Russia-Ukraine conflict: PM Modi reiterates need for dialogue to Putin
Speaking to Russia's President Vladimir Putin over the phone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as the former launched fresh strikes on it. The premiers followed up on their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan in September and reviewed various aspects of the bilateral relationship.
Why does this story matter?
- Russia and Ukraine have been at war with each other since February this year, which was predominantly triggered by a territorial dispute.
- The United States estimates over two lakh military casualties from both sides and nearly 40,000 civilian casualties in the war so far.
- Earlier, Modi said it was the turn of this era's leaders to take the path of peace and diplomacy.
2 dead, 5 injured including children
Meanwhile, Russia launched strikes across Ukraine on Friday, cutting off its water and electricity supplies in major cities. Two people were reportedly killed and five others sustained injuries including children, in Kryvyi Rig—President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's hometown. Following explosions, the mayor of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was reported saying that the metro was shut down to allow citizens to take shelter in underground stations.
Power supply hit as Russia targets infrastructure
Ukraine's Energy Minister German Galushchenko said emergency power outages will be caused due to another wave of Russian attacks on the energy infrastructure. With the grid taking a hit, the near Arctic country is braving sub-zero temperatures. The mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, said it had no power, along with the central cities of Poltava and Kremenchuk.
Water supply disrupted
The explosions disrupted the water supply in several central districts of Kyiv. The southern city of Kherson, which was recently recaptured by Ukraine, lost power following Russian shelling. The city has faced constant shelling since the retreat of Russian forces in November. In October, Russia reportedly suffered a series of battlefield defeats forcing Moscow's forces to fall back.
Russia blames Ukraine for the humanitarian impact
The Kremlin said the strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure are a response to the explosion of the Kerch bridge, connecting the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. The Kremlin also blamed Kyiv for the humanitarian impact as it refused to 'negotiations'.