[web_stories title="false" excerpt="false" author="false" date="false" archive_link="true" archive_link_label="" circle_size="150" sharp_corners="false" image_alignment="left" number_of_columns="1" number_of_stories="5" order="DESC" orderby="post_title" view="circles" /]
70 Ukrainian servicemen were killed by Russian shelling at a military base, according to an official, and the United States has expelled Russian ambassadors.
Russian fire struck a military post in Okhtyrka, a city located between Kharkiv and Kyiv, killing more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers, according to the regional governor.
Photographs of the burned remains of a four-story structure and rescuers combing the wreckage were provided by Dmytro Zhyvytskyy on Instagram. Later, he wrote on Facebook that the combat on Sunday claimed the lives of numerous Russian soldiers as well as local citizens. An rapid confirmation of the information was not possible.
A 40-mile convoy of Russian tanks and other military vehicles blasted Ukraine’s second-largest city earlier today, causing extensive damage to a residential area as they closed in on the capital, Kyiv.
As negotiations to put an end to the conflict came to a stalemate, the combat went on. It was claimed by the country’s embattled president that the increased shelling was an attempt to coerce him into making a deal.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday that “I believe Russia is trying to exert pressure (on Ukraine) with this simple way.” He didn’t go into detail about the lengthy discussions that had taken place earlier, but he did say that Kyiv was unable to make concessions “while one side is attacking each other with rocket artillery.”
Countries tightened the pressure on Moscow’s economy Monday, imposing new sanctions against its central bank and people as Russian forces advanced and met fierce resistance from Ukrainian soldiers. Even Switzerland, which had previously maintained a neutral attitude, is now siding with the EU.
TRACK THE INVASION: Observations from space, video surveillance, and social media posts provide the most recent information on the conflict in the Ukrainian
RUSSIA’S RICHEST TARGETED: Biden blasts yacht-riding elites with sanctions. Is it going to be of any use?
Table of Contents
Mastercard blocks financial institutions over sanctions on Russia
Mastercard announced Monday it was barring “several financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network” as a result of sanctions placed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S.-based financial services company said in a statement it will continue to work with regulators to stay in compliance and is actively monitoring and ready to respond to cyberattacks.
The U.S. and EU have sanctioned top Kremin officials and Russian elites as well as taken efforts to remove Russian banks from the SWIFT network, which enables for payments between financial institutions.
The banking giant also stated it would provide $2 million towards humanitarian support.
United States expels Russian diplomats from U.N. headquarters
The United States is expelling 12 Russian diplomats stationed at the United Nations headquarters in New York. for engaging in “espionage activities” that damage U.S. national security.
Olivia Dalton, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the UN, said the U.S. action has been in the works for “several months.”
It’s unclear exactly what she meant when she said that 12 people had “abused their privileges of residency in the United States” by allegedly spying on Americans for the Russians.
Australia commits $50 million in support for Ukraine
Australia will give Ukraine with $50 million in missiles, ammunition, and other military gear to battle Russian invaders.
PM Scott Morrison commented on Australia’s plans after revealing a day earlier that his government would send Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with lethal military weaponry. On Tuesday, he elaborated more. Morrison promised only non-lethal military equipment last week.
“President Zelenskyy responded: ‘Don’t give me a ride, give me ammunition,’ and that’s exactly what the Australian government has decided to do,” Morrison said.
Australia had pledged $50 million to give both lethal and non-lethal defense help for Ukraine through NATO, he said. “The overwhelming majority of that … will be in the fatal category,” Morrison added.
Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. halt the release of films in Russia
The Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros. are joining the list of firms retaliating against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Disney is postponing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming “Turning Red” from Pixar, in response to the attack, the company said in a statement Monday.
We will base future business decisions on the unfolding scenario, according to the statement.
As part of its humanitarian efforts, the firm says it is collaborating with non-governmental organizations to assist refugees.
Warner Bros. has postponed the Russian release of The Batman. The film featuring Robert Pattinson had been slated to open in Russia on Thursday.
Warner Bros. said in a statement that it will “continue to follow the issue as it evolves”. To put it another way, “We pray for a speedy and peaceful end to this tragedy.”
Sony Pictures is also postponing upcoming Russian cinema releases, including the early April debut of Morbius.
We hope that this problem will be handled promptly for all those affected, a Sony Pictures representative told USA TODAY.
