Russian today said that Moscow was ready for talks if Ukraine's military surrendered and insisted that the invading forces were looking to free the country from "oppression".
Meanwhile, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Minsk for Ukraine talks. Putin further called on the Ukraine army to remove the leadership in Kyiv, while calling the Ukrainian authorities "gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis".
Moscow had said its first day of the Ukraine invasion had achieved all its goals and that it had destroyed 83 land-based Ukrainian targets. According to official reports, Russia had carried out 203 attacks on its western neighbour since the beginning of the day.
Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air in the biggest attack on a European state since the second World War.
The attack triggered Western warnings of unprecedented sanctions against Russia as NATO, EU and G7 leaders condemned the invasion and vowed to hold Moscow accountable.
Here are the Highlights on the Russia-Ukraine crisis:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on soldiers in Russia's war on Ukraine to "return to their barracks" Friday.
"We must never give up. We must give peace another chance," he told reporters after Moscow vetoed a UN resolution condemning its "aggression" in Ukraine.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in the early hours of Saturday that Russian troops would attempt to take the capital city Kyiv during the night.
"I have to say absolutely openly. This night will be more difficult than the day. Many cities of our state are under attack," Zelensky said in a video address to the nation.
"Special attention on Kyiv -- we cannot lose the capital," he added in the clip released by the presidency.
India abstained on a US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution that condemned Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine and demanded "immediate, complete and unconditional" withdrawal of Russian forces from the neighbouring country.
The UN Security Council voted on Friday on the draft resolution sponsored by the US and Albania and supported by several other nations including Poland, Italy, Germany, Estonia, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
Russia, as expected, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Friday that "deplores in the strongest terms" the country's "aggression" against Ukraine.
Eleven of the council's 15 members voted for the motion, which was co-written by the United States and Albania. China, India and the UAE abstained.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday sanctions against Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over its invasion of Ukraine, and expressed support for barring Russia from SWIFT.
"We will be imposing sanctions on President Putin and his fellow architects of this barbaric war, his chief of staff and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov," Trudeau told a news conference.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Friday announced an immediate ban on Russian private jets from UK airspace in response to President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
"I've strengthened our ban in the UK so that no Russian private jet can fly in UK airspace, or touchdown -- effective immediately," Shapps tweeted.
"Putin's actions are unlawful and anyone benefitting from Russia's aggression in Ukraine is not welcome here," he said, having already banned national carrier Aeroflot.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said Friday Western sanctions against the country's president and top diplomat over its invasion of Ukraine showed Western "impotency" and warned relations were nearing a "point of no return."
The UK government on Friday ordered all assets of President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov frozen over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Treasury issued a financial sanctions notice against the two men, adding them to a list of Russian oligarchs who have already had their property and bank accounts in the UK frozen.
Artillery rounds were heard in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv on Friday evening, a Reuters witness said.
Another witness said that there was intense gunfire in western part of Kyiv.
Pope Francis in a Russian language tweet on Friday denounced the ills of conflict on the second day of a large-scale Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
The European Union has agreed to place Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on its list of sanctioned individuals following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday.
Ukrainian forces are putting up resistance and inflicting damage on Russia's invading military as it seeks to push deeper into the country, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Friday. "It is still a fluid situation. What we have seen is that the Ukrainian forces are fighting bravely and are actually able to inflict damage on the invading Russian forces," Stoltenberg said after a video summit of NATO leaders. (AFP)
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday the alliance is bolstering its defences with troops and air power on its eastern flank in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said allies had activated defence plans and "as a result ... are deploying elements of the NATO Response Force on land, at sea and in the air", including thousands more troops and over 100 jets put on high alert in 30 locations, he said.
Tens of thousands of people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion less than two days ago, the United Nations refugee chief said Friday. Already on Thursday, the UN refugee agency warned that some 100,000 people had been displaced inside the country, and on Friday it said large numbers were fleeing into neighbouring countries. "More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled their country in less than 48 hours -- a majority to Poland and Moldova," Filippo Grandi said in a tweet. (AFP)
Russia's media regulator said today it was limiting access to Facebook, accusing the US tech giant of censorship and of violating the rights of Russian citizens. "In accordance with a decision from the General Prosecutor with regard to the social network Facebook, from February 25, Roskomnadzor is adopting measures to partially restrict access," to Facebook, media regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement, without elaborating. (AFP)
Forty Indian students have managed to walk to the Ukraine-Poland border after they were dropped off by their college bus some 8 km from the border, news agency ANI reported. Read here.
Sviatoslav Yurash, a Ukraine MP, walks down the streets of Kyiv, an AK-47 rifle in his hands. "It is our capital, it is our country, it is our land, our people. I cannot just stand idly by as a mad dictator tries to destroy my nation." Watch here.
