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Ukraine crisis LIVE updates: Separatists start mass evacuation to Russia amid increase in shelling

A local resident stands by a hole on the wall inside of a kindergarten classroom, which, according to Ukraine's military officials, was damaged by shelling, in Stanytsia Luhanska, in the Luhansk region, Ukraine (REUTERS)Premium
A local resident stands by a hole on the wall inside of a kindergarten classroom, which, according to Ukraine's military officials, was damaged by shelling, in Stanytsia Luhanska, in the Luhansk region, Ukraine (REUTERS)

Russia denies any invasion plans but warned of ‘military-technical measures’ if its far-reaching demands for a US and NATO pullback from eastern Europe aren't satisfied.

The US ramped up warnings of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, with President Joe Biden saying a “false-flag" event may be underway and a top diplomat describing Moscow as moving toward an “imminent invasion."

 

Russian officials said no invasion of Ukraine was underway and none was planned. But the Kremlin said in an official response to the Biden administration’s proposed security assurances that the offers were unsatisfactory and Russia might have to resort to unspecified “military-technical measures."

18 Feb 2022, 06:37:12 PM IST

Russia has stationed nearly 1,90,000 troops near Ukraine: US

Russia's build-up of military personnel threatening Ukraine probably totals up to 1,90,000, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement to an OSCE meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Friday.

18 Feb 2022, 04:02:14 PM IST

Russia denies nuclear drills will inflame tensions further

The Kremlin today rejected the idea that Russia's nuclear exercises would further inflame tensions with the West, saying that military drills were part of a routine training process and were transparent. Russia announced the drills earlier and said they would take place on Saturday. The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin would likely oversee them from Russia's "situation centre" as they required the president to take part. 

18 Feb 2022, 04:01:17 PM IST

Russia to stage massive nuclear drills amid Ukraine standoff

The Russian military today announced massive drills of its strategic forces. The Defence Ministry said Russian President Vladimir Putin will personally oversee Saturday's exercise, which will involve multiple practice launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The ministry said it planned the maneuvers some time ago to check the readiness of Russia's military command and personnel, as well as the reliability of its nuclear and conventional weapons.

18 Feb 2022, 02:28:46 PM IST

Putin to oversee nuclear drills on Saturday amid tensions

President Vladimir Putin will oversee exercises by Russia's nuclear forces on Saturday involving the launch of ballistic and cruise missiles, the Interfax news agency cited the defence ministry as saying.

The exercises are set to take place at a time of soaring tensions between Russia and the West. A Russian military buildup near Ukraine has stoked fears that Moscow may attack its neighbour to the west. Russia denies any such plans

18 Feb 2022, 10:10:04 AM IST

Russian infantry units return from Crimea after drills

Several Russian mechanised infantry units have returned to their bases in the regions of Dagestan and Chechnya after completing drills in Crimea, the Interfax news agency cited Russia's defence ministry as saying on Friday.

18 Feb 2022, 09:35:09 AM IST

Lavrov Agrees to Meet Blinken

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken for talks in Europe next week, the State Department said Thursday night. That development occurred as tensions rose again over Moscow’s military buildup near Ukraine. Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden warned that the probability of an invasion of Ukraine is still “very high."

18 Feb 2022, 09:27:12 AM IST

Gold Price Pushes Above $1,900 as Ukraine Crisis Spurs Haven Demand

Gold dropped from an eight-month high after Russia agreed to meet with the U.S. for talks over the Ukraine standoff, easing some geopolitical concerns that had fueled demand for the haven asset.

Russia responded to an offer for a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Europe with proposed dates for late next week. The U.S. has accepted, “provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

18 Feb 2022, 09:26:23 AM IST

US challenges Russia to step back from Ukraine attack

The United States said Thursday that Russia is on the verge of unleashing a massive military attack against Ukraine, dismissing Moscow's claim to be pulling forces back, as artillery fire hit a Ukrainian kindergarten.

In a dramatic, previously unscheduled speech to the United Nations in New York, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said intelligence showed Moscow could order an assault on its neighbor in the "coming days."

18 Feb 2022, 09:26:23 AM IST

Blinken accepts invitation to meet Lavrov late next week if Russia does not invade Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has proposed dates for holding a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, late next week, who accepted it if Russia does not invade Ukraine, local media reported.

Taking to Twitter, State Department's Spokesperson Ned Price said that the Russians have responded with proposed dates for late next week, which we are accepting, provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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