Ukraine: Bob Stewart questions morale of Russian forces
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Economic sanctions have combined with reports of Russian soldiers reticent to take up arms, despite the world watching on as a Russian convoy makes its way towards the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Estimates place the length of the convoy at a staggering 40 miles long.
Mr Farage tweeted: “The info I am getting is that many Russian soldiers are reluctant to fight their cousins.
“Add to that the oligarchs being hit and will want revenge — it feels like Putin’s overreach will be the end of him.”
The EU is preparing to call for tougher measures on Russian oil and gas imports and further-reaching sanctions from across the bloc.
The European Parliament will vote on the measures after a speech to delegates by Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Many MEPs have pushed for more stringent sanctions after Russian attacks began to destroy Ukraine’s national infrastructure and rack up civilian casualties.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that no amount of Western sanctions will change Moscow’s position, despite negotiations taking place between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus.
The EU announced on Monday the bloc has added 26 new people to its sanction list, including a number of Vladimir Putin’s closest associates.
This includes Igor Sechin, who heads up the state-owned oil company, Rosneft, and a prominent member of Putin’s government for decades.
The sanctions extend to government ministers, including the Russian Transport Minister, Vitaly Savelyev, and Putin’s spokesperson himself, Dmitry Peskov.
Unveiling the sanction list, the EU said Peskov “actively supported actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine.”
Appealing to the EU for aid, Mr Zelensky urged the European Union to accept Ukraine as a member state through a “new special procedure”.
Speaking via Telegram, he urged Brussels: “We ask the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession via a new special procedure.
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He continued: “Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing. I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible.”
The EU is not the only organisation to slap Russia with economic sanctions aiming to disable the Kremlin’s ability to wage war in Ukraine.
The UK announced further sanctions against Russia on Monday, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirming Russia’s largest bank will now fall under penalties.
Ms Truss said the UK was “prepared to suffer economic sacrifices” to back Ukraine, and would hold the sanctions in place “for however long it takes”.
She added: “We will continue working through our hitlist of oligarchs, focusing on their houses, their yachts and every aspect of their lives.”
The interest rate in Russia more than doubled on Monday in response to global sanctions, soaring to 20 percent after the rouble tumbled.
The stock market also remains shut in an attempt to avoid an en-masse sell-off of shares.
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