Russia fired on two foreign ships near the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi on Friday, Ukraine's infrastructure ministry said on its Facebook page. Russia fired on "Namura Queen" under Panama's flag and "Millennial Spirit" under Moldova's flag, the ministry said. The crew had been evacuated and taken to the Chernomorsk port by Ukrainian rescue service, it added. Ukraine has said it closed all its seaports due to war with Russia. (Reuters)
The first batch of evacuees from Ukraine reach Romania via Suceava border crossing.- Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) February 25, 2022
Our team at Suceava will now facilitate travel to Bucharest for their onward journey to India. pic.twitter.com/G8nz2jVHxD
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has launched a helpline number for the Indian students stranded in Ukraine after Russia launched a 'military operation'. "Many Indian students are stuck there due to the closure of airspace after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. For these students, who are to be helped through the Embassy of India, Om Birla has started 24-hour helpline that are 011-23014011 and 23014022 in situated in New Delhi and 0744-2505555 and 9414037200 situated in Kota Camp office," reads the official statement. (ANI)
The Council of Europe said today that it is suspending all representatives of Russia from participation in the pan-European rights body over Moscow's attack against Ukraine. Permanent representatives of its 47 member states "agreed to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Council of Europe," invoking Article 8 of its statute, the body said in a statement. (AFP)
The cargo ship Namura Queen was hit by a rocket off the shore of Ukraine in the Black Sea on Friday, causing a fire on board, a local shipping agent said. "According to the information of the traffic control and the service of the Harbor Master at 12:55 at anchorage point No. 358 a rocket hit the stern of the mv 'NAMURA QUEEN'," Ukrainian shipping agent Stark Shipping said. "The ship flying the flag of Panama was heading to the Pivdennyi port (ex. Yuzhny) to load grain ... There was a fire on the ship, the P&O STAR tug moved to the rescue. The situation is under control," it added. (Reuters)
Today afternoon more than 470 students will exit the Ukraine and enter Romania through the Porubne-Siret Border. We are moving Indians located at the border to neighbouring countries for onward evacuation. Efforts are underway to relocate Indians coming from the hinterland. pic.twitter.com/iLFTWHifpm- India in Ukraine (@IndiainUkraine) February 25, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin today said he is fighting "terrorists" and "neo-Nazis" in Ukraine, calling the Ukrainian authorities "gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis". He has also called on the Ukraine army to remove the leadership in Kyiv.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said today new sanctions against Russia would personally punish President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for their responsibility in Ukraine invasion. "They are responsible for the death of innocent people in Ukraine. They are responsible that the international system is trampled and we as Europeans do not accept that," Baerbock said as she arrived for talks in Brussels. (AFP)
The Telangana government today urged the Centre to arrange a special aircraft to bring back students from the state who are stranded in Ukraine and said it is ready to bear the full travel expenses of the evacuation. Telangana Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao made an appeal to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar regarding the plight of students from the state stuck in the eastern European country. (PTI)
There will be no Russian pavilion at the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering and a "handful" of Russian firms will be barred from it because of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the event's organizer said on Friday. The organizers of the Mobile World Congress condemned Moscow's actions, but have no plans to cancel or postpone the gathering scheduled between February 28 and March 3 in Barcelona, John Hoffman, the chief executive of event organizer GSMA, told Reuters. (Reuters)
Swedish climate and environment activist Greta Thunberg said on Twitter she was taking part in a protest on Friday outside the Russian embassy in Stockholm against its invasion of Ukraine. Thunberg, 19, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year, posted on Twitter a picture of her standing with other protesters holding a sign with "Stand With Ukraine" written on it, saying she was "outside the Russian embassy right now". (Reuters)
The European Union has agreed to freeze the assets of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the country's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov over Ukraine invasion, reported news agency AFP citing diplomats.
