Ukraine on edge as Russia continues its military assault

Night falls over Ukraine after US official says miles-long Russian convoy appeared to stall near capital, Kyiv.

  • A miles-long Russian military convoy appears stalled near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, a senior US defence official says.
  • Ukrainian emergency services says an attack by Russian forces on a television tower near central Kyiv killed five people and wounded five others.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to US President Joe Biden, saying it is important to stop “aggressor” Russia.
  • At least 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed on Monday in a Russian artillery attack on a military base in Okhtyrka, a local official says.
  • Negotiations between delegations from Kyiv and Moscow held at the Ukraine-Belarus border on Monday ended with no agreements except to keep talking.
  • EU bans Russian media outlets and “certain” banks from SWIFT bank messaging system.

Here are all the latest updates:

EU banning Russian media outlets, banks from SWIFT: EU presidency

The European Union has banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc while banning “certain” Russian banks from the SWIFT bank messaging system, the EU’s rotating presidency said.

The moves, due to come into force on Wednesday after publication in the official journal of the EU, come as Brussels intensifies its sanctions regime on Moscow in response for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Stop the aggressor’, Zelenskyy pleads

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy has said in a phone call with Biden that it is important to stop “aggressor” Russia “as soon as possible”.

The call comes ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address.

100,000 Ukrainians join self-defence units: Official

Svitlana Zalishchuk, a foreign policy adviser to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, told Al Jazeera that Ukrainians are fearful yet determined as fighting has increased across the country.

“We are scared that Putin is not going to stop,” Zalishchuk told Al Jazeera from Beregovo, a city in western Ukraine. She said approximately 100,000 people joined have so-called territorial defence units in recent days in response to Russia’s advance.

“For example, my brother, he is a businessman, he has nothing to do with [the] army but he took a gun and went to protect one of the towns at the entrance of Kyiv,” Zalishchuk said.

Miles-long Russian convoy appears stalled near Kyiv: US official

An enormous Russian military convoy is lumbering towards the capital, Kyiv, raising fears of an imminent uptick in fighting there.

A senior US defence official told reporters the convoy appeared to stall on Tuesday, however, due to a number of factors, including the Ukrainian resistance that the Russian troops have faced.

“We also believe that a part of the stall could be – and I emphasise the word ‘could’ – could be a result of their own self-determined sort of pause in operations – that they are possibly regrouping, rethinking, reevaluating,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Apple says it ‘paused’ all product sales in Russia

Tech giant Apple has announced a halt to all product sales in Russia. “We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country,” the company said in a statement.

The iPhone maker also announced Apple Pay and other services have been limited, while Russian state-owned media RT and Sputnik are no longer available for download outside Russia.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” the statement said.

Ukrainian refugees stream into Hungary

More than 85,000 people have crossed from Ukraine into Hungary since the start of Russia’s invasion.

Along the 135km (84-mile) frontier, refugees are met with hot chai, locally made sandwiches, and logistical help – embassies can be rung, tickets booked for free, and even children entertained. Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Monday, February 29, here.

Source link