‘In all directions’: Russia vows new attacks: Live News | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

  • Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces intensifies as troops close in on Kyiv.
  • Western nations pledge to facilitate the delivery of military aid to Ukraine.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky says the country’s forces have “have understood and successfully repelled enemy attacks.”
  • Nearly 200 people have been killed so far, including civilians, according to Ukraine’s health minister.
  • More than 150,000 Ukrainians have fled the country since the beginning of Moscow’s assault, the UN says.

Here are the latest updates:

What is SWIFT, the global payment system?

The European Union, along with the United States and other Western partners, has announced further sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including cutting off a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank payments system.

Ejecting it from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network would cripple Moscow’s ability to trade with most of the world and deal a heavy blow to the Russian economy.

Click here to read Al Jazeera’s explainer.

Russia closes airspace to carriers from Baltics, Slovenia

Russia has closed its airspace to flights operated by carriers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia in tit-for-tat punitive measures.

“Air carriers of these states and / or registered in them are subject to restrictions on flights to destinations in the territory of the Russian Federation, including transit flights through the airspace of the Russian Federation,” the federal air transport agency Rosaviation said.

Germany and Western allies agree cutting Russia out of SWIFT

Germany and its Western allies have agreed to cut Russia out of the SWIFT global payment system, a spokesperson for the German government said, in a third sanctions package aimed at halting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions agreed with the United States, France, Canada, Italy, Great Britain and the European Commission also include limiting the ability of Russia’s central bank to support the ruble.

They will also end the “golden passports” for wealthy Russians and their families and will target individuals and institutions in Russia and elsewhere that supports the war against Ukraine, the spokesperson said.

“The countries stressed their willingness to take further measures should Russia not end its attack on Ukraine and thus on the European peace order,” he added.


Macron asks for ‘withdrawal of Russian troops’ from Belarus

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has asked his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko to ensure the “withdrawal of Russian troops” from Belarus, the French presidency said.

The president asked the Belarusian leader “to demand as soon as possible the withdrawal of Russian troops from his soil,” and urged him to cooperate with the international community to allow humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people, he said in a statement.

EU announces new Russia sanctions with US and others, including SWIFT

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the EU, along with the United States and other Western partners, plans to impose further sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including cutting off a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank payments system .

UK Johnson says pressure building to cut Russia off from SWIFT

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that the world should cut Russia off from the global SWIFT payments system and said more countries supported such a move.

“What you have seen just today is more countries joining the UK’s call to use SWIFT,” Johnson said. He said more countries had said they would not block cutting Russia off from SWIFT.

“Things are not going all the way President Putin,” Johnson said of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Greece says 10 nationals killed in Ukraine

Athens says that 10 Greek nationals have been killed and six others wounded by Russian bombing near the key southeastern port city of Mariupol.

“Ten innocent civilians of Greek origin [were] killed today by Russian air strikes close to Mariupol. Stop the bombing now! ” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a tweet.

The bombing took place on the outskirts of the villages of Sartana and Bugas, and one of the injured was a child, Greece’s Foreign Ministry said.

Russian army ordered to broaden Ukraine advance

The Russian army has been given orders to broaden its offensive in Ukraine “from all directions” after Kyiv refused to hold talks in Belarus, the defense ministry said.

Russian forces have made thrusts into the Ukrainian capital Kyiv before reportedly falling back to the outskirts, facing tough resistance on day three of the invasion.

“After the Ukrainian side rejected the negotiation process, today all units were given orders to develop the advance from all directions in accordance with the operation’s plans,” Russian army spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

Russian military convoys ‘flooding’ across the Russia-Ukraine border

Al Jazeera’s Rania Dridi, reporting from the city of Volgograd, in southwestern Russia, says military units in the area are being deployed across the border with Ukraine.

“Convoys of Russian military gear continue to flood across the Russia-Ukraine border; armored gear and vehicle-mounted missiles, ”Dridi said.

“The convoys will take part in the ongoing military operations, the fiercest of which is currently raging on the Donbas front,” she added, citing the region in eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed separatists control swaths of territory.

“This scene is repeated elsewhere as other convoys are crossing the borderline into Ukraine on other roads.”

People in Ukraine’s capital take cover as Russians approach

People in Ukraine have sought safety underground as Russian troops closed in Kyiv and skirmishes flared on the city’s outskirts.

The assault on Kyiv was clouded by a curfew set to last through Monday morning, but the relatively quiet of the night in Kyiv was sporadically broken by gunfire.

“We will fight for as long as it takes to liberate our country,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised, as he continued to press for additional international help.

Small groups of Russian troops were reported inside Kyiv, but Britain and the US said the bulk of Russian forces were 30km (19 miles) from the city’s center.

Lufthansa halts flights to Russia for a week

German airline Lufthansa has said it will cancel all flights to Russia and will stop using Russian airspace for the coming week, citing the “emerging regulatory situation”.

“Flights that are in Russian airspace will leave it again shortly,” a spokesman for the company said, adding that the company was in close contact with national and international authorities and would continue to monitor the situation closely.

INTERACTIVE- Why do planes avoid Ukraine airspace

From Berlin to Sydney, global outpouring of support for Ukraine

In a sea of ​​blue and yellow flags and banners smeared with blood red handprints, protesters around the world have shown support for Ukraine on and called on governments to do more to help Kyiv, punish Russia and avoid a broader conflict.

Several hundred people marched through heavy rain in Sydney chanting “Ukraine will prevail” while protesters in Tokyo called for Russia to be expelled from the United Nations Security Council for the assault on its neighbor.

Thousands of people also took to the streets in Europe, with protesters – including many Ukrainians living abroad – in London, Nicosia, Berlin, Athens, Helsinki, Madrid and Milan draping themselves in flags and holding “stop the war” placards.

Other protests took place in Latin America, India, Turkey, as well as Russia, where more than 3,000 people have been detained.

Read the updates from Saturday here.

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