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India closely monitoring rapidly changing situation in Ukraine, focus remains on safety of our citizens

New Delhi : India is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine, sources said on Thursday as the situation continues to escalate near the Ukrainian border after Russia launched its military operations in the Donbas region. "Focus is on safety and security of Indians, particularly students. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) control room is being expanded and made operational on a 24x7 basis," the sources added. Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in the Donbas region. Russian President Vladimir Putin said special military operations are being launched "to protect" the people in the Donbas region. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences". Meanwhile, Ukraine has introduced martial law, urging citizens to remain calm amid Russia's military operations.In a brief video address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed that he spoke with US President Biden and Washington has already started mobilizing international support. Moreover, Ukraine has closed the airspace for civilian aircraft "due to the high risk of aviation safety." The Indian embassy in Ukraine said the present situation in Ukraine is highly uncertain. "Please maintain calm and remain safe wherever you are, be it in your homes, hostels, accommodations or in transit." Expressing concern over ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, India on Thursday said that the situation is in danger of spiralling into a major crisis which may undermine the peace and security of the region. India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti reiterated India's call for immediate de-escalation of tensions. "The situation is in danger of spiralling into a major crisis. We express our deep concern over the developments, which if not handled carefully, may well undermine the peace and security of the region," he said.

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