Russia’s military resumes attack on Ukraine after brief suspension

Russia’s defence ministry says its military has been instructed to resume its attacks in Ukraine, after its offensive was suspended briefly. The attacks were halted to allow for Ukraine to negotiate with the Kremlin and essentially see and end to the bloodshed, but President Volodymyr Zelensky has no plans of surrendering, the Russian news agency RIA reported..

But an advisor to Zelensky has been cited by international media as denying claims that Zelensky refused to negotiate with Russia in the early hours of Saturday, 26 February 2022, as the attacks marked their third day. The attacks have so far led to nearly 200 lives being lost. Russia also moved to capture the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol on Saturday.

At the heart of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the neighbouring country’s close ties to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) and the United States (US).

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In addition to the string of sanctions being imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the international community also wants it excluded from SWIFT, which is described as being a banking network. It is used by banks to send secure messages about transfers of money and other transactions. At least 11 000 financial institutions in 200 countries reportedly make use of SWIFT.

The ban will have a large impact on Russia as it has the most users after the United States (US). About 300 Russian financial institutions belong to the system.

Zelensky has welcomed the proposal to take action against Russia in that regard, saying: “Our diplomats fought around the clock to inspire all European countries to agree on a strong and fair decision to disconnect Russia from the international interbanking network. We also have this victory,” 

“This is billions and billions of losses for Russia – a tangible price for this vile invasion of our country… Ukraine won the attention of the entire civilised world. And the practical result? Here it is – SWIFT… Disconnecting from global financial civilisation.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky

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