Ukraine official: 5 million rubles and full amnesty for Russian soldiers who stop fighting
In response to a Kremlin-ordered invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine is providing Russian soldiers monetary incentives to end their hostilities.
“We offer Russian soldiers a choice: to perish in an immoral war or a full amnesty and 5 million rubles in compensation. The Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a statement released to the department’s Twitter account: “If they lay down their arms and surrender peacefully.”
Because of the devaluation of the ruble due to international sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, the offer of 5 million rubles is now only worth about $50,000.
Durbin requests Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainians in the U.S.
senator from Illinois said he planned to submit a letter to President Biden this evening requesting for Temporary Protected Status for all Ukrainians now living in the United States, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“There are 29,500 Ukrainians in the United States presently on visas,” said Durbin, the second most influential Democrat in the Senate. “Tourists, students, and those who work here are all included.”
He claimed some had expired visas and are now expected to return to Ukraine, which is “unacceptable under these current circumstances.” Temporary Protected Status would allow them to stay in the U.S. temporarily without fear of deportation.
“That is something we could and should do immediately,” he remarked.
Ukraine ambassador compares Russia to Nazi Germany
The Ukrainian ambassador to the United States claimed on Monday that Russian forces invading her nation are behaving like Nazis during World War II and killing innocent civilians.
The Russian military has shot at residential areas, orphanages, schools, and kindergartens, Ambassador Oksana Markarova told reporters during a meeting with U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
FROM SOCCER TO VODKA: The sanctions, restrictions, and boycotts levied on Russia
She described it as “horrendous.” “They have to pay the price. They must be kept apart. They have to learn that it’s not OK in the 21st century to start a war and slaughter people in a neighboring sovereign country.”
Russia is trying to wreak havoc on Ukraine, Markarova stated, but Ukrainians continue to fight back and will not succumb. “We are defending our home,” she stated. “We do not have any other option.”
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York was one of the politicians who visited with Markarova to give support and lauded the Ukrainians.
“We’re exploring all the ways that we can support them,” he told reporters following the meeting.
The U.S. not ruling out closing airspace to Russian planes
The U.S. has not ruled out the idea of blocking Russian flights from American airspace in punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House said Monday.
There are still many choices on the table, according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. “So it’s not off the table.”
Canada and the 27-nation European Union have restricted their airspace to Russian planes. Airlines from 36 different nations are no longer able to fly into Russian airspace as a response.
A day after 36 other countries, including the European Union and Canada, announced that they were closing their airspace to all Russian planes, Russia claimed that it had done the same on Monday.
The EU and Canada, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had already closed their airspace to Russian jets over the weekend, thus the move was made official on Monday by the state aviation agency.
It stated that flights from such countries could only enter Russia’s airspace with special authorization.
The U.S. has no plans to update the nuclear threat level
The U.S. sees no cause to update its nuclear danger level despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put his nuclear forces on high alert, the White House said Monday.
The U.S. is analyzing Putin’s directive, but “at this time, we see no cause to change our own alert levels,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Neither the U.S. nor NATO has any wish for conflict with Russia, Psaki said, “and we think provocative rhetoric like this involving nuclear weapons is unwise, adds to the risk of miscalculation, should be avoided and will not participate in it.”
Poll: Majority of Americans fear Russia could deploy nuclear weapons
Most Americans are apprehensive that Russia could use nuclear weapons if the United States and its NATO allies move in to stop the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, a new survey showed.
A Quinnipiac University poll conducted primarily before Russian President Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on high alert indicated that more than six in 10 Americans are scared Russia could use nuclear weapons.
President Joe Biden says they shouldn’t.
Asked Monday by a reporter as he attended a Black History Month celebration at the White House whether Americans “should be scared about nuclear war,” Biden said with a simple ‘no’.”
Russia dropped 3 vacuum bombs in Okhtyrka, Sumska region. This bomb sucks in oxygen from surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion&is capable of vaporizing human bodies. Nobody will escape justice for using weapons prohibited by Geneva convention#StopWarInUkraine pic.twitter.com/BB3hrJ2Os6
— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) March 1, 2022
Still, there is growing support among Americans for U.S. military intervention. The number of respondents who support President Joe Biden’s decision to send U.S. soldiers to shore up NATO’s eastern flank jumped from 54 percent in a Feb. 16 poll to 70 percent in the most recent survey.
About 70 percent of respondents said American forces should become involved if Russia moves beyond Ukraine and into a NATO country, a potential that nearly two-thirds believe Putin has in his sights.
The poll polled 1,364 U.S. adults between Feb. 25-27.
Shell to cut ties with Russian natural gas company
Shell will exit a joint-venture with the Russian-owned natural gas giant Gazprom a day after BP said it was suspending relations with a Russian state-owned oil company amid the Kremlin’s escalating invasion of Ukraine.
“We are appalled by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a foolish act of armed action which affects European security,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a prepared statement.
The corporation stated it has around $3 billion in assets tied up in Russian enterprises at the end of 2021. That includes holdings in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and other joint ventures.
Twitter to flag tweets sharing Russian state media content
Twitter will begin flagging content posted on its platform from Russian state media as it strives to stem the torrent of disinformation streaming from the Kremlin.
The social networking site announced its proposal on Monday. Twitter has designated the accounts of state media outlets, but now it will flag tweets from any account sharing that content, the company’s head of site integrity Yoel Roth said.
Roth claimed roughly 45,000 tweets a day are disseminating links to Russian state-affiliated media outlets.
Macron: France will bring resolution to UN security council
French President Emmanuel Macron said he will send a resolution to the United Nations Security Council after reiterating to the Kremlin the necessity to protect civilians in the invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, Macron tweeted that he had requested Russian President Vladimir Putin for a ceasefire and for an end to assaults on civilians, homes, and infrastructure in the conflict zones in Syria. He asked Putin to observe humanitarian law, according to a translation of his tweet, and said France would present the resolution to the UN.
On Monday, the United Nations General Assembly will convene in an emergency special session.
An earlier version of this story claimed that Russia had employed heavy artillery and missiles to target schools and hospitals, as well as other critical infrastructure.
Zelinsky asks European Union to grant Ukraine immediate membership
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a formal case for Ukraine’s accession to the EU.
Zelinsky signed an application to grant Ukraine membership in the EU on Monday after urging the union publicly to expedite the process under a special procedure.
The request came after the European Union announced new actions against Russia, including plans to close its airspace to Russian airlines, bankroll weapons for Ukraine and ban pro-Kremlin media outlets.
Ruble-to-bitcoin trades surge after sanctions crater Russian currency
Holders of Russian currency are turning to bitcoin as the ruble cratered in the aftermath of global sanctions that have blocked off Russia from western financial institutions.
Coindesk, a cryptocurrency news outlet, observed a rise on Monday in trade volume between the Russian ruble and bitcoin. Trading volumes have touched a nine-month high, according to Coindesk.
The surge came after the U.S., European allies, and other nations across the globe imposed financial sanctions that have damaged Russia’s economy in reaction to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The value of the ruble compared with the U.S. dollar has fallen since the introduction of those penalties.
Kremlin: Sanctions ‘problematic,’ worsened economy
At the outset of a building financial crisis, the Kremlin confirmed Monday that Western sanctions were harming the economy but maintained hopeful repercussions could be mitigated.
“The economic reality has drastically changed,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, said during a press call with reporters, according to Reuters and CNN. “These are significant sanctions, they are problematic, but Russia has the potential to counter the effect.”
The U.S. and EU have sanctioned top Kremin officials and Russian elites as well as taken efforts to remove Russian banks from the SWIFT network, which enables for payments between financial institutions. The West also took steps to restrict the Kremlin from accessing its $640 billion in foreign reserves which Russian banks could use to boost the isolated economy.
“Russia has been preparing arrangements for quite a long time for prospective sanctions, including the most severe ones. There are response plans, they were devised and are being implemented as problems appear,” Peskov said.
He claimed that sanctions on Russian elites and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself were “pointless.”
EU Foreign Affairs chief: ‘Sanctions have a cost’
Days after the United States and European Union placed tough sanctions on the Russian leadership and financial system, the EU’s foreign affairs chief reaffirmed that penalties will hurt the global economy. It’s a price that the West must be ready to pay, he stressed.
“This is hardly a free lunch. Sanctions will backlash. Sanctions have a cost,” Josep Borrell, vice president of the European Commission, said Monday. Borrell said it is vital to “explain to public opinion” the effects of sanctions on the global economy.
“We have to be ready to pay this price now because if not, we will have to pay a far higher price in the future,” Borrell continued. He emphasized there will be turmoil in global energy markets that would mainly hurt Europe in the short term, which the EU and U.S. are seeking to prevent.
While the U.S. is more protected from the economic pain of isolating Russia than Europe, President Joe Biden has also reminded Americans that the sanctions will have ripple consequences for the U.S. economy that will be seen in the stock market and energy costs
IOC calls for exclusion of athletes from Russia, Belarus
In a sweeping campaign to isolate and punish Russia after invading Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee encouraged sporting groups on Monday to disqualify the country’s athletes and officials from international games.
The IOC stated it was important to “defend the integrity of global sports events and for the safety of all the participants.”
The ruling opened the path for FIFA, the governing body of soccer, to remove Russia from a World Cup qualifying playoff match on March 24. Poland has declined to play the scheduled game against Russia.
The Olympic body’s call also applies to athletes and authorities from Belarus, which has supported Russia’s invasion.
Swiss adopt EU sanctions
The Swiss government on Monday took the rare step of joining in the EU’s sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Switzerland’s Federal Council decided to adopt the financial measures, which include freezing the assets of individuals and organizations, as well as levying sanctions onto Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The Swiss government is likewise joining the EU in blocking its airspace to all flights from Russia and to aircraft with Russian markings. The Federal Council is suspending visas for Russian nationals, barring diplomatic passports, and is blocking the entrance for “some individuals who have a relationship to Switzerland and are close to the Russian president.”
The United States imposes sanctions on Russia’s Central Bank
The U.S. on Monday imposed new sanctions on Russia targeting the country’s Central Bank, striking a severe blow to Moscow’s economy, which owns more than $630 billion in foreign currency reserves.
The restrictions effectively cut off Russia’s Central Bank from accessing assets either held in the U.S. or in U.S. dollars, severely hampering any effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin to mitigate the effects of prior penalties that have put the country’s economy into a rapid spiral.
The new limitations, in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, also target Russia’s National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance.
The regulations ban international financial firms possessing U.S. dollars from transmitting it to Russia’s Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, or finance ministry, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the announcement.
The official said the U.S. intended to put the penalties in place before markets started Monday after learning from allies over the weekend that the Russian Central Bank was attempting to shift assets beginning Monday morning from banks throughout the world.
Zelinsky creates ‘international legion,’ enlists foreign fighters
President Volodomyr Zelenskyy announced the creation of an “international legion” to enlist non-Ukrainians who want to support the war effort against Russia.
As the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced on Monday, “We already have thousands of requests from foreigners, who want to join the resistance to the (Russian) occupiers and protect the world security from Putin regime.”
While no other country has sent its own troops to Ukraine, the U.S., European Union, and NATO have all ramped up the delivery of weapons to the eastern European country amid the Russian invasion.
Anyone interested in joining the new unit should reach out to the Ukrainian embassies in their home countries, the statement said.
The Ukrainian government has also called on the support of its civilians to assist in defending the country from Russian invasion by directly resisting and confusing invading forces.
The U.S. closes embassy in Belarus
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the closure of the US Embassy in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday morning. Non-emergency personnel and family members at the embassy in Moscow have also been authorized to leave.
Blinken said the steps were taken “due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine.”
Belarus has served as a staging area for Russian troops for weeks ahead of the invasion that started on Thursday.
Pope Francis offers to help solve Ukraine crisis
As part of any negotiations to settle the conflict in Ukraine, the Vatican has offered its assistance.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s No. 2 official, told several Italian media in an interview published on Monday that the Holy See is “offering its willingness to encourage conversation with Russia.”
Pope Francis met with the Russian ambassador in the Holy See’s Russian embassy on Friday, an unprecedented move. The pontiff urged a stop to fight and a return to negotiations, Parolin added.
While Orthodox Christians are a majority among the faithful in Ukraine, the Catholic Church has a quiet presence in that nation through believers who follow the Eastern Rite of Catholicism.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: ‘Putin must fail’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that Western allies will implement the heaviest economic sanctions imaginable against Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “abhorrent assault against Ukraine.”
The European Union has announced unprecedented new actions against Russia, outlining plans to close its airspace to Russian airlines, fund a weapons purchase to assist Ukraine, and ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets, while the Associated Press reported the United States approved the delivery of anti-aircraft Stinger missiles to Ukraine.
Western nations in support of Ukraine could soon be joined by Switzerland, an oftentimes neutral country that on Monday is due to explore potential penalties and asset restrictions against Russia, said President Ignazio Cassis via Reuters. Cassis said it was “very probable” the country would follow suit, the source reported.