Ukraine: Zelensky demands more sanctions and keeps fighting

KYIV, Ukraine — As fighting rages in Ukraine after the country marked the anniversary of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian authorities on Saturday reported dozens of new Russian strikes and attacks on towns in the east and south.

After a somber and defiant memorial service on Friday and a marathon news conference, Ukraine’s seemingly indefatigable president responded a day later with more video posts in which he declared that “Russia must lose in Ukraine” and argued that his forces could be defeated. year.

In a separate tweet, President Volodymyr Zelensky also called for further sanctions against Russia after the UK, US and European Union announced new measures aimed at further stifling funding and support for Moscow.

“The pressure on the Russian aggressor must increase,” Zelensky wrote in English.

He said Ukraine wanted to see “decisive action” against Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom and Russia’s nuclear industry, as well as “greater pressure on the military and banking sectors.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that Rosatom and his Defense Ministry should work to ensure Russia is ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if necessary. He claimed that the United States was working on nuclear weapons and that some were contemplating nuclear tests that were banned under the global test ban that came into effect after the end of the Cold War.

“If the United States does tests, we will do it too,” Putin said.

Russia has already become the world’s most sanctioned nation in the past year, with sanctions imposed by more than 30 countries representing more than half of the world’s economy. But the tightening of the economy, trade and companies has not yet delivered a knockout blow.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, called the latest US sanctions “reckless”.

“We have learned to live under economic and political pressure,” said Antonov. “The experience of previous sanctions shows that they damage the world market to a greater extent, worsen the situation of ordinary citizens in states that initiate or support reckless sanctions.”

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The February 24th anniversary of last year’s invasion brought no respite in the Russian attacks.

Still, in a video post on Saturday, Zelensky asked: “Is it possible for us to win?”

– Yes, he said. “We can do this unitedly, decisively and unyieldingly to end Russian aggression this year.”

On Saturday, the Ukrainian military reported 27 Russian airstrikes and 75 rocket attacks during the most recent 24-hour period. According to the statement, Russian offensive efforts remain focused on the industrial areas of eastern and northeastern Ukraine. Five civilians were reported wounded in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province, where the area is roughly divided between Russian and Ukrainian control.

In the southern Kherson region, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin also reported 83 Russian shellings, the regional capital, also known as Kherson, was hit nine times, residential buildings, a kindergarten and a medical facility were hit. The head of the Ukrainian presidential office reported that three civilians were wounded in the region.

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Elise Morton contributed to this report from London.


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine and the anniversary of the invasion in one year of the war