Reside updates | EU targets Russian officers in new sanctions

BRUSSELS — The European Union says it has focused Russian navy officers linked to atrocities in Ukraine in its newest spherical of sanctions, together with prime brass accused of conflict crimes in Bucha and the siege of Mariupol.

The EU froze the property of 65 folks and imposed journey bans on them. The bloc has now focused nearly 1,160 folks, together with President Vladimir Putin, pro-Kremlin oligarchs and different prime officers over Russia’s actions in Ukraine since 2014.

The EU stated Friday that Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Colonel-Common Mikhail Mizintsev, generally known as the ‘Butcher of Mariupol,’ have been amongst these on the checklist.

It stated Omurbekov “was main the actions of his navy unit and nicknamed ‘the Butcher of Bucha’ as a result of his direct duty in killings, rapes and torture in Bucha,” on the outskirts of Kyiv.

It accused Mizintsev “of orchestrating the bombardments of the town of Mariupol, killing 1000’s of civilians, together with the shelling of a Mariupol maternity hospital and a theatre, killing tons of of youngsters.”

EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell stated “there will be no impunity for conflict crimes.”



— Lethal secret: Digital warfare shapes Russia-Ukraine conflict

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— At 100 days, Russia-Ukraine conflict by the numbers

— US and allies: Maintain Russia accountable for Ukraine crimes

— Russian Orthodox chief skips EU sanctions due to Hungary’s Orban


Observe AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at



CHISINAU, Moldova — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has paid an official go to to Moldova, which borders Ukraine, in a public present of help for the nation witnessing Russia’s ambitions within the area up shut and sheltering 1000’s of Ukrainian refugees.

Sánchez stated Spain would get up for Moldova’s territorial integrity, in a reference to Transnistria and Russia’s navy presence there.

Transnistria is a disputed, Russian-backed breakaway state that borders southwestern Ukraine. Professional-Russian forces broke it off from Moldova in 1992, and Russian troops have been stationed there ever since, ostensibly as peacekeepers.

Sánchez assured President Maia Sandu at a press convention Friday in Chisinau, the capital, that Moldova has Spain’s “resounding” help and “our dedication to solidarity with the Moldovan authorities and the Moldovan folks at a time of nice problem and worldwide political rigidity.”


KYIV, Ukraine — A regional governor in jap Ukraine says intense combating is continuous in a key city that has confronted a large Russian offensive.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai advised The Related Press that “fierce battles are persevering with in Sievierodonetsk,” the place about 13,000 residents left within the metropolis are sheltering in basements to flee relentless Russian bombardment.

Haidai stated Friday that the Russian forces have been additionally pummeling the close by metropolis of Lysychansk that has remained below Ukrainian management. Some 20,000 residents, or about one-fifth of Lysychansk’s pre-war inhabitants, have remained within the metropolis which has seen 60% of its residential buildings and civilian infrastructure shattered by the Russian shelling. Haidai stated a civilian was killed within the Russian shelling of Lysychansk on Friday.

He advised the AP that the Russians have been shelling a key freeway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, however that it remained below Ukrainian management.


LVIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian navy analyst says a Russian offensive in jap Ukraine has slowed down amid staunch Ukrainian resistance.

Mykola Sunhurovsky of the Razumkov Middle, a Kyiv-based think-tank, stated Friday that “the Russians are combating for each block and each avenue” within the jap metropolis of Lysychansk, including that “it has disadvantaged them of the initiative.” Lysychansk, the executive middle of the jap Luhansk area has turn out to be an area of fierce combating this week because it has confronted a large Russian assault.

Sunhurovsky charged that “the Russian offensive within the area has began to decelerate, they’ve misplaced too many forces and wish a tactical break.”

He famous that “time is working in Ukraine’s favor as provides of Western weapons are rising, making the Kremlin nervous,” however added that Western provides have taken time to succeed in Ukraine, forcing Kyiv to “drag out time within the east to build up forces for a counter-offensive.”


MOSCOW — The Kremlin says it’ll press on with its navy operations in Ukraine till its targets are met.

Requested how the Kremlin views progress in Ukraine 100 days into the conflict Friday, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated Russian troops have succeeded of their foremost job of defending civilians in areas on Ukraine’s east managed by Moscow-backed separatists.

Peskov stated that Russian forces have “liberated” many areas in Ukraine from the “pro-Nazi” Ukrainian navy and nationalist models, including that “this work will proceed till all of the targets of the particular navy operation are achieved.”

Talking throughout a convention name with reporters, Peskov was evasive when requested whether or not Russian authorities are planning to carry referendums in these areas to hitch Russia, saying that it’s going to depend upon how the state of affairs evolves. Peskov and different Russian officers have stated repeatedly that it will likely be as much as the residents of these areas to find out their standing.


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his nation will not cease its resistance towards the Russian invasion.

Zelensky on Friday issued a video message to mark 100 days of conflict. Surrounded by different prime officers, Zelenskyy appeared defiant.

“Our crew is way bigger,” says Zelenskyy. “The Ukrainian Armed Forces are right here. Most significantly, our individuals are right here.”

“We’ve defended Ukraine for 100 days already,” he provides.” Victory might be ours!”


BERLIN — The German authorities has rejected ideas by Russia that western sanctions and never Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine are responsible for the worldwide scarcity of grains.

A International Ministry spokeswoman advised reporters in Berlin Friday that “the hazard could be very massive that Russia will attempt, that President Putin will attempt to set up a story that it is the West that is answerable for the famine threatening Africa.”

