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Ukraine Crisis

Putin’s daughters & Russia’s elite – latest targets of harsh U.S. sanctions

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The United States is ramping up its sanctions against Russia’s elite and financial institutions, even targeting Vladimir Putin’s daughters

These new measures are in response to what Joe Biden has labelled “major war crimes” committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Russia’s  Sberbank is one of the victims, with the financial organisation holding one-third of Russia’s total banking assets.

The country’s fourth largest financial institution, AlfaBank, Putin’s two adult daughters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s family as well as senior members of Russia’s security council have also all been targeted.

It follows Putin’s recent attack of the Ukrainian city of Bucha, near the capital of Kyiv, where distressing images of bodies lying bloodied and lifeless have left much of the world speechless.

Civilians were found shot at close range and Biden says “responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable”.

Why the U.S is targeting Russia’s elite

According to the US president, the economic costs of this war are only going to continue to increase, as more and more sanctions are imposed by the West.

With Kyiv remaining under Ukrainian control, Biden says the United States will continue to stand with the nation in their fight for freedom.

In addition to increasing economic sanctions, the US will also provide additional security assistance valued at up to $100 million.

The package has been designed to meet the current Ukrainian need for so-called Javelin anti-armour systems.

Nato foreign ministers are also meeting for two days of high-stakes talks, discussing how best to support Ukraine as the war continues.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the recent atrocities committed in Bucha are a clear demonstration of the true, brutal nature of Putin’s invasion.

He believes the war is now entering a critical phase and with no indication Putin is willing to change his mind and withdraw, the world must be prepared for the long-haul.

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia

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Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.

In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.

Protests engulf major Russia cities

In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.

Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.

As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.

The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.

In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.

Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.

In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.

In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.

“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.

Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.

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Ukraine Crisis

U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future

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U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch

The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.

Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.

Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.

“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.

When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.

Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.

This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
fighter jets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.

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Ukraine Crisis

Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine

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A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.

The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.

Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.

The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”

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