Russia-Ukraine News Live Updates: Russia’s economy set for biggest contraction since 1994

Russia-Ukraine War Live: Russia’s economy is on track to contract by more than 10% in 2022, the biggest fall in gross domestic product since the years following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Tuesday.

Russia is facing soaring inflation and capital flight while grappling with a possible debt default after the West imposed crippling sanctions to punish President Vladimir Putin for sending tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Russia’s economy and finance ministries are currently working on new forecasts, RIA state news agency quoted Kudrin, who now serves as head of the Audit Chamber, as saying.

“The official forecast would be for more than around a 10% contraction,” said Kudrin, who served as Putin’s finance minister from 2000 to 2011, according to RIA.

Previous Russian government forecasts envisaged gross domestic product growth of 3% this year after the economy expanded by 4.7% in 2021.

A source close to the Russian government who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that the economy ministry projects a GDP contraction of between 10% and 15% this year.

A contraction of 10% would amount to the biggest decline in gross domestic product since 1994, according to World Bank and International Monetary Fund data.

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Arjuna Ranatunga urges SL players to leave IPL

Former cricketer and minister Arjuna Ranatunga on Tuesday urged all the Sri Lankan players, who are playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), to come and stand in support of their country during the ongoing economic crisis. Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis with food and fuel scarcity affecting a large number of the people in the island nation. The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millions of Somalis at risk of famine

Millions of people in Somalia are at risk of famine, with young children the most vulnerable to the worsening drought in the troubled Horn of Africa nation, UN agencies warned on Tuesday. “Somalia is facing famine conditions as a perfect storm of poor rain, skyrocketing food prices and huge funding shortfalls leaves almost 40 percent of Somalis on the brink,” the agencies said in a statement.

As EU eyes stopping Russian gas imports, Israel sees an opening

As Europe aims to wean itself off Russian fossil fuel because of the Ukraine invasion, Israel hopes to help fill the gap with gas from its offshore reserves. EU states remain divided on the time scale, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the bloc hopes to phase out its dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027.

NATO official says up to Sweden, Finland if they want to join

NATO has not ruled out any possible new members and it is up to countries such as Sweden and Finland to decide if they want to join, the head of the alliance’s military committee said on Tuesday. “It is a sovereign decision of any nation that wants to join NATO to apply for membership, which they so far have not done,” Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer told reporters during a visit to Seoul. “We are forcing no one into NATO.”

Russian forces acting bravely and efficiently in Ukraine: Putin

Russian President Vladimir said on Tuesday that Russian forces carrying out Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine were acting bravely and efficiently and using the most modern weapons, TASS news agency reported. Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists. Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

The governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Goa failed in controlling and stopping the violence during the Ram Navami procession: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi

“This is clearly a state complicit violence & grave violation of the Geneva Convention. Under what law the govt of Madhya Pradesh has demolished houses of the Muslim community?. It clearly shows CM’s biased attitude towards Muslim minority,” said AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Russian-backed forces deny using chemical weapons in Mariupol

Russian-backed separatist forces did not use chemical weapons in their attempts to take full control of the city of Mariupol despite Ukrainian allegations to the contrary, Eduard Basurin, a separatist commander, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said earlier on Tuesday that Kyiv was checking unverified information that Russia may have used chemical weapons while besieging the southern Ukrainian port city.

Congress demands resignation of Karnataka minister Eshwarappa

“Bommai as a CM has failed to take any action against his minister KS Eshwarappa who should be dismissed from the cabinet…Eshwarappa responsible for Patil’s death (alleged suicide)..he must be arrested..Entire state knows Eshwarappa is a corrupt man,” said Ex Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.

Congress says Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa responsible for death of BJP worker Santosh Patil

“BJP worker Santosh Patil wasn’t spared after he levelled corruption charges against KS Eshwarappa…I’m told he named the minister in the suicide note.Eshwarappa must be arrested without delay, or else, we’ll have to gherao CM house & demand his resignation too,” said Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.