France has sent an elite police unit to Kyiv to bolster the safety of its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, a security source told news agency AFP on Friday. The team of eight, deployed since Wednesday at the embassy, is part of the GIGN, the French gendarmerie's elite tactical police force, the source said. They join the embassy's five permanent GIGN staff whose brief is to protect the embassy and its personnel against any threat. (AFP)
The Kremlin on Friday said President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Belarus's capital Minsk for talks with Ukraine, as Russian forces approach Kyiv on the second day of Moscow's invasion. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader was "ready" to send a high-level delegation "for talks with a Ukrainian delegation" to Minsk, the host city for previous peace talks and agreements. (AFP)
Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko said today the Ukraine capital "has entered into a defensive phase" as Russian troops brought the sounds of war to the city. "The city has gone into a defensive phase. Shots and explosions are ringing out in some neighbourhoods saboteurs have already entered Kyiv. The enemy wants to put the capital on its knees and destroy us," he told a news briefing. (Reuters)
Pope Francis met the Russian ambassador to the Holy See "to express his concern for the war" following the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine, the Vatican press office said today. Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, met Alexander Avdeev at the embassy in Rome and stayed for just over half an hour, the press office said. (AFP)
The Kremlin said today that Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine would cause problems but not insurmountable ones, with Russia set to widen its trade and economic ties with Asian nations. Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital today as Russian forces pressed their advance and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pleaded with the international community to do more, saying sanctions announced so far were not enough. (Reuters)
Russia said its first day of the Ukraine invasion had achieved all its goals and that it had destroyed 83 land-based Ukrainian targets. According to official reports, Russia had carried out 203 attacks on its western neighbour since the beginning of
China's President Xi Jinping said he supported solving the Ukraine crisis through talks in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, state media said Friday, after Moscow launched an invasion of its neighbour. In a readout of the call on state broadcaster CCTV, Xi pointed out that the "situation in eastern Ukraine has undergone rapid changes... (and) China supports Russia and Ukraine to resolve the issue through negotiation". (AFP)
Taiwan will join "democratic countries" in imposing sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, the government said today, with the world's largest contract chipmaker TSMC saying it would comply with all export control rules. The crisis is being watched closely in Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and which has faced increased military pressure from Beijing over the last two years. "We very harshly condemn such an act of invasion and will join democratic countries to jointly impose sanctions," Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters in Taipei without giving details. (Reuters)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today accused NATO and the European Union of failing to take a "determined stance" on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "NATO should have taken a more decisive step," Erdogan, whose country is a member of the NATO military alliance, told reporters. "The EU and other pro-Western (bodies) have failed to take a serious and determined stance at the moment. They are all providing Ukraine with plenty of advice." (AFP)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today spoke to Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar over the Ukraine situation and assured complete assistance from the state. He enquired about the repatriation process and also briefed the Union Minister on efforts put in by the state government in assisting the Centre. Mr Reddy has taken serious cognisance of the situation and instructed officials to coordinate with the MEA to provide the best possible help for the students and Indian nationals from Andhra Pradesh. (ANI)
EU Council President Charles Michel said today a fresh wave of sanctions was under preparation after Kyiv implored the European Union to hit Russia harder over its invasion of Ukraine. A further package of sanctions was "under urgent preparation", Michel said in a tweet, just hours after EU leaders approved measures that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said did not hit Moscow hard enough. (AFP)
Amid Russian military operations in Ukraine, the Indian Embassy in Kiev issued a fresh advisory informing stranded Indian citizens the government is working to evacuate them through Romania and Hungary. "Government of India and the Embassy of India are working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary. At present, teams are getting in place at the following checkpoints Chop-Zahony Hungarian Border near Uzhhorod Porubne-Siret Romanian Border near Chernivtsi," read the Embassy statement. (ANI)
Russian forces are approaching Kyiv from north and northeast, Ukraine's army said Friday, with rising fears the capital could fall on the second day of Moscow's offensive. The soldiers are trying to "bypass" the northern city of Chernigiv -- where they were "rebuffed" -- to attack Kyiv, the Ukrainian army said on Facebook. (AFP)
Kyiv authorities told residents of the north-western Obolon area on Friday to stay off the streets given "active hostilities" were approaching. "In connection with the approach of active hostilities, residents of Obolon district are asked not to go outside," city council said in an alert. (Reuters)
American actor AnnaLynne McCord's video appeal on social media to Russia to end the Ukraine strikes backfired after she bizarrely spoke about being Vladimir Putin's mother.
Videos of Indian students in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion show them asking for help to return home. Some students have not left their apartments, while others have moved to underground metro rail stations that could serve as bomb shelters.
Protesters turned out on public squares and outside Russian embassies in cities from Tokyo to Tel Aviv and New York on Thursday to denounce the invasion of Ukraine -- while more than a thousand who tried to do the same in Russia were arrested.
Ukrainian forces downed an enemy aircraft over Kyiv in the early hours of Friday, which then crashed into a residential building and set it on fire, said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister.
President Joe Biden on Thursday said that the United States will have consultations with India on the crisis in Ukraine following a military operation from Russia.
Two loud blasts were heard in the centre of Ukraine's capital Kyiv in the early hours of Friday morning, an AFP journalist said.
"Attacks on Kyiv with cruise and ballistic missiles have just resumed. I heard two powerful explosions," Ukrainian interior ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said on Telegram.
Russian and Ukrainian forces fought on Thursday for control of Chernobyl, the still radioactive site of the world's worst nuclear accident and a factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The government of Ukraine is asking for volunteers from the country's hacker underground to help protect critical infrastructure and conduct cyber spying missions against Russian troops, according two people involved in the project.
As Russian forces attacked cities across Ukraine, requests for volunteers began to appear on hacker forums on Thursday morning, as many residents fled the capital Kyiv.
"Ukrainian cybercommunity! It's time to get involved in the cyber defense of our country," the post read, asking hackers and cybersecurity experts to submit an application via Google docs, listing their specialties, such as malware development, and professional references. (Read full story here)
Russia said its first day of the Ukraine invasion had achieved all its goals and that it had destroyed 83 land-based Ukrainian targets. According to official reports, Russia had carried out 203 attacks on its western neighbour since the beginning of the day.
Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air in the biggest attack on a European state since the second World War.