Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

US halts Russian bond payments in bid to increase pressure on Moscow

The United States has halted Russian bond payments in an attempt to ramp up pressure on Moscow.

– | Afp | Getty Images

The United States prevented the Russian government, today, Monday, from paying more than 600 million dollars to its sovereign debt holders from the reserves held by American banks, In a move aimed at escalating pressure on Moscow And eat in their holdings of US dollars.

Under the sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, foreign currency reserves held by the Russian Central Bank in US financial institutions were frozen.

But the Treasury was allowing the Russian government to use that money to make coupon payments on its dollar-denominated sovereign debt on a case-by-case basis.

– Reuters

Red Cross workers released after being held while trying to evacuate people from Mariupol

Apartment buildings damaged during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 3, 2022.

Pavel Klimov | Reuters

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk has released a team of humanitarian workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after they were detained during an attempt to reach the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Vereshuk said that a team of ICRC representatives seeking to evacuate people from the besieged city of Mariupol was being held in nearby Mangos, but after negotiations, they were released and sent to Zaporizhia – some 200 km away.

Vereshchuk said that despite the Kremlin’s promises, the Russian forces did not allow anyone to travel to Mariupol. Vereshock said seven humanitarian corridors were set up on Tuesday.

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– Sam Meredith

Brookings Institution says Putin is not ready to give up on war in Ukraine

Angela Stint, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Russian President Vladimir Putin is not ready to back down even though his military is doing much worse than expected.

“He is clearly not willing to give up, and he will continue to strike,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

Stent said Russia is not serious about peace talks yet, and that Putin will not give up on his goal of weakening Ukraine.

“If he can’t subdue it, then at least it will make it very difficult for the rest of the government in Kyiv to function,” she said, adding that Putin also wants to take over the entire Donbass region. Donbass is a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine that includes Donetsk and Luhansk, two self-proclaimed pro-Russian republics.

“He would like to do it in time for the 9th of May, when the Russians will hold their parade in Moscow to commemorate Victory in World War II,” Stent said, referring to what Russians call “Victory Day.”

– Abigail Ng

Zelensky says the Borodinka atrocities may be worse than those committed in Bucha

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 300 were killed and tortured in Bucha, a suburb near the capital, Kyiv.

Ronaldo striped | Afp | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that the atrocities reported in Borodyanka, an urban settlement near Kyiv, could be worse than the devastation seen in Bucha.

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In his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said that more than 300 were killed and tortured in the town of Bucha, a suburb near the capital, Kyiv. However, the number of victims of the Russian attack in Borodinka could be greater.

“We already have information that the number of victims in Borodinka and some other liberated towns could be greater,” Zelensky said via Telegram.

“The occupiers will bear the responsibility. We are already doing everything as quickly as possible to find all the Russian soldiers involved in these crimes,” he added.

– Sam Meredith

Ukraine warns Russia is preparing for an attack to impose full control of Donetsk and Luhansk

Families prepare to board a train at Kramatorsk Central Station on Monday to flee the eastern city in the Donbass region.

Fadel Al-Sunnah | Afp | Getty Images

Russian forces are preparing to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine, seeking to gain full control of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

According to the statement, the Russian forces continue their siege of the city of Kharkiv, in the northeast of the country, with “continuous artillery bombardment” that destroyed residential areas and infrastructure.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian forces launched artillery shells and intense air strikes on the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. Russian forces also reportedly bombed the southern city of Mykolaiv with cluster munitions banned under the Geneva Convention.

– Sam Meredith

Chinese FM speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart for the first time in a month

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a phone call State media said it was at the request of Ukraine.

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Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said at the time that this was the first high-level conversation to be reported between the two countries since March 1, when Kuleba asked Beijing to use its ties with Moscow to stop the Russian invasion.

Wang reiterated China’s message that peace and stability should be achieved through negotiations, according to state media.

“Grateful to my Chinese counterpart for his solidarity with the civilian victims,” ‚Äč‚ÄčKuleba wrote on Twitter.

“We both share the conviction that ending the war against Ukraine serves the common interests of peace, world food security and international trade,” he added.

– Chelsea Ong

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