Japan concerned about possible nuclear arms use in Ukraine

“We are seriously concerned about the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference. “We, as a sole country that has suffered nuclear attacks during war, intends to keep on appealing firmly that any threat of the use of nuclear weapons, let alone their actual use, should never be allowed.”

Shanghai eases 2-week shutdown

The number of people who were allowed out wasn’t immediately clear. The government said some markets and pharmacies also would reopen.

Indian Oil removes Russian Urals from latest tender

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has excluded several high-sulphur crude grades, including Russian Urals, from its latest tender, trade sources said on Tuesday.India’s top refiner informed market participants that Das, Eugene Island, Thunder Horse and Urals crude were no longer on the list of grades under its latest tender, which closes on Tuesday, the sources said.

BJP sweeps UP Council polls

The BJP scored a massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council polls on Tuesday by winning 33 of the 36 seats where voting were held through local bodies. The Samajwadi Party suffered a humiliating defeat and could not win even a single seat. Three seats were won by independent candidates. The Jansatta Dal, floated by Raghuraj Pratap Singh a.k.a. Raja Bhaiyya, retained the Pratapgarh seat where Akshay Pratap Singh Gopalji was the candidate.

Tirupati stampede: Officials say situation is normal now

“There was a huge rush at three token counters in Tirupati. However, looking at the rush, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) decided to allow pilgrims directly into the compartments of Tirumala for darshan. The situation is normal now,” TTD PRO Ravi Kumar told ANI

Atleast Three injured in stampede in Tirupati

At least three people were injured in a stampede-like situation at the Tirumala shrine in Tirupati. A large crowd of pilgrims gathered at the ticket counter in the shrine to secure Sarvadarshan tickets, which led to the stampede-like situation.

Russia says it destroyed ammo depots in two Ukrainian regions

The Russian defence ministry said on Tuesday that its missiles had destroyed ammunition depots in Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi and Kyiv regions. The ministry said Russian forces had struck an ammunition depot and hangar at the Starokostiantyniv airbase in the Khmelnytskyi region, as well as an ammunition depot near Havrylivka north of the capital Kyiv.

Union Ministry of Education seeks report from JNU over unrest in the university campus on the occasion of Ram Navami

Russia revises forecasts, GDP to fall more than 10% in 2022

Russian economy and finance ministries are working on new forecasts that would project a contraction of gross domestic product this year of more than 10%, Alexei Kudrin, head of the Audit Chamber, said on Tuesday, RIA news agency reported.

The Russian economy is expected to encounter double-digit economic contraction and inflation this year after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24 and the west imposed unprecedented financial and economic sanctions against Russia.

Jharkhand High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of Deoghar ropeway incident, orders inquiry in the matter

The court will hear the matter on April 26. Before that, the state has to file a detailed inquiry report through an affidavit.

Need to focus on essential imports: Sri Lankan central bank governor

“We need to focus on essential imports and not have to worry about servicing external debt,” Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe said. “This will be on a temporary basis until we come to an agreement with creditors and with the support of a programme with the IMF,” said Weerasinghe, who took office last week amid growing public unrest triggered by the economic crisis.

Sri Lanka to temporarily suspend foreign debt payments: Central bank governor

“It has come to a point that making debt payments are challenging and impossible. The best action that can be taken is to restructure debt and avoid a hard default,” Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters. The governor said the action was being taken in good faith, emphasizing that the country of 22 million people had never defaulted on its debt payments.

Lanka defaults on external debts

The Sri Lankan govt has announced it would default on its $51 billion external debt pending a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The finance ministry said creditors, including foreign governments that had lent to the South Asian nation, were free to capitalise any interest payments due to them from Tuesday afternoon or opt for payback in Sri Lankan rupees.

The Sri Lankan govt in a press release said that it is suspending normal debt servicing of all affected debts for an interim period.