“This can be a narrative that we need to strongly resist,” stated spokeswoman Andrea Sasse.

Responding to an AP query about Putin’s assembly with Senegal’s President Macky Sall in Sochi Friday, Sasse stated it was a reality that the specter of famine in elements of the world and that some international locations might be lower off from grain imports are “a results of the Russian conflict of assault and never the results of western sanctions.”

A spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Wolfgang Buechner, rejected what he referred to as Putin’s “anti-western propaganda” claiming that the West’s financial and monetary insurance policies in addition to “anti-Russian sanctions” are answerable for the issue.


ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s overseas ministry says a Croatian citizen has been wounded in Ukraine and might be transferred to Croatia.

Croatia’s state HRT tv says that the person was combating as a volunteer in Ukraine. The overseas ministry advised the station that the person is protected and receiving medical consideration.

No different particulars have been instantly accessible.

Final month, Croatian authorities stated that Russian troops detained a Croatian citizen who was combating alongside Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol.


MOSCOW — The Kremlin says that Ukrainian grain provides to world markets might be on the agenda for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talks with the chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Ukraine is likely one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil. Ukrainian authorities and their Western supporters have accused Russia of endangering world meals provides with a naval blockade of Ukraine’s ports. Russia has denied blocking the ports and stated Ukraine wanted to take away sea mines to permit protected transport.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated Putin plans to provide Sall a “detailed rationalization” of Russia’s view of the state of affairs and “clarify once more what is going on on there, who mined the ports, what is important to do to permit the grain circulate to renew.”

African international locations imported 44% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, in response to U.N. figures. Wheat costs have spiked 45% because of the war-related disruption of provides, in response to the African Improvement Financial institution.


ANKARA, Turkey — A Ukrainian ambassador says grain stolen from Ukraine has been offered in a number of international locations, together with Turkey.

Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, advised journalists in Ankara on Friday that his embassy was getting ready to begin felony proceedings towards people, firms and ships concerned within the sale of the stolen grain.

Turkish authorities and worldwide police company Interpol are helping, Bodnar stated.

“Anybody concerned within the sale of stolen items might be discovered and might be dropped at justice,” the ambassador stated.

Bodnar warned that firms conducting enterprise with Russia can be barred from collaborating in future tasks towards Ukraine’s redevelopment.

Turkey, which has shut ties to Ukraine and Russia, has criticized Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine however has refused to hitch sanctions towards Russia.


BRUSSELS — The European Union on Friday formally permitted an embargo on Russian oil and different sanctions focusing on main banks and broadcasters over Moscow’s conflict on Ukraine.

EU headquarters says Russian crude oil might be phased out over six months, and different refined petroleum merchandise over eight months.

It says that “a short lived exception is foreseen” for landlocked international locations – like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – that “endure from a selected dependence on Russian provides and don’t have any viable different choices.”

Bulgaria and Croatia can even get “non permanent derogations” for sure sorts of oil. EU leaders say the transfer implies that round 90% of Russia’s oil exports to Europe might be blocked by yr’s finish. The EU imports round 25% of its oil from Russia.

Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, plus Credit score Financial institution of Moscow, Russian Agriculture Financial institution and the Belarusian Financial institution for Improvement and Reconstruction have additionally been blocked from utilizing the SWIFT system for worldwide financial institution transfers.

Broadcasters Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 / Russia 24 and TV Centre Worldwide have been hit over allegations that they’re being utilized by Moscow “to govern data and promote disinformation in regards to the invasion of Ukraine.”


BERLIN, Germany — The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament has met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and attended a session of Germany’s parliament throughout a go to to Berlin.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, was greeted with a standing ovation as he was welcomed Friday by German counterpart Baerbel Bas.

Stefanchuk advised Germany’s Funke newspaper group forward of his assembly with the chancellor that he wished to ask Scholz to Kyiv to provide a speech to Ukrainian lawmakers.

Scholz hasn’t visited Ukraine because the conflict started, although Germany’s overseas and growth ministers have.


UNITED NATIONS — The US and its allies are vowing to carry Russia accountable for crimes dedicated by its forces since they invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya advised a U.N. Safety Council assembly on strengthening accountability and justice for critical violations of worldwide legislation that Russian forces have bombed maternity hospitals, practice stations, condo buildings and houses and killed civilians biking down the road.

Zeya stated on Thursday that america was working with its allies to help a broad vary of worldwide investigations into alleged conflict crimes dedicated in Ukraine.

Eire’s lawyer basic, Paul Gallagher stated Eire was one among 41 international locations that shortly referred the state of affairs within the nation to the Worldwide Prison Court docket.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, accused Western nations of “hypocrisy” for all of a sudden in search of worldwide felony justice over what Moscow calls its “particular navy operation” in Ukraine.


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated combating was brutal within the nation’s jap Donbas area however there was “some progress” within the metropolis of Sievierodonetsk, which Russian forces have been making an attempt to seize.

“It is the hardest there proper now. As within the cities and communities close by – Lysychansk, Bakhmut and others,” Zekenskyy stated late Thursday in his nightly video deal with to the nation. “There are numerous cities the place the Russian assault is highly effective.”

Zelenskyy stated Russian forces have been mobilizing folks from areas of the Donbas that have been already below the management of Moscow-backed separatists and sending them into battle within the first line of assault, with Russian troops coming in behind them.

“The longer the conflict goes on, the extra vile, shameful and cynical issues Russia is endlessly inscribing in its historical past,” he stated.

Zelenskyy stated he was grateful to america for agreeing to ship superior rocket methods.

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