Fighting in Russia, northeastern Ukraine under growing international pressure: Updated Monday, February 28

Russia’s nuclear forces on special alert

In the absence of any major Russian military victory so far, on Sunday Vladimir Putin threatened to take another step and escalate the conflict, which many fear will become more serious in Europe from 1945 onwards.

He said he put it inside Russia’s special status “nuclear alert”A force with a large number of nuclear weapons, in the face of “NATO’s warlike declarations” and “illegal” sanctions imposed on its country.

However, the United States said Monday that there was no “concrete” change in Russia’s nuclear capability.

Allowed oligarchy

On Monday, the Kremlin master ordered shocking measures to support the ruble, which fell to an all-time low against the dollar and euro after the announcement of new European and US sanctions.

Many Russians began withdrawing their savings from banks and residents of Russia could not exchange currency outside its borders as of Tuesday. Russian exporters will have to convert 80% of their earnings in foreign currencies into rubles from January 1.

Earlier, the Central Bank of Russia announced that it would raise its key rate to 20%, warning that a number of Russian companies would be excluded from the Swift International Banking Agency in the face of new sanctions announced by the West.

Not wanting to stop there, Europeans and their allies are ready to impose further sanctions against Russia, Paris said after a video conference that brought together French, American, British, Canadian, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Romanian delegates. European Union and NATO.

In this regard, Canada will ban “all imports of Russian crude oil”, “an industry that has greatly benefited President Putin and his oligarchs”.

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Another strong gesture was Russia’s exclusion from the FIFA World Cup by its organizer, FIFA, which suspended national selections and Russian clubs “until further notice”.

500,000 refugees

The conflict has pushed increasing Ukrainians onto the roads. The UN refugee agency says more than 500,000 of them have fled to neighboring countries since Russia launched its offensive on Thursday. The High Commissioner said on Monday. The European Union expects more than seven million displaced people.

Most of it goes to Poland. But Romania, Slovakia and Hungary – all members of NATO – are concerned.

The number of people in the five-day conflict remains uncertain. The UN said 102 civilians had been killed and 304 injured on Monday, but stressed that the actual figures were “significantly higher”. Ukraine announced on Monday that 352 civilians had been killed and 2,040 wounded since Thursday, and that thousands of Russian soldiers had been killed. The Russians, meanwhile, did not provide any figures.

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