According to Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko, dozens of civilians were murdered in rocket attacks by Russian forces on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Monday morning. "Kharkiv has just been heavily shelled by grads" (rockets). "Dozens of people have died, and hundreds have been injured," he wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, discussions between Ukraine and Russia have begun near the Belarussian border, according to Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak, who told Reuters via text message on Monday. Earlier, the Ukrainian president's administration stated that the goal of the negotiations was to achieve a quick ceasefire and the evacuation of Russian military from Ukraine.
According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at least 102 people, including seven children, have perished in Ukraine since the Russian incursion began. In addition, 304 people have been hurt. She did, however, warn that the true figure could be "considerably higher."
In other news, following a high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has decided to dispatch Union Ministers Hardeep Puri, JyotiradityaScindia, Kiren Rijiju, and Gen VK Singh to Ukraine's neighbouring countries to coordinate the evacuation mission and assist students, according to government sources. While sanctions are being imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine, the sports world is sending a strong message by boycotting events and competitions in the country. The International Olympic Committee suggested on Monday that Russia's athletes and teams be barred from participating in global sporting events.
In order to keep the country secure, Hungary will not send troops or weapons to Ukraine, nor will it allow dangerous weapons to pass its territory, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday during a visit to Kosovo.
"The reason for this decision is that such deliveries could become targets of hostile military attack, and we have to safeguard the security of Hungary... that we do not become involved in that war," Szijjarto said after meeting with Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla.
Russia has closed its airspace to carriers from 36 countries, including Europe and Canada, in response to their decision to close their own airspaces to all Russian planes.
The measure, announced by the state aviation agency on Monday, follows a weekend decision by the EU and Canada to block their skies to Russian flights in retaliation to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
In harsh punishment for Ukraine's invasion, the US cuts off Russia's central bank and sanctions the state investment fund.
On Monday, numerous Russian media outlets' websites were hacked, and a statement criticising Moscow's invasion of Ukraine appeared on their home pages.
Due to the conflict in Ukraine, the State Department has closed the US Embassy in Belarus and is allowing non-essential workers at the US Embassy in Russia to leave the country.
In a statement issued on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the suspension of operations at the Minsk embassy as well as the permitted departure from Moscow.
"We took these steps in response to security and safety concerns raised by Russia's aggressive and unlawful invasion in Ukraine," he added. "Discussed the Ukraine situation with @RauZbigniew of Poland," said MEA Jaishankar. Appreciate Poland's assistance in getting Indian students out of Ukraine. His words of encouragement in that area are greatly appreciated."
Senior EU and French officials indicated that the EU is planning to allow Ukrainians fleeing the war the ability to stay and work in the 27-nation union for up to three years, thanking volunteers at the crossings for assisting those who arrive.
According to them, at least 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have already entered the EU, and the bloc must prepare for millions more. Ukraine shares land borders with EU members Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. According to Filippo Grandi, the chief of the United Nations refugee agency, more than half a million refugees have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries.
Russian forces took two minor cities in southern Ukraine, as well as the territory around a nuclear power plant, according to Interfax, but met stout resistance elsewhere as Moscow's diplomatic and economic isolation intensified.
After four days of battle and a slower-than-expected Russian advance, a Ukrainian delegation arrived at the border with Russian ally Belarus for ceasefire talks with Russian representatives, according to the Ukrainian presidency. It was unclear whether or not any progress could be made.
President Vladimir Putin launched the largest attack on a European state since World War II on Thursday, and Russia's nuclear deterrent was placed on high alert on Sunday in response to a barrage of Western-led retaliation.
Blasts were heard early Monday in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, and Kharkiv, a significant eastern city, according to Ukrainian police. Russian ground forces, on the other hand, were rebuffed in their attempts to take major cities. The towns of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in Ukraine's southeastern Zaporizhzhya region, as well as the territory around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power station, were taken over by Russian soldiers, according to Russia's defence ministry. The plant's activities were unaffected, according to the statement.
The drive by the United States and its allies to increase economic pressure on Russia is also beginning to have fruit.
Russia's central bank stated that it would more than double its benchmark interest rate to 20% since the Russian economy has "dramatically transformed."
On the Moscow Stock Exchange, the ruble's value continued to fall versus the dollar and the euro. In addition, the European Central Bank warned that the European unit of Russia's state-owned Sberbank was on the verge of insolvency. Sanctions, particularly those targeting Putin personally, have been dismissed by the Kremlin as evidence of Western impotence.
With hundreds of Indian students stranded at the Ukraine-Poland border in subzero conditions, the administration announced on Sunday that it has found an alternate rail route from Uzhhorod, a city in western Ukraine, to Budapest, Hungary's capital.
"It's not an organised situation, it's a conflict zone," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, acknowledging that evacuation of Indians through the Poland border has emerged as a "problem area," with lakhs of people, including Ukrainian citizens and other foreign nationals, choosing that route to safety. Many of our clients have been there a long time and are in a desperate situation. We completely understand their situation and have been working around the clock to see what options we can offer.Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe and Canada announced that they would block their airspace to Russian planes, putting pressure on the US to do the same.
According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union would close its airspace to planes owned, registered, or controlled by Russians, including "private jets of oligarchs."
Meanwhile, Canada's transport minister, Omar Alghabra, announced that his country would close its airspace to all Russian flights in order to hold Russia accountable for an unjustified strike on its neighbour.
The European Union's response came after many of its member countries stated they would either ban Russian jets or would do so by Sunday night.