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Russia’s isolation deepens as Ukraine resists invasion

Ukrainian service members are seen at a checkpoint in Zhytomyr
Ukrainian military members are seen after Russia launched a major military operation against Ukraine, at a checkpoint in the city of Zhytomyr, Ukraine February 27, 2022. REUTERS / Viacheslav Ratynskyi

February 28, 2022

By Maria Tsvetkova

KYIV/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s economic and political isolation deepened on Monday as its forces faced stiff resistance in the Ukrainian capital and other cities in the conflict. The largest attack on a European country since World War II.

President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday in the face of a barrage of Western-led retaliation for his war in Ukraine, which claimed that This force repelled attempts by Russian ground forces to capture urban centers.

Explosions were heard before dawn on Monday in the capital Kyiv, breaking a few hours of silence and in the large city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s Special Information and Communications Service said.

Ukraine says talks with Moscow without preconditions will be held at the Belarus-Ukraine border. Russian news agency Tass cited an unnamed source as saying negotiations would begin on Monday morning.

US President Joe Biden will chair a call with allies and partners on Monday to coordinate a unified response, the White House said.

The United States says Putin is escalating the war with “dangerous rhetoric” about Russia’s nuclear posture, as Russian forces prepare to besiege major cities in the democratic country of some 44 million people. this.

As the rockets rained down, nearly 400,000 civilians, mostly women and children, fled to neighboring countries, a United Nations aid agency said.

So far, Russia has fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets, some hitting civilian infrastructure, a senior US defense official said.

“They seem to be adopting a siege mentality, which any student of military tactics and strategy will tell you, when you apply encirclement, it increases the likelihood of loss. property damage,” said the unnamed official.

He cited Russia’s attack on the city of Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, where Ukrainian authorities said a residential building caught fire after being hit by rockets early Monday.

The missile also hit another northern city, said Zhytomyr, command of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson by phone on Sunday that the next 24 hours will be critical for Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

So far, the Russian offensive has failed to achieve any major victories. Russia has not occupied any Ukrainian cities, has no control over Ukrainian airspace and its troops remained about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Kyiv’s city center for a second day, the official said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is aimed not at occupying territory but aimed at destroying its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and capturing what it considers to be threats. dangerous nationalist.

Unnecessary TYPES of Sanctions

The Western-led political, strategic, economic and corporate sanctions are unprecedented in their magnitude and coordination, and there have been additional pledges of military support to the armed forces. Ukraine’s poor disarming equipment.

The ruble fell nearly 30% to an all-time low against the dollar, after Western nations on Saturday announced harsh sanctions including blocking some banks from the payment system. SWIFT international math.

The European Central Bank says some of Sberbank Russia’s European subsidiaries, owned by the Russian government, have failed or are likely to fail due to the reputation of the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s central bank has tried to manage the mounting consequences of sanctions, saying it will continue to buy gold on the domestic market, launch an open-ended repurchase auction and reduce the costs restrictions on banks’ open foreign currency positions.

Japan says it has been asked to participate in measures to keep Russia out of SWIFT and is also considering imposing sanctions on certain individuals in Belarus, a major staging area for the invasion. Russian strategy.

A referendum in Belarus on Sunday approved a new constitution that renounces the country’s denuclearization status.

The European Union on Sunday decided for the first time in its history to supply arms to a country at war, pledging to supply Ukraine with weapons including fighter jets.

Germany, which has planned to freeze an undersea gas pipeline from Russia, has said it will massively increase defense spending, removing decades of hesitation in commensurate with economic power. military.

EU Executive Director Ursula von der Leyen expressed support for Ukraine’s membership in an interview with Euronews, saying “they are one of us”.

The European Union has shut all Russian planes out of its airspace, as well as Canada, forcing Russian airline Aeroflot to cancel all flights to European destinations until further notice. new. The United States and France urge their citizens to consider leaving Russia immediately.

The EU also banned Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik.

Corporate giants have also taken action, with British oil major BP BP, the largest foreign investor in Russia, saying it will give up its stake in state oil company Rosneft at a cost of up to $25 billion.

In New York, the United Nations Security Council convened a rare emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, or all 193 member states of the United Nations, on Monday.

Follow the OVD-Info protests that have been held around the world against the invasion, including in Russia, where nearly 6,000 people have been detained in anti-war protests since Thursday. Five, follow the rally of OVD-Info.

Tens of thousands of people across Europe marched in protest, including more than 100,000 in Berlin.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, Aleksandar Vasovic in Kyiv; Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams in Lviv; Alan Charlish in Medyka, Poland; Fedja Grulovic in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania; and other Reuters offices including Moscow; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Stephen Coates; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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Bobby Allyn

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