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EU considers tightening sanctions on Russia, Ukraine says cities will be affected

#considers #tightening #sanctions #Russia #Ukraine #cities #affected

The European Union will discuss tightening sanctions against Russia on Monday as Kyiv has accused Moscow of launching fresh strikes in several residential areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The new attacks came after Moscow announced it would step up its military operations and Kyiv accused Russia of installing rocket launchers at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

As the conflict continues and escalates into global energy and food crises, EU foreign ministers are considering banning gold purchases from Russia, which would be in line with sanctions already imposed by G7 partners.

Other Russian personalities could also be put on the EU’s black list.

“Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after the proposed measures had been communicated.

Brussels is expected to hold initial talks on sanctions on Monday but will not make a decision on the same day, according to a senior EU official.

On Sunday, Donetsk Region Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko accused Moscow of shelling “the civilian infrastructure, especially educational institutions.”

“I was scared,” says 23-year-old chef Igor Besukh about a nearby missile attack on Friday in Kramatorsk, where his sushi joint is one of the few restaurants open just 20 kilometers from the front lines.

Getting back to work the next day isn’t easy, he admitted, but “War is war, but lunch has to be served on time,” he said, quoting a popular proverb with a smile.

– “Massive Shelling” –

Near the Black Sea coast, the southern city of Mykolaiv came under “massive shelling” in the early hours of Sunday, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said.

Kim added that a day earlier several residential areas in the region were shelled, killing three people in the village of Shevchenkove and a woman in Shyrokiv, where a “residential building was destroyed”.

In a BBC television interview aired on Sunday, British Armed Forces Chief Admiral Tony Radakin estimated that 50,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded and nearly 1,700 Russian tanks and some 4,000 armored fighting vehicles destroyed in the invasion.

Radakin suggested Russia’s land forces could now pose less of a threat, but more than 20 weeks after the invasion began, Moscow said on Saturday it was stepping up its military operations.

According to his ministry, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu “given the necessary instructions to further increase military pressure”.

The orders come after Ukraine’s Atomic Energy Agency accused the Russians of installing rocket launchers at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and using the facility to shell the Dnipro region.

The heaviest fighting continues to be centered in the industrial Donbass region in the east, where strikes swept through several villages on Sunday without casualties.

In Warsaw, nearly 2,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the Russian embassy on Sunday to protest the invasion of Ukraine, an AFP journalist reported.

– ‘Enough Death’ –

Carrying yellow and blue Ukrainian flags and saying “Enough Death!” chant The Ukrainian and Polish demonstrators demanded that Russia be recognized as a “state of terror”.

In his speech on Saturday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised that his country would “hold out”.

Zelensky said Ukraine “withstood brutal blows from Russia” and managed to retake some of the territory it had lost since the war began and will eventually retake more occupied lands.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in its daily briefing on Sunday it had destroyed a “warehouse for Harpoon anti-ship missiles shipped by NATO to Ukraine” in the port city of Odessa.

Ukraine denied the claim, saying it destroyed the “warehouse” of a company with no military connections.

Hundreds of kilometers from the front lines, Ukraine said rocket attacks earlier in the week had killed 24 in the central city of Vinnytsia and sparked international condemnation.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it was hoping to hold a meeting between the “Ukrainian Air Force Command and representatives of foreign arms suppliers” in Vinnytsia.

But a senior US defense official said on condition of anonymity that he had “no evidence” a military target was nearby.

Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, Radakin said Russia posed “the greatest threat” to the UK and the challenge would last for decades.

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