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Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that a ban on Russian oil is the key to ending the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
More than 900 civilian bodies have been discovered in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital following the withdrawal of Russian forces — most of them fatally shot.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and top Ukrainian finance officials will visit Washington next week during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank
The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.
Here are the latest updates:
Blasts heard in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and western city of Lviv – local media
Explosions were heard in the early hours on Saturday in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and the western city of Lviv, local media reported.
Air raid sirens were going off over most of Ukraine early on Saturday.
There has been no official confirmation of the explosions.- Reuters
Zelensky: Russian oil ban key step to peace
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that existing sanctions on Russia are “painful” but not yet enough to stop the Russian military.
Zelensky called for “the democratic world” to ban Russian oil. While U.S. lawmakers and U.S. President Joe Biden have enacted such a ban, Europe relies more heavily on Russian energy supplies, and the U.S. has been working to keep India from stepping up its use of Russian energy.
“In general, the democratic world must accept that Russia’s money for energy resources is in fact money for the destruction of democracy,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address to his nation.
He also said: “The sooner the democratic world recognizes that the oil embargo against Russia and the complete blockade of its banking sector are necessary steps towards peace, the sooner the war will end.”- AP
Zelensky: Mariupol discussed with leaders
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he discussed the fate of the besieged port city of Mariupol in a meeting Friday with the country’s military leaders and the heads of its intelligence agencies.
“The details cannot be made public now, but we are doing everything we can to save our people,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation.- AP
Ukraine’s Zelensky: Between 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died in war
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday told CNN that between 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died so far in the war with Russia and another 10,000 have been injured.
There was no count of civilian casualties, he told CNN on Friday.
He said 19,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war, now in its eighth week. Moscow said last month that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded.- AP
Ukraine’s prime minister, finance officials to visit Washington next week
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and top Ukrainian finance officials will visit Washington next week during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, sources familiar with the plans said on Friday.
Shmyhal, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko are slated to meet bilaterally with finance officials from the Group of Seven countries and others, and take part in a roundtable on Ukraine to be hosted by the World Bank on Thursday, the sources said.- Reuters
Germany to provide over 1 billion euros’ military aid to Ukraine
The German government on Friday said it plans to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine, amid complaints by Kyiv it is not receiving heavy weapons from Berlin.
The funds will feature in a supplementary budget for this year.
In total, taking into account all countries, Berlin has decided to increase its international aid in the defence sector “to two billion euros” with “the largest part being planned in the form of military aid in favour of Ukraine”, a government spokeswoman told AFP.
This envelope of two billion euros “will go mainly to Ukraine”, Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed on Twitter.- AFP
Moscow says 18 members of EU mission must leave Russia
Moscow said Friday that 18 members of the EU mission in Russia had been told to leave the country and blamed Brussels for destroying ties.
“Eighteen employees of the EU Delegation to Russia have been declared ‘persona non grata’ and will have to leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
More than 900 civilian bodies found in Kyiv region, says Ukraine police
More than 900 civilian bodies have been discovered in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital following the withdrawal of Russian forces — most of them fatally shot, police said Friday, an indication that many people were “simply executed.”
The number of dead is double that announced by Ukrainian authorities almost two weeks ago.
Russia may be in default, says Moody’s
Moody’s said Russia may be in default because it tried to service its dollar bonds in roubles, which would be one of the starkest consequences to date of Moscow’s exclusion from the Western financial system since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
If Moscow is declared in default, it would mark Russia’s first major default on foreign bonds since the years following the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, though the Kremlin says the West is forcing a default by imposing crippling sanctions.