The Fort Worth Press - West ramps up sanctions as Russia threatens Ukraine's east

USD -
AED 3.672504
AFN 73.671318
ALL 95.840841
AMD 404.387377
ANG 1.800674
AOA 831.503981
ARS 837.498454
AUD 1.525553
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.70397
BAM 1.804826
BBD 2.017349
BDT 109.657177
BGN 1.804826
BHD 0.376505
BIF 2854.150325
BMD 1
BND 1.343423
BOB 6.903521
BRL 4.957689
BSD 0.999123
BTN 83.045541
BWP 13.79043
BYN 3.26969
BYR 19600
BZD 2.013934
CAD 1.34865
CDF 2765.000362
CHF 0.88059
CLF 0.035523
CLP 978.692382
CNY 7.195404
COP 3925.160338
CRC 514.09588
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.753334
CZK 23.428104
DJF 177.917224
DKK 6.88885
DOP 58.708993
DZD 134.49804
EGP 30.846676
ERN 15
ETB 56.665529
EUR 0.92305
FJD 2.235204
FKP 0.788863
GBP 0.788706
GEL 2.650391
GGP 0.788863
GHS 12.539104
GIP 0.788863
GMD 67.27504
GNF 8587.643612
GTQ 7.807872
GYD 209.034282
HKD 7.82285
HNL 24.669404
HRK 7.030095
HTG 132.505883
HUF 359.530388
IDR 15594.15
ILS 3.63115
IMP 0.788863
INR 82.88205
IQD 1308.817423
IRR 42032.503818
ISK 137.803816
JEP 0.788863
JMD 156.268168
JOD 0.70904
JPY 150.48504
KES 143.376551
KGS 89.430385
KHR 4071.425276
KMF 454.950384
KPW 899.999196
KRW 1331.00035
KWD 0.30774
KYD 0.832649
KZT 450.615974
LAK 20847.136991
LBP 89392.977437
LKR 310.644581
LRD 190.650382
LSL 19.190382
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.826282
MAD 10.030637
MDL 17.88954
MGA 4532.828865
MKD 56.863378
MMK 2098.186684
MNT 3406.327173
MOP 8.051216
MRU 39.750379
MUR 45.620379
MVR 15.403741
MWK 1681.908365
MXN 17.116204
MYR 4.777504
MZN 63.503732
NAD 19.190377
NGN 1607.000344
NIO 36.773866
NOK 10.600505
NPR 132.87316
NZD 1.613684
OMR 0.38496
PAB 0.999123
PEN 3.786924
PGK 3.807502
PHP 55.935039
PKR 279.13007
PLN 3.979237
PYG 7273.566188
QAR 3.640504
RON 4.597904
RSD 108.141928
RUB 93.055038
RWF 1274.304434
SAR 3.750554
SBD 8.500465
SCR 13.403497
SDG 601.00034
SEK 10.292915
SGD 1.343038
SHP 1.26625
SLE 22.483622
SLL 19750.000338
SOS 571.503664
SRD 35.701038
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.742675
SYP 13001.869854
SZL 19.261754
THB 35.930369
TJS 10.940433
TMT 3.51
TND 3.123504
TOP 2.360304
TRY 30.818685
TTD 6.790938
TWD 31.617038
TZS 2547.778342
UAH 38.242329
UGX 3931.158584
UYU 39.080884
UZS 12479.121488
VEF 3618584.714698
VES 36.186223
VND 24640
VUV 120.023184
WST 2.739916
XAF 605.321829
XAG 0.043588
XAU 0.000491
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.75421
XOF 605.321829
XPF 110.380364
YER 250.350363
ZAR 19.25804
ZMK 9001.203589
ZMW 22.954829
ZWL 321.999592
  • SLAC

    -0.0050

    10.305

    -0.05%

  • SCS

    0.1000

    12.8

    +0.78%

  • RBGPF

    0.3360

    72.822

    +0.46%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0300

    4.45

    -0.67%

  • BTI

    0.0300

    30.5

    +0.1%

  • CMSD

    0.0500

    24.81

    +0.2%

  • NGG

    0.6100

    66.64

    +0.92%

  • CMSC

    0.0200

    24.8

    +0.08%

  • RIO

    0.2900

    65.98

    +0.44%

  • GSK

    0.0600

    42.22

    +0.14%

  • AZN

    1.7000

    65.83

    +2.58%

  • RELX

    0.0900

    44.44

    +0.2%

  • BP

    -0.1100

    35.38

    -0.31%

  • JRI

    0.0425

    11.53

    +0.37%

  • VOD

    0.0700

    8.47

    +0.83%

  • BCC

    2.8800

    129.42

    +2.23%

  • BCE

    -0.0100

    37.6

    -0.03%

West ramps up sanctions as Russia threatens Ukraine's east
West ramps up sanctions as Russia threatens Ukraine's east

West ramps up sanctions as Russia threatens Ukraine's east

The United States and Britain announced new sanctions against Russia Wednesday after Ukraine said hundreds of civilians were found dead around its capital, as Kyiv warned residents in the east to get out "now" ahead of a feared assault.

