European ambassadors met in Brussels today to discuss the European Commission’s proposal for new sanctions against Russia as Russian forces step up attacks in Ukraine.
According to a source from the European Union, there is agreement to adopt this package very quickly, but there are a lot of technical questions, which is “normal because it is a very dense package,” according to the source.
Meanwhile, the United States also announced a new round of sanctions, Including targeting the elder daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and major Russian financial institutions.
On the ground in Ukraine, civilian casualties continue to rise.
If you’re reading right now, here’s what you need to know today:
Civilian casualties: At least 1,563 civilians have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The United Nations agency has recorded 3,776 civilian casualties in Ukraine so far: 1,563 dead and 2,213 injured, it said in its latest update published Wednesday.
In Kyiv, at least 89 people were killed, including four children, and 167 homes were damaged since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the Kyiv city administration wrote in a statement on a verified Telegram page on Wednesday. Another 398 people, including 20 children, were wounded in the war.
Since February 24, Russian forces have destroyed 44 Kyiv schools, 11 administrative buildings, 26 kindergartens and an orphanage.
The administration urged its residents not to lose vigilance and protect themselves from the first signs of weather warnings.
On the groundOn Wednesday, the head of the Luhansk region’s military administration said that the town of Severodonetsk was under intense bombardment, adding that 10 high-rise buildings in the town were on fire.
“The Russians shot at Severodonetsk – 10 high-rise buildings were set on fire,” the region’s governor Serhiy Haiday told Telegram. The information on casualties is being clarified.”
Hayday said that although the bombing did not hit any strategic or military installations, it did hit a factory workshop in Lysichansk and a house in Robyzhny.
Hayday added that Russian forces bombed towns and villages in the Luhansk region a total of 81 times during the previous night.
The United States estimates that Russian forces have completely withdrawn from areas near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order to “re-establishment and regeneration in Belarus and Russia,” according to a senior US defense official.
The official also said that Russia had not yet “secured” Mariupol despite the city’s isolation.
The official said Russia has now fired more than 1,450 missiles at Ukraine since the invasion.
NATO chief expects Ukraine conflict to continue ‘for a long time’Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that although Russia is now focusing its attack on eastern Ukraine, NATO has seen “no indication” that Putin’s goal of controlling the entire country has changed.
Speaking to reporters before a meeting in Brussels of NATO allies’ foreign ministers, Stoltenberg also warned that the war in Ukraine could drag on for years.
“We haven’t seen any indication that President Putin has changed his ambition to take control of the whole of Ukraine and also to rewrite the international order, so we need to be prepared in the long run,” he said. “We have to be realistic and realize that this could go on for a long time, for months or even years.”
NATO foreign ministers meet on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss increased support for Ukraine.
Penalties: The United States is taking additional measures to increase economic pressure on Russia and after Putin Shocking photos from the Ukrainian city of Buchaadvertiser New penalties Wednesday on Russian financial institutions, as well as some people, including Putin’s adult daughters and the wife and daughter of his foreign minister.
“Today we are significantly escalating the financial shock by imposing full-fledged ban sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and the largest private bank, Alpha Bank,” a senior administration official told reporters.
The official noted that Sberbank owns nearly a third of the total assets of Russia’s banking sector, adding that the United States has now completely shut down “more than two-thirds of the Russian banking sector.”
Second, the senior official declared, “In line with the G7 and the European Union, we announce a ban on new investment in Russia.” This will be implemented by an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, on Wednesday, that the United States will not participate in the G-20 meetings in which Russia is participating.
Speaking on the House Financial Services Committee, Yellen said she has made this position clear to other finance ministers in the group.
“General web ninja. Total explorer. Problem solver. Unapologetic troublemaker. Coffee guru. Pop culture maven. Student. Organizer.”