Explosions heard in Kiev and Kharkiv ahead of Russian-Ukrainian talks

Explosions were heard before dawn on Monday in the capital of Kyiv, shattering a few hours of calm, and in the major city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection said.

The Ukrainian army said it hit Russian convoys heading for the town while a military spokesman said the Russians attacked on many fronts.

According to Russian news agencies, talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to start on Monday in Belarus with the aim of ending the fighting.

Monday’s Washington Post quoted a US official as saying Belarus was preparing to join the Russian invasion force.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was not optimistic about the outcome of the talks, but was ready to give them a chance so the Ukrainian people would know that all efforts to end the war were being made .

Zelensky told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone conversation on Sunday that the next 24 hours would be crucial for Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

On Sunday, satellite images revealed a 5-kilometer-long Russian convoy heading towards Kiev. The convoy included armed personnel carriers, tanks and tank trucks.

3 צפייה בגלריה

תמונות לווויין שצצות שיירה של בצאא רוסיה בדבדך לקייב אוקקאירה איבאקירה איבאקקיב איבאקקיב במבמקקק ככ -65"מ מקייב

Satellite images show a long Russian military convoy heading towards Kiev on Sunday

(Photo: EPA/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES)

So far, the Russian offensive cannot claim any major victory. Russia did not take any Ukrainian cities, did not control Ukrainian airspace and its troops remained about 30 km (19 miles) from downtown Kiev, the official said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” which it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy the military capabilities of its southern neighbor and capture what it sees as dangerous nationalists.

As sanctions on Russia increase, South Korea says it will tighten export controls on Russia, banning exports of strategic items, and join moves by Western countries to block some banks international payments system SWIFT, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

The Korean government has also decided to promote the additional release of strategic oil reserves for the stabilization of the international energy market and to further consider other measures such as the resale of LNG to Europe, the official said. ministry in a statement.

Singapore intends to impose “appropriate sanctions and restrictions” on Russia, the city-state’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, told parliament on Monday, the Straits Times reported.

Japan also said it was working closely with G7 countries to ensure effective economic sanctions against Russia and its central bank, its top monetary diplomat said after a meeting of government and central bank leaders to discuss the fallout from the Ukrainian crisis.

“We will respond, working closely with the international community, including the G7 countries, to exert maximum cost to Russia” for the invasion of Ukraine, deputy vice president Masato Kanda told reporters on Monday. -Minister of Finance for International Affairs.

The Russian ruble fell to a record low against the dollar on Monday, and Russia’s central bank announced a series of measures to support domestic markets as it struggles to manage the growing fallout from tough Western sanctions.

The central bank said it would resume buying gold domestically, launch a no-limit buyout auction and ease restrictions on banks’ open currency positions.

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