Ukraine was important for India’s food security and it was in India’s interest to stop the war.
“India is one of the main consumers of Ukrainian agricultural products and if the war continues, it will become difficult for Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, adding that Ukraine was playing a role. important for ensuring global food security.
“Putin does not recognize our right to exist. Ordinary Indians can also pressure the Russian Embassy to stop the war,” he said.
He also said that Ukraine had organized trains from Kharkiv and Sumy for the evacuation of foreign students.
Putin says Ukraine’s future uncertain as ceasefires crumble
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Saturday that Ukraine’s statehood was in jeopardy and likened Western sanctions against Russia to a “declaration of war”, while a promised ceasefire in the Besieged port city of Mariupol collapsed amid scenes of terror.
The struggle to enforce temporary ceasefires in Mariupol and the eastern city of Volnovakha has shown the fragility of efforts to stop fighting across Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials said artillery fire and Russian airstrikes prevented residents from leaving before agreed evacuations began. Putin accused Ukraine of sabotaging the effort.
Nearly 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees
The number of Ukrainian refugees is expected to reach 1.5 million on Sunday as Russia continued its attack 11 days after invading Ukraine and Kiev pressed for more West action, including more sanctions and weapons . Those Ukrainians who were able to escape spread into neighboring Poland, Romania, Slovakia and elsewhere.
Ukrainian negotiators said a third round of talks with Russia on a ceasefire would continue on Monday, although Moscow is less definitive.
British Prime Minister Johnson offers a six-point response
Boris Johnson listed his goals, which included an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine, supporting its self-defense and maximizing economic pressure on Moscow. He also called for diplomatic avenues of de-escalation with the full involvement of the Ukrainian government, enhanced security in the Europe-Atlantic area and an end to the “creeping normalization” of Russian activities in Ukraine.
(With contributions from the agency)