On Wednesday, the European Union is set to draft oil sanctions on Moscow as Russian troops bombarded eastern Ukraine, deploying missiles on a steel plant that is the final stronghold for defiance in the port city of Mariupol.
Several evacuees who left the city on United Nations and Red Cross backing managed to arrive in safety at Ukraine-controlled Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday. The residents sought refuge in bunkers for weeks under the Azovstal steel plant.
Pressed by Western sanctions, Russia currently suffers another set of measures from the EU that would aim at its banks and oil industry – a massive move for European nations, which largely depend on Russian energy.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to explain the drafted additional sanctions on Wednesday, counting a prohibition on imports of Russian oil by the end of the year.
Moscow remains strong with what it calls a “special operation,” a war that cost thousands of lives, brought cities to ruins and prompted millions to escape overseas. Russia’s $1.8-trillion economy is on its way to its most significant recession since the 1991 downfall of the Soviet Union.
Putin countermanded by conveying plans to ban exports of vital raw materials.
Russian troops have averted their efforts on Ukraine’s east and south following its failure to capture the capital, Kyiv, in the first weeks of the war.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian forces “reacted today with great anger to our successes.”
“The sheer scale of today’s shelling clearly does not indicate that Russia has any special sort of specific military aim,” he stated in an evening remark to the nation.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden visited a Lockheed Martin defense plant to persuade the US Congress to say yes to his proposed $33 billion assistance package for Ukraine, including over $20 billion in military help.
“If you don’t stand up to dictators, history has shown us, they keep coming, they keep coming,” Biden said in a speech to the Alabama plant workers.
Britain also revealed a $375 million assistance for Ukraine.