Home LATEST NEWS The war in Ukraine escalates, both on the military and diplomatic fronts...

The war in Ukraine escalates, both on the military and diplomatic fronts | War in Ukraine

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On the fourth day of the offensive launched by Vladimir Putin, anti-aircraft alarm sirens sounded in Kiev overnight from Saturday to Sunday, the official Special Communications Service said, calling on residents to take refuge in the shelters of the capital city.

Russian forces continue their offensive to lock down Kyiv after having completed their grouping on the northern front, the Ukrainian army said on Saturday evening.

Reuters journalists in the Ukrainian capital reported several explosions and gunshots in the city overnight.

The capital has turned into a veritable ghost town, not only because of the threat of bombing, but also because of a tougher curfew. Anyone on the street between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. would be treated as an enemy, the mayor of Kiev has warned.

Russian missiles hit an oil depot in Vassylkiv, about 30 kilometers southwest of Kiev, causing a huge fire. Firefighters are unable to tackle the blaze, however, as battles for control of the Vassylkiv air base continue to rage, the head of the Kyiv region administration said at dawn on Sunday. , Oleksy Kouleba.

At least one civilian casualty

In Kharkiv, not far from the Russian border, a woman was killed during a Russian fire Saturday evening on a residential building, according to Ukrainian relief. A gas pipeline near this city was also destroyed by Kremlin troops, according to the official Special Communications Service of Ukraine.

Difficult to determine for the moment if it was about a pipeline of importance. Despite the war, Ukraine exports Russian natural gas to Europe, Reuters notes.

The Russian army was ordered on Saturday afternoon to expand its offensive on Ukraine, saying Kiev had refused negotiations. The Ukrainian presidency has said it favors ceasefire negotiations, but not ultimatums.

SWIFT will comply with the sanctions requested by the West

The interbank network SWIFT – which is at the heart of the discussions surrounding an escalation of the sanctions to be imposed on Moscow – announced late Saturday that it was preparing to implement in the coming days the new measures targeting Russian banks decided by Western powers.

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We are in contact with the European authorities to find out which entities will be subject to the new measures and we are preparing to comply with the legal instructions.can we read in a press release.

A man uses his cell phone in front of an illuminated SWIFT sign.

SWIFT is one of the largest banking and financial messaging networks founded in 1973.

Photo: Reuters/Chris Helgren

Western governments agreed on Saturday to exclude many Russian banks from the platform, something Ukraine has been demanding since the start of the invasion to isolate Russia as economically as possible. They also have their sights set on the Russian central bank to reduce its ability to liquidate its assets.

Concretely, these measures aim to prevent Vladimir Putin from using the 630 billion dollars (about 800 billion Canadian dollars) of foreign currency reserves of the central bank to invade Ukraine and defend the ruble. Russia responded to Western sanctions by announcing asset freezes and nationalization of assets of companies from hostile countries.

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