Sri Lanka suspends foreign debt payments

“It has come to a point that making debt payments are challenging and impossible. The best action that can be taken is to restructure debt and avoid a hard default,” Central Bank Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters.

Sri Lanka announces defaulting on all its external debt

EC seesks report on violence in Bengal during bypolls

Election Commission has sought an action taken report on Barabani violence in Asansol where BJP’s candidate Agnimitra Paul was gheraoed. Commission has also warned the BJP candidate to not enter polling booths with her Central security cover.

Tata Motors Says Group’s Global Wholesales At 334,884 In Q4: Reuters

Health Minister meets officials on new Covid variant

Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya chairs a review meeting with key experts and officials on new XE-variant of COVID-19. Directs officials to boost ongoing monitoring and surveillance of new variants and cases

Nokia to stop doing biz in Russia

“We just simply do not see any possibilities to continue in the country under the current circumstances,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark said in an interview. He added Nokia would continue to support customers during its exit, and it was not possible to say at this stage how long the withdrawal would take.

Nokia to exit the Russian market

Nokia said it will have no impact to its financial outlook. Russia accounts for less than 2 per cent of Nokia’s net sales in 2021. “We expect this decision to lead to a provision in Q1 of approximately EUR 100 mn which will impact our reported but not comparable financials,” said Nokia.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the hostel and education complex of Shri Annapurnadham Trust at Adalaj, Gujarat via video conferencing.

Supreme Court stays conviction of Congress leader Hardik Patel

Supreme Court stays conviction of Congress leader Hardik Patel until the appeals are decided, in rioting and arson during the Patidar quota stir, saying that concerned High Court should have stayed the conviction

IAF Chief warns against cyberattacks

“As the world becomes more interconnected, a cyberattack on our networks can cripple command & control systems,” warned IAF Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhari. “In the next war, the enemy might not be a country or an organisation, we may never know the perpetrators. Future warfare will be hybrid from computer viruses to ultrasonic missiles. Attacks can range from military standoff to information blackouts.”

Goa Congress leader arrested in extortion case

Goa Police Crime Branch on Monday, April 11, arrested Congress leader Dharmesh Saglani in an extortion case worth Rs 50 lakhs. He will be produced before the magistrate this afternoon.

Congress leader and former Union Minister Pawan Bansal appears at ED office for questioning in connection with National Herald corruption case

UK says fighting in eastern Ukraine to intensify over the next 2-3 weeks

Russian attacks remain focused on Ukrainian positions near Donetsk and Luhansk with further fighting around Kherson and Mykolaiv and a renewed push towards Kramatorsk, British military intelligence said. The report also said that Russian forces continue to withdraw from Belarus in order to redeploy in support of operations in eastern Ukraine.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and son Neil are untraceable: Maharashtra govt

As per Maharashtra Home department, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and his son Neil have been untraceable after a case was registered against them, in connection with alleged misappropriation of funds collected to save aircraft carrier INS Vikrant from scrapping

India’s Cumulative COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage exceeds 185.90 Cr

Tamil Nadu Minister Durai Murugan admitted to Apollo hospital for fever. CM MK Stalin met him today morning to enquire about his health.

Sensex tumbles over 470 points in early trade

The Sensex was trading 470.59 points lower at 58,493.98 in early trade. The Nifty declined 137.7 points to 17,537.25. From the 30-share pack, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra and Wipro were among the early laggards.

Violence breaks out in Asansol

TMC workers allegedly attacked BJP cadres. “TMC people attacked us, hurled stones at our convoy. Police doing nothing,” Agnimitra Paul, who is BJP candidate for the seat, has alleged.

Russia aims to take Mariupol

Russia is believed to be trying to connect occupied Crimea with Moscow-backed separatist territories Donetsk and Lugansk in Donbas, and has laid siege to the strategically located city, once home to more than 400,000 people. Ukrainian forces were “surrounded and blocked”, tweeted Myhaylo Podolyak, an official from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.

