After a brief pause, Russia’s defense ministry says its military has been ordered to restart its offensive against Ukraine.
According to the Russian news agency RIA, the attacks were suspended to allow Ukraine to negotiate with the Kremlin and put an end to the killing, but President Volodymyr Zelensky has no intention of surrendering.
However, international media cited a Zelensky advisor as disputing accusations that Zelensky refused to negotiate with Russia in the early hours of Saturday, February 26, 2022, as the strikes entered their third day.
So far, approximately 200 people have died as a result of the attacks. On Saturday, Russia made a move to take Melitopol, a city in southern Ukraine.
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).
CALLS FOR RUSSIA TO BE BANNED FROM BANKING NETWORK
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