For 6th time, India abstains from UN vote on Ukraine issue: Key developments | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


NEW DELHI: Three IAF aircraft carrying 629 Indians from Ukraine’s neighbouring countries landed at the Hindon air base here on Saturday morning, the air force said.
The IAF has so far flown 10 flights to bring back 2056 passengers, while taking 26 tonnes of relief load to these countries, as part of Operation Ganga
Another 229 Indians arrived in Delhi on a special IndiGo flight from Romania on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile Russia has clamped down on media coverage of its invasion in Ukraine, passing a law that provides for upto 15 years in jail for reporting “fake news,” following which several international news outlets scaled down or halted their Russian operation. The Putin administration has also slapped a ban on social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are the latest developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict over the past hours:
Govt in talks for ‘local ceasefire’ to evacuate Indians from Kharkiv
About 1,000 Indian students still remained in the conflict zone – 300 in Kharkiv and over 700 in Sumy – as India’s Operation Ganga entered a decisive stage.
The government said it didn’t want the stranded students exposed to continued shelling in the area and was in touch with both Russia and Ukraine for a “local ceasefire’’ that could allow the Indian nationals to exit eastern Ukraine.
Evacuation through Belgorod in Russia, as proposed by Russian authorities, is yet to materialise as reaching the town through 50-60 of conflict zone is a challenge. 130 buses to evacuate Indian students are said to be stationed in Bolgorad.
“While it’s a good step, the key step of taking the students to the buses through a conflict zone is missing. We are in touch with both Russia and Ukraine for a local ceasefire to facilitate evacuation,’’ said an MEA official.
The Indian embassy in Ukraine said it is in discussions to identifiy exit routes from Sumy, another town in Russian-held territory, with all interlocuters including Red Cross. Control room will continue to be active until all Indian citizens are evacuated, it further stated.
Russia bans Facebook, Twitter; clamps down on war coverage
Russia intensified a crackdown on media outlets and individuals who fail to hew to the Kremlin line on the war in Ukraine, blocking Facebook and Twitter and signing into law a bill that criminalizes the intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be “fake” reports.
The moves against the social media giants on Friday follow blocks imposed on the BBC, the US government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and Latvia-based website Meduza.
The government’s sweeping action against the foreign outlets that publish news in Russian seeks to establish even tighter controls over what information the domestic audience sees about the invasion of Ukraine.
In response, multiple outlets said they would pause their work inside Russia to evaluate the situation. Among them, CNN said it would stop broadcasting in Russia while Bloomberg and the BBC said they would temporarily suspend the work of their journalists there.
India abstains from UNHRC voting
India’s “consistent’’ position on Ukraine saw it abstaining from voting on a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution for a probe into alleged human rights violations by Russian forces during their ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
This is the sixth time that India has abstained from a Ukraine-related vote.
India was among the 13 countries which abstained along with China and Pakistan. All three countries are yet to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The resolution was adopted by the 47-member UNHRC with 32 votes in favour.
‘Cyberattack’ knocks thousands offline in Europe
Thousands of internet users across Europe have been thrown offline after what sources said Friday was a likely cyberattack at the beginning of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
According to Orange, nearly 9,000 subscribers of a satellite internet service provided by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are without internet following a “cyber event” on February 24 at Viasat, a US satellite operator of which it is a client.
Eutelsat, the parent company of the bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed to AFP on Friday that around one-third of bigblu’s 40,000 subscribers in Europe, in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Poland, were affected by the outage on Viasat.
Cybersecurity companies have observed attacks in Ukraine that deploy a new data-destroying virus, the actual effects of which are not yet known.


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