AAP leader & Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to meet President Ram Nath Kovind & Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu today

According to ANI, Mann will also meet Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in Delhi. He will hold a discussion over free electricity scheme with Delhi CM, today.

Rescue ops resume in Jharkhand

India has now 0.03 per cent active Covid cases

The active cases comprise 0.03 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate remained at 98.76 per cent, the Union Health ministry said. A reduction of 169 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded as 0.20 per cent and the weekly positivity rate was 0.24 per cent, according to the ministry. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,25,04, 329, while the case fatality rate was recorded as 1.21 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 85.90 crore.

Jharkhand Ropeway incident: Rescue operation underway

Ashwani Nayyar, rescue team in-charge, told ANI that the rescue operation is still underway. “By afternoon we’re expecting to rescue everyone with civilians in priority,” he added.

India reports 796 fresh cases, 946 recoveries, and 19 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Active COVID cases currently at 10,889

India successful test fires of Helina anti-tank guided missile

India today carried out a successful test firing of Helina anti-tank guided missile from the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter in high altitude areas of Ladakh. The missile was tested yesterday also in same area where it successfully hit a simulated tank target, DRDO officials were quoted as saying by news wire agency ANI.

Additional Solicitor General of India in Calcutta High Court sent his resignation letter to Union Law Minister Kiran Rijiju

Among many important cases, the Birbhum, Rampurhat incident was the last where he fought for CBI probe

Key aide of Nirav Modi deported to India

CBI has got deported from Egypt, Subhash Shankar Parab, a key accused in the Rs 7,000 crore Nirav Modi bank fraud case. Parab was the Deputy General Manager (Finance) in Firestar Diamond, officials said on Tuesday. Parab, who was allegedly hiding in Cairo, landed in Mumbai early on Tuesday after “deportation”. According to the officials, he was absconding ever since the case involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi came to light.

No rise in fuel prices today

Oil marketing companies have not increased fuel prices today. This is the sixth day in a row that OMCs have not increased petrol and diesel prices.

Subhash Shankar, who is close aide of Nirav Modi has been brought to Mumbai by CBI team from Cairo city of Egypt, in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam worth Rs 13,578 crores: ANI quoting CBI sources

Subhash Shankar, a key official of Nirav Modi’s company, “deported” to India from Cairo by CBI: PTI

There was no negativity in talks: Rajnath Singh on 2+2 talks with US

“As far as US is concerned, they responded positively on ‘Atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance). No negativity in its talks. I have appealed to them that their companies, equipment manufacturers are welcome in India,” Singh told ANI.

China reports 1,251 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases

Of the new local confirmed cases, 994 were reported in Shanghai, while 171 were reported in Jilin. Also, Hainan reported 21 cases, Guangdong reported 16, Jiangsu reported 14 and Zhejiang reported 11, Xinhua reported citing the commission’s report.

Polling begins for by-elections in West Bengal’s Asansol, Ballygunge

Polling began at 7 am on Tuesday for the by-election to the Asansol Lok Sabha seat and Ballygunge assembly segment in West Bengal amid tight security arrangements, an election official said. The by-elections were necessitated as Babul Supriyo resigned as the MP of Asansol after switching over to the TMC from the BJP, while state minister Subrata Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge, died last year.

Polling begins for Bochahan by-election in Bihar

A total of 2.90 lakh voters will decide the fates of 13 candidates, three of them women, in the by-election. By-poll to the seat was necessitated by the death of MLA Musafir Paswan, who had won on the ticket of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahani.

Covid wave in Germany

Germany reports 162,790 new Covid cases. Death toll jumps by 289

Australia’s Victoria state to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

The Australian state of Victoria said Tuesday that it will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and will hold all sporting events outside of its capital city of Melbourne. The state’s premier Daniel Andrews praised the Commonwealth Games for embracing Victoria’s pitch for the event, admitting that “it’s a bit riskier than just running it in the middle of a large city”.

US orders consular staff to leave Shanghai as COVID lockdown continues across much of China’s largest city

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