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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Ukraine updates: United States to impose 'major sanction package' on Russia

The sanctions come as Russia's war in Ukraine threatens to drag on for a third year, and follows the death of Opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a penal colony

Deutsche Welle Published 23.02.24, 03:47 PM
The sanctions aim to disable "Russia, its enablers, and its war machine," a US official said

The sanctions aim to disable "Russia, its enablers, and its war machine," a US official said Deutsche Welle

The United States, on Friday, plans to announce sanctions against 500 entities involved in Russia's "war machine."

A Russian drone attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa killed one person, Ukraine military said.

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Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Friday, February 23:

A Russian drone that struck a commercial district in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa is now known to have killed three people, according to military and regional governor Oleh Kiper.

The Ukrainian military said Russia launched 31 drones at Ukraine overnight, with its air defenses destroying 23 of them.

The Southern Forces of Kyiv's military said despite nine Russian drones being intercepted, one hit near the port, causing a fire. The attack was with Iran-made Shahid drones, the military's post on Telegram said.

There is a possibility that people might be trapped under the rubble, the military added. Firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control, and rescue operations were ongoing.

The military said Russia also launched missiles, but they missed their target.

In the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, another drone attack injured eight people in an apartment building, Serhiy Lysak, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, posted on Telegram.

Firefighters worked to extinguish a blaze near the port area of Odesa, on Ukraine's Black Sea coast

Firefighters worked to extinguish a blaze near the port area of Odesa, on Ukraine's Black Sea coast Deutsche Welle

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed the "authentic heroes of the people" fighting in Ukraine on the eve of the second anniversary of the conflict.

"In these past years, the military and industrial complexes have multiplied both weapons production and supplies to troops," he said in a video message.

The message came on Moscow's "Defender of the Fatherland Day" — a festival of military pomp and Kremlin-sponsored patriotism.

The holiday this year comes with Moscow emboldened by its symbolic taking of the town of Avdiivka and the US Congress stalling on military aid for Ukraine.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is visiting Ukraine on Friday. During the trip, he will seek to reassure President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and others that the US Congress will deliver another round of aid.

The trip comes as a package that would provide $60 billion (€55 billion) to the country remains stalled in the US House of Representatives and at a perilous time for Ukraine.

Zelenskyy says delays in help from Washington and other Western allies have created an opening for Russia to advance on the battlefield.

Ukrainian forces are reported to be running dangerously low on ammunition and weaponry.

Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties have traveled to Europe in the last week to vow that the United States will not abandon Ukraine and other European allies.

While the Senate passed a $95 billion package of aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan last week, House Speaker Mike Johnson has not yet put forward the plan in the House.

Democratic Senator Schumer told the AP news agency that the US was not abandoning Ukraine.

"I feel I have to be there because it's so crucial," Schumer said. "We are right at a vortex, a critical turning point in the whole West. And if we abandon Ukraine, the consequences for America are severe."

The US Treasury called the sanctions the "largest single tranche" since the Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022

The US Treasury called the sanctions the "largest single tranche" since the Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 Deutsche Welle

The US plans to announce sanctions against 500 entities involved in Russia's "war machine" on Friday, officials said.

The sanctions come as Russia's war in Ukraine threatens to drag on for a third year, and follow the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a penal colony.

Earlier, John Kirby, communications director of the US National Security Council, said a "major package of sanctions" against Moscow was coming.

Measures from both the US Treasury and State Department will be a part of the sanctions package, which aims to disable "Russia, its enablers, and its war machine," a Treasury Department official told the AFP news agency.

The Treasury called the move the "largest single tranche" since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Earlier US sanctions enforced a price cap on Russian oil, aiming to curtail Moscow's revenues from exports of oil and petroleum products.

A week ago, Moscow announced the death of opposition leader Navalny in an Arctic prison. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden met with Navalny's widow and daughter in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the US also intends to sanction Iran for supporting Russia's invasion, Kirby said.

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