Missiles fired from Belarus on the fourth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- Delegations from Russia and Ukraine agree to meet after Putin put Russian nuclear forces on high alert.
- Iskander missiles were launched from Belarus to Ukraine.
- Ukrainian forces and Russian troops are fighting in the streets of Kharkiv, the regional governor said.
- An oil terminal and a gas pipeline set on fire as the Russian invasion enters the 4th day.
- SWIFT is preparing to comply with the restrictions imposed on Russian banks.
- What Do you have any questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Email [email protected]
Fighting in Ukraine continued on Sunday as the biggest assault on a European state since World War II entered its fourth day.
Ukrainian and Russian officials are to meet for talks at the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office announced on Sunday. The meeting comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert.
Missiles launched from Belarus hit an airport in Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine, on Sunday, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister said. Earlier in the day, an oil terminal and a gas pipeline were set on fire.
Ukrainian forces battled Russian troops on the streets of Kharkiv, a key northeast city of 1.4 million people not far from the Russian border.
“Russian enemy light vehicles broke into Kharkiv, including the city center,” Governor Oleh Sinegubov said. “Ukrainian Armed Forces are destroying the enemy. We ask civilians not to come out.”
Videos posted on Ukrainian media and social media showed Russian vehicles moving through Kharkiv and Russian troops roaming the city in small groups. One showed Ukrainian troops firing at the Russians and damaging abandoned Russian light utility vehicles nearby.
The footage highlighted the determined resistance Russian troops face when trying to enter major Ukrainian cities. Ukrainians volunteered en masse to help defend the capital of Kiev and other cities, taking weapons distributed by authorities and preparing firebombs to fight Russian forces.
Zelensky’s office said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv. The government warned that smoke from the huge blast could cause an “environmental disaster” and advised people to cover their windows with a damp cloth or gauze.
Oddly quiet Ukrainian capital
The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was eerily quiet after huge explosions lit up the morning sky and authorities reported blasts at one of the airports. Only the occasional car appeared on a deserted main boulevard as a strict 39-hour curfew kept people off the streets.
Instead, terrified residents hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian assault.
Russian missiles have found their mark, including a strike that set fire to an oil terminal in Vasylkiv, southwest of Kyiv, the city’s mayor said. The explosions sent huge flames and black smoke into the night sky, online posts showed.
“The enemy wants to destroy everything,” said Natalia Balasinovich.
Russian-backed separatists in the eastern province of Luhansk said a Ukrainian missile blew up an oil terminal in the town of Rovenky.
The Ukrainian government releases prisoners with military experience who want to fight for the country, an official from the prosecutor’s office, Andriy Sinyuk, told the Hromadske TV channel on Sunday. He did not say whether the ruling applied to prisoners convicted of all levels of crimes.
“We are fighting, we are fighting for our country, we are fighting for our freedom because we have the right to do so,” said Ukrainian Zelensky.
He also said on Twitter that Ukraine had filed a claim against Russia with the International Court of Justice.
“Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We demand an urgent decision ordering Russia to immediately cease all military activity and expect trials to begin next week,” Zelensky wrote.
Putin launched what he called a special military operation on Thursday, ignoring weeks of Western warnings and claiming that ‘neo-Nazis’ in power in Ukraine were threatening Russia’s security – a charge that Kiev and Western governments qualify as baseless propaganda.
“Financial Nuclear Weapon”
Leaders of the Group of Seven said on Sunday that Western allies had decided to cut “certain Russian banks” from the SWIFT global interbank communication system.
The statement, in a joint statement issued by the French presidency, did not specify which Russian banks would be affected. He added that a transatlantic task force would soon be set up to coordinate sanctions against Russia.
After initially hesitating such a move largely due to concerns over the impact on their economies, the allies said they had pledged to “ensure that certain Russian banks are taken out of the system.” SWIFT messaging system”.
They did not name which banks would be expelled, but an EU diplomat said around 70% of the Russian banking market would be affected.
The decision – which France’s finance minister had called a “financial nuclear weapon” because of the damage it would inflict on the Russian economy – is a blow to Russian trade and makes it harder for its companies to do business.
SWIFT, a secure messaging network that facilitates fast cross-border payments, said it was preparing to implement the measures.
Sanctions against Russia’s central bank could limit Putin’s use of its more than US$630 billion in international reserves, widely seen as protecting Russia from some economic harm.
Google has banned Russian state-run media RT and other channels from receiving money for ads on their websites, apps and YouTube videos, similar to a move by Facebook.
Earlier, the Kremlin said its troops were again advancing “in all directions” after Putin ordered a pause on Friday. The Ukrainian government said there was no break.
The Netherlands, Austria and Italy have joined a growing list of European countries in closing their airspace to all Russian planes.
“There is no place in Dutch airspace for a regime that applies unnecessary and brutal violence,” Mark Harbers said on Twitter.
Death toll rises
A Ukrainian presidential adviser said around 3,500 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured. Western officials said intelligence showed Russia was suffering higher losses than expected.
Russia has not released casualty figures and it has been impossible to verify the tolls or the precise picture on the ground.
A United Nations relief agency said on Saturday night at least 64 civilians were killed among 240 civilian casualties, more than 160,000 people were internally displaced and more than 116,000 fled to neighboring countries. .
Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million people, gained independence from Moscow in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union and wants to join NATO and the EU, goals which Russia opposes.
Putin has said he must eliminate what he calls a serious threat to his country from his smaller neighbor, accusing him of genocide against Russia’s eastern Ukraine – which Kiev and its Western allies reject as a lying.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday announced US$54 million in new humanitarian aid for Ukrainians affected by the invasion, in addition to the US$350 million sent by the United States last week.
“This includes the provision of food, clean water, shelter, emergency healthcare, overwintering and protection,” Blinken said in a statement.
The Canadian government has said it will match Canadian donations to the Red Cross for Ukraine, up to a maximum of C$10 million. Ottawa said the matching donations are in addition to the $50 million in funding for Ukraine for development and humanitarian assistance, and the $620 million in recently announced sovereign loans Canada provided to the country. ‘Ukraine.