Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

The US has imposed new sanctions on dozens of supporters of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

The US has imposed new sanctions on dozens of supporters of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

The sanctions are aimed, among other things, at weakening the Russian energy and raw materials sector, according to communications from the Finance and Foreign Ministries in Washington. They were also directed against those who participate in evading sanctions. The punitive measures affect individuals as well as companies and institutions.

New additions to the sanctions list include the operator of a liquefied natural gas project run by the large Russian natural gas company Novatek in the Russian Arctic and the mining company Rustitan, which is responsible for a project to develop the world's largest titanium ore deposit in Russia. The name Alexander Sakharov is also on the list: He is responsible for building the Russian Lancet drones, which have recently been increasingly used in Ukraine.

As a result of the sanctions, any assets of those affected will be blocked in the USA. US citizens and anyone else residing in the United States are prohibited from doing business with the sanctioned companies, entities and individuals. International business also tends to become significantly more difficult for those affected by the sanctions.

Zelensky welcomes US sanctions against Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the new US sanctions package against Russia as “very powerful”. Other important areas of the aggressor's economy are now subject to punitive measures. But it must also be prevented that Moscow is able to circumvent the sanctions, said Zelensky in his video message distributed in Kiev on Thursday evening. Russia has repeatedly described the sanctions as ineffective.

Zelenskyj once again appeared confident of victory. "I am convinced that Ukraine will definitely win," he said of the war that Russia started more than 20 months ago. Ukrainian media, which generally do not criticize Zelensky, emphasized that in his video message the president did not respond to the widely noticed statements by Ukrainian Supreme Commander Valeriy Zalushny, according to which the war of attrition had reached a dead end. Standstill on the battlefield would only help Russia make up for its army's losses, Saluzhnyj had said.

Rather, Zelensky said that Russia was gradually losing control in the Black Sea and was retreating to the eastern regions. “We will reach them there too,” he said. Russia, on the other hand, repeatedly emphasizes that it has control in the waters and also flies patrols there with combat aircraft.

London: Offensives from both sides are making no progress

According to British military experts, both sides are making little progress with their offensives. This emerged from the daily intelligence update from the Ministry of Defense in London. The Ukrainian advance in the south is “relatively static” between two well-prepared Russian defensive positions. At the same time, a large-scale Russian attack near the town of Avdiivka in the eastern Donbass region came to a standstill in the face of strong Ukrainian defenses.

"A major factor in this phenomenon is most likely the relative elimination of tactical air superiority: both sides continue to have significant air defense capabilities that prevent fighter jets from providing effective air support for attacks," the statement continued. Above all, the geographical conditions are also important, since with a front line of 1,200 kilometers to be protected on both sides there are hardly any troops available for a breakthrough.

USA provides more military equipment for Ukraine

The USA is providing Ukraine with additional military equipment to defend against Russia's war of aggression. The new package worth $125 million (around €116 million) is military aid that has already been approved by the US Congress. It mainly includes ammunition for multiple rocket launchers of the Himars type and anti-aircraft systems of the Nasams type, as the Pentagon announced. It should help meet “immediate needs on the battlefield.” The Ministry of Defense also announced that it would allocate $300 million (around 279 million euros) to the long-term strengthening of Ukraine's air defense.

The release of new US aid to Ukraine is currently being blocked by a domestic political dispute between Democrats and Republicans in the US Parliament. The US government again called on Congress on Friday to appropriate additional funding to "fulfill its commitment to the Ukrainian people." He must ensure that Ukraine can defend itself against Russia's brutal war. A few days ago, US President Joe Biden requested an aid package worth around 105 billion US dollars (around 99 billion euros) from Congress, which provides comprehensive aid for Ukraine.

Over 70 ships have entered Ukrainian seaports since September

Despite Russian air strikes on port facilities, more than 70 merchant ships are said to have called at Ukrainian seaports on the Black Sea since September. Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk put the export volume on Ukrainian foreign television on Thursday at almost 1.5 million tons per month. During the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain, which was supported by Russia until the summer, there was an average of 2.8 million tons of agricultural goods per month.

The key to the upward trend is lower insurance costs, said the Navy spokesman. These fell after the first freighters arrived and left Ukrainian Black Sea ports undamaged in September, despite the danger of Russian fire. “And besides, this channel has already turned into an export-import channel,” Pletentschuk emphasized. Russia had justified its attempts at a naval blockade by preventing arms deliveries to Ukraine by sea.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Ukrainian maritime trade came to a standstill. Despite the ongoing war, a so-called grain corridor was able to be set up for almost twelve months - mediated by the United Nations and Turkey. The aim was to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain in order to stabilize international food prices. During this time, ships could only call at Ukrainian seaports after prior Russian control. Moscow allowed the agreement to expire in July. In September, Kiev declared that it would ensure safe passage itself.