Left alone, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 people including 10 military officers have been killed and 316 others injured after Russia declared war.
The dead included all border guards on the Zmiinyi Island in the Odesa region, which was taken over by Russians. Zelenskyy said Kyiv was ‘left alone’ to fight Moscow.
Ukraine said it lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site, the site of the 1986 disaster.
A senior official wrote on Facebook that the staff at the Chernobyl plant had been “taken hostage” when Russian troops seized the facility, a move the US termed “incredibly alarming and greatly concerning”.
A senior US defense official said Russia may seize Kyiv, the capital, and other key cities to install a more friendly government.
US and its allies said they will block the assets of four large Russian banks, impose export controls, and sanction oligarchs. NATO’s eastern flank, especially the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, all have received the first batches of US military troops and equipment.
China, meanwhile, continues its support of the Kremlin with its customs agency approving imports of wheat from all regions of Russia, a move that could help to reduce the impact of possible Western sanctions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Russian President Vladimir Putin and “appealed for an immediate cessation of violence”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephonic conversation with India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and stressed the importance of a strong collective response to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an official spokesperson said.
Blinken spoke with Jaishankar to discuss Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout of the call on Thursday.
The call between the two leaders happened soon after a White House news conference by President Joe Biden during which he said his administration is going to have consultations with India on the Ukrainian crisis. It is understood that India and the United States are not on the same page on the Ukrainian crisis.