Ukrainian forces continue to fight Russian troops on the outskirts of the capital, Kiev, on Friday, February 25, the second day of the invasion launched by Vladimir Putin, who lifted new Western sanctions and urged the Ukrainian army to overthrow the government and take over the country. strength.
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As a result of this conflict, which may be the most serious in Europe since 1945 – already with around 100,000 IDPs according to the UN – Europeans have announced new sanctions against Russian leaders.
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Vladimir Putin appears determined to continue his offensive and bring about regime change in Ukraine, calling members of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team on Friday. ” medicines “ and “neo-Nazis”. “Take the power”He threw it at the address of the Ukrainian soldiers. “It seems to me that it will be easier to come to terms with you and me.”added.
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As a sign of defiance, President Zelensky posted a video on social media in which he appeared on the street and claimed that he was still in Kiev and was determined. “to defend” Ukraine.
Earlier, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, had called for the surrender of the Ukrainian army as a prerequisite. “negotiations”. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also said that Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to the Belarusian capital, Minsk. “For negotiations with a Ukrainian delegation”.
But Ukrainian forces seemed determined to confront the Russian troops, whose first troops entered the northern areas of Kiev on Friday, causing the first deaths there.
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In the residential area of Oblon, AFP saw a civilian die on a sidewalk and paramedics rescued another inmate from the wreckage of a car that was run over by an armored vehicle. Local residents said they saw two bodies, which appeared to be those of killed Russian soldiers, but AFP could not confirm this information.
Ukrainian soldiers also said they were fighting Russian battleships in two areas 40 to 80 km north of Kiev. According to the Ukrainian army, Russian troops were also approaching the capital from the northeast and east. After large numbers of people fled on Thursday, the center of Kiev, normally a metropolis of around three million people and currently under curfew, looked like a ghost town.
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Armed and armored men were stationed at the main fork near government buildings. Rare passers-by stopped to share the latest news, sirens and explosions sounded under a cloudy sky. “Last night they started bombing civilian neighborhoods. It reminds us of the[Nazi offensive]in 1941”said Volodymyr Zelensky in the morning, pronouncing this phrase in Russian, a sign that it was intended for the Russians.
greeted“heroism” The majority of the population in the face of an invasion on the Ukrainian side that has left at least 137 dead and 316 injured, according to a report released Thursday afternoon. And make sure the soldiers do “they are possible” to defend the country. Ukrainian Ministry of Defense from civilians in Kiev“Notify of enemy movements: make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the invader!” ». He also claimed that 2,800 Russian soldiers were killed without any proof. The Russian authorities have so far given no indication of the losses they may have suffered.
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Swift hasn’t debuted yet
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Europeans for being too slow in supporting Ukraine. called those “a war experience” to come and fight the Ukrainians. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is a NATO member, also criticized the EU and the Atlantic Alliance for their inaction.
This organization, whose leaders met via video conference this Friday, has recently repeated that it will not send troops to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden warned no. “One inch of NATO territory” would not surrender and the Pentagon would send about 7,000 more troops to Germany.
The Western camp is currently focused on toughening sanctions against Russia and has already announced measures to restrict its financial institutions’ access to international financial markets, such as access to technology. Joe Biden promised to make Putin “a pariah on the international stage”. “Russian leaders will face unprecedented isolation”also said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
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But Twenty-Seven did not go so far as to exclude Russia from the Swift international banking exchange system, and President Zelensky urged Europeans to go further. “Visa cancellation for Russians? Sign out of Swift? Complete isolation from Russia? Remembering the ambassadors? Oil embargo? “Everything must be on the table today because this is a threat to all of us, to all of Europe,” he said.said.
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Asset freeze and sports boycott
Under increasing pressure, Paris and Berlin announced a new set of European sanctions on Friday. “highest Russian leaders”Including Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov. Countries like Austria, which had previously opposed the exclusion of Russia from the Swift system, now seemed ready to take a step. “economic nuclear weapon”.
Other retaliatory measures: Russia’s participation in the bodies of the Council of Europe is suspended. It was also excluded from the very popular Eurovision Song Contest. The International Olympic Committee has urged all international sports federations to cancel or relocate any planned event in Russia or for its Belarusian ally.
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Commodity prices soared on Thursday remained very high with over $100 a barrel of Brent oil despite US WTI returning to $95. Russia and Ukraine are the main exporters of oil, gas, wheat and other raw materials. Major global stock markets were rebounding after Thursday’s decline, but the market remains volatile.
The Security Council meets this Friday evening
The Russian offensive began at dawn on Thursday, after Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of Ukrainian separatist areas in the Donbass, which Moscow has sponsored since 2014. Kremlin reiterated its baseless accusations “genocide” Organized by Kyiv “republics” Donbass condemns separatists and politics “aggressive” of NATO.
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In this context, the United Nations Security Council should vote this Friday evening on a draft resolution submitted by the United States and Albania condemning the invasion and calling for the immediate withdrawal of its troops from Moscow. But the text was condemned in advance, in which case Russia had a veto.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has close relations with Putin, spoke on the phone with the Kremlin master. China, which also has the right of veto, “Supports Russia in resolving (conflict) through negotiations with Ukraine”later reported on public television CCTV.