© Reuters. A crucifix and a destroyed dome of a local church damaged by shelling are seen on a road, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the suburban settlement of Hostomel Kyiv, Ukraine April 6, 2022. REUTERS / Vladyslav Musiienko
By Natalia Zinets
LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine wants sanctions to be economically destructive enough for Russia to end the war after accusing some countries of still prioritizing money over punishing the killings of civilians that the West condemns as a crime. War Crimes.
The democratic world must reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international financial system, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily video speech early Thursday.
Russia’s six-week invasion has displaced more than 4 million people, killed or injured thousands, displaced a quarter of the population, turned cities into ruins and led to a series of Western restrictions on Russia’s elites and economy.
Washington on Wednesday announced measures such as sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters, days after the tragic discovery of civilians being shot dead at close range in Bucha, north of Kyiv, when it was recaptured by Russian forces.
The US also wants Russia to be expelled from the Group of 20 Forum of major economies and will boycott some G20 meetings in Indonesia if Russian officials show up.
But the head of Ukraine’s presidential office Andriy Yermak said late Wednesday that its allies must go further.
“The sanctions against Russia must be bad enough so that we can end this terrible war,” he said.
“My goal is to impose an embargo on the supply of technology, equipment, minerals and ores (and) rare earths to Russia and thereby stop the production of weapons in Russia.”
Zelenskiy has previously criticized some in the West.
He told Irish lawmakers: “The only thing that we are missing is the principled approach of some leaders … who still think that war and war crimes are not the same thing. something terrible like financial loss.
European Union diplomats did not approve new sanctions on Wednesday, because of technical issues that need to be resolved, including whether the ban on coal will affect contracts exists or not, the sources said.
EU member Hungary says it is ready to meet Russia’s demand to pay rubles for its gas, breaking ranks with the rest of the bloc and underscoring the continent’s reliance on imports that have held back the country in the face of a tougher response from the Kremlin.
Western policymakers have denounced the Bucha killings as war crimes, and Ukrainian officials say a mass grave in a church there contains between 150 and 300 bodies.
Moscow denies targeting civilians there or elsewhere. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the images of the bodies in Bucha were staged to justify more sanctions against Moscow and to derail peace talks with Kyiv.
Russia said it was participating in a “special military operation” aimed at the demilitarization and “denuclearization” of Ukraine. Ukraine and Western governments dismiss that as a false pretext for their invasion.
Russia continues to be ready for an offensive to take full control of the separatist regions east of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the besieged southern port of Mariupol, where tens of thousands of people are trapped, the general staff of the Ukraine’s armed forces said late on Wednesday.
Ukrainian authorities say they are unable to help people evacuate the eastern frontline town of Izyum or send humanitarian aid because it is completely under Russian control as the east sees fighting the worst.
Many people in the eastern town of Derhachi, just north of Kharkiv and close to the border with Russia, have decided to leave while they can.
The buildings were heavily damaged by Russian artillery. Kharkiv himself was hit by air strikes and missiles from the very beginning.
Mykola, a father of two from Derhachi who declined to give his last name, said he could hear the shelling every night and was sitting around with his family in their hallway.
“(We’ll go) anywhere there’s no bangs, where the kids won’t have to hear them,” he said, hugging his young son and trying to hold back tears.
The new US sanctions include a ban on Americans investing in Russia.
The sanctions target Russia’s Sberbank, which holds a third of Russia’s total banking assets, and Alfabank, the country’s fourth-largest financial institution, but energy deals have been exempted. except, US officials said.
Britain also froze Sberbank’s assets and said it would ban Russian coal imports by the end of the year.
However, Europe is on a tight track as Russia supplies about 40% of the EU’s consumption and the bloc also receives a third of its oil imports from Russia, about $700 million a day.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy dependent on Russian gas for most of its energy needs, warned that while it favors ending Russian energy imports as soon as possible, that cannot be done overnight.
Despite sanctions, the Russian ruble extended Wednesday’s rally, back to levels seen before the invasion, removing concerns about an international default as it pays bondholders in cash. dollar in ruble.