More European countries are in favour of cutting Russia out of the Swift global payments system, Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, have said. France supported the move, said Kuleba, while the Cypriot finance minister said his country was not opposed. In Italy, the leader of PD, a main coalition party, said Rome would support a block.
Germany is in talks over approving the delivery of 400 RPGs to Ukraine by a third country but a decision has not been taken yet.
Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, said Russia could cut diplomatic ties with the west. The Russian RIA news agency reported that the senior lawmaker Andrei Klimov said Russia would decide in which areas it would work with the west and where it no longer made sense to cooperate.
A Russian shell has hit a residential building in the centre of Kyiv, Ukraine says. Video shared by Zelenskiy’s press service shows the missile exploding in a private flat, sending smoke and debris into the living room.
Russia’s communications regulator has ordered independent media to remove reports describing Moscow’s attack on Ukraine as an “assault, invasion, or declaration of war” or face being blocked and fined. It accused a number of outlets of spreading “unreliable socially significant untrue information” about the shelling of Ukrainian cities by the Russian army and civilian deaths.
The UN refugee agency said that nearly 120,000 people have so far fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries to escape the Russian invasion. The agency expects that up to 4 million Ukrainians could flee if the situation deteriorates further.
Many Ukrainians have been preparing to fight. City authorities urged residents to stay home and prepare molotov cocktails for a citizen uprising against Russian fighters if they break through defensive lines. In one district, rifles were handed out