Text size:

The White House unveiled measures targeting Russia's top banks and two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, while Britain sanctioned two banks -- and vowed to eliminate all Russian oil and gas imports by year-end.

Their actions followed an international outcry as Ukraine said its forces found hundreds of civilians dead around the capital Kyiv, including the town of Bucha, after the pullout of Russian troops.

"Civilians executed in cold blood, bodies dumped into mass graves, the sense of brutality and inhumanity left for all the world to see, unapologetically," said US President Joe Biden Wednesday, describing the scene in Bucha.

"There's nothing less happening than major war crimes," he said, urging the world to hold the killers accountable.

The Kremlin denies responsibility and has claimed Kyiv staged civilian deaths -- with Putin on Wednesday accusing Ukrainian authorities of "crude and cynical provocations" in Bucha.

The Russian withdrawal from areas around Kyiv and the north is part of a shift towards Ukraine's southeast, in a bid to create a land bridge between occupied Crimea and Moscow-backed separatist statelets in the region of Donbas.

Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Wednesday warned residents in the eastern Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk regions to leave immediately ahead of a feared Russian attack.

"It has to be done now because later people will be under fire and face the threat of death," she wrote on Telegram.

The threat was already very real in the industrial city of Severodonetsk, the easternmost city held by Ukrainian forces, where shells and rockets were landing at regular intervals on Wednesday, AFP journalists saw.

"We have nowhere to go, it's been like this for days," one of them, 38-year-old Volodymyr, told AFP standing opposite a burning building.

Elsewhere, preparations for the feared attack were hard under way, such as on a two-lane highway through the rolling eastern plains connecting Kharkiv and Donetsk.

Trench positions were being dug, and the road was littered with anti-tank obstacles. Nearby water reservoirs had been opened and bridges were being destroyed, all in an effort to slow any Russian advance.

"We're waiting for them!" said a lieutenant tasked with reinforcing the positions along the road, giving a thumbs up.

- 'Leaving forever' -

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 11 million displaced since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Satellite photos taken while Bucha was still under Moscow's control show what appear to be bodies lying in streets where the dead were later found by Ukrainian forces and seen by journalists.

And multiple Bucha residents told AFP they had seen Russian soldiers killing civilians.

During a grim cleanup, the remains of partially burned bodies in black bags were lifted into a van, with officials telling journalists "dozens of bodies" remained in apartments and in nearby woods.

Meanwhile efforts to evacuate civilians continued Wednesday, with a Red Cross convoy arriving in the southern city of Zaporzhzhia.

It was carrying hundreds of evacuees from Russian-occupied areas, but had failed to reach the besieged port of Mariupol.

One of the evacuees, Iryna Nikolaienko, told how she had been able to make her way out of Mariupol during a pause in the fighting.

"The Mariupol that I knew and loved, it does not exist anymore," she said.

"I understood that I was leaving forever."

- EU 'indecisiveness' -

Western powers have already pummelled Russia with debilitating economic sanctions, which forced Moscow Wednesday to make foreign debt payments on dollar-denominated bonds in rubles, raising the prospect of a potential default.

Washington's new sanctions targeted Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, two adult daughters of Putin, plus the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia's Security Council.

The White House also declared "full blocking" sanctions on Russia's largest public and private financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, and said all new US investment in Russia was now prohibited.

Britain meanwhile froze the overseas assets of both Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow.

The EU is also poised to implement a fifth round of sanctions cutting off Russian coal imports -- and European Council chief Charles Michel said that "sooner or later", it must also impose oil and gas sanctions.

And rich countries will tap an additional 120 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves in a bid to calm crude prices that have soared following the invasion by Russia, an energy power.

But addressing the Irish parliament Wednesday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the "indecisiveness" of European nations dependent on Russian energy.

In other moves to isolate Moscow, the US and Britain have pressed to have Russia excluded from the UN Human Rights Council, with a vote in the General Assembly scheduled for Thursday.

But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted there was little anyone could do about Russia's position on the UN Security Council, where it has a veto.

"There's a pretty fundamental problem there," he said, a day after Zelensky called for Russia to be expelled from the council.

- 'Unbelievable' morale -

Peace talks between the sides have so far gone nowhere.

Moscow says it is "ready" to continue -- however NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no sign Putin had dropped "his ambition to control the whole of Ukraine".

Spirits are high yet in Kyiv, however, said American veteran Steven Straub, who has been training with the national guard in the capital.

Straub, 73, fought during the Vietnam war, and said Ukraine was "much different."

"What surprised me here is the morale... It's unbelievable," he told AFP.

M.McCoy--TFWP