March 18, 2022
KYIV / LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Japan and Australia on Friday imposed new sanctions on Russians as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine, which the West says has been halted by strong resistance but continues to take devastating tolls on civilians.
Western sources and Ukrainian officials said the Russian offensive had slowed down since their troops invaded on February 24, furthering their expectations of a speedy victory and the ouster of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government.
Russia has relied heavily on missiles and shootings to seize Ukraine’s army but has yet to secure any of its 10 largest cities.
At least three explosions were heard in the western city of Lviv on Friday morning, the Ukraine 24 television station reported, posting a short video showing mushroom-like smoke rising from the horizon.
Despite the shocks on the battlefield and sanctions by the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little sign of giving up.
His government says it trusts China to help Russia withstand economic shocks.
The United States, which this week announced $ 800 million in new military aid to Kyiv, is concerned that the Chinese “are considering assisting Russia directly with military equipment for use in Ukraine,” said Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State.
President Joe Biden, who described Putin as a “murderous dictator”, will make it clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call on Friday that China “will be responsible for any action it takes to support Russia’s aggression,” Blinken told reporters. .
The couple is due to speak at 9 a.m. Eastern Time (1300 GMT), the White House said.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine or call them an invasion. It says it recognizes Ukraine’s sovereignty but that Russia has legitimate security concerns that should be addressed.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry official met with Russia’s ambassador to China this week to exchange views on the fight against terrorism and security cooperation, the ministry said in a statement.
SIDE FAR apart
Japan and Australia have announced separate sanctions against Russian individuals and institutions, including two oligarchs linked to Australia’s mining industry, as well as Russia’s state – owned arms exporter, finance ministry and central bank.
The UN Human Rights Office in Geneva said it had recorded 2,032 civilian casualties in Ukraine – 780 dead and 1,252 injured.
About 3.2 million civilians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations.
The fourth day in a row of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators took place on Thursday with a video link, but the Kremlin said an agreement had not yet been reached.
Kyiv and its Western allies say Russia has begun the war to conquer a neighboring state that Putin calls a pseudo-state. Russia says it is carrying out a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine.
EXCAVE FOR THE REMAINER
Rescuers in Mariupol, a port city in the south of the country, buried those who survived the ruins of a theater that officials said had been bombed on Wednesday when civilians took refuge there from bombings. Russia denies hitting the theater.
Mariupol has suffered the worst humanitarian accidents of the war, with hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in basements without food, water or electricity. City officials say they can not estimate the number of deaths from the theater.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the allegations that Russia had blown up the theater were false.
The northeastern and northwestern suburbs of Kyiv have been badly damaged, but the capital itself has been razed to the ground, subject to curfews and deadly rocket attacks at night.
A building in the Darnytsky district of Kyiv was badly damaged on Thursday. While residents were cleaning glass, a man knelt crying next to the body of a woman covered in bloody sheets.
Viacheslav Chaus, the region’s governor with a center in the front line of the northern city of Chernihiv, said on Thursday that 53 civilians had been killed there in the past 24 hours. The duty could not be confirmed independently.
One of those killed in Chernihiv was a US citizen, Jimmy Hill, who was shot dead while waiting in line, his family said.
“His body was found on the street,” his sister wrote on Facebook.
(Reports from Reuters offices; Writing by Rami Ayyub and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Richard Pullin)
Russian sanctions on Ukraine grow, Biden talks with Xi
Source link Russian sanctions on Ukraine grow, Biden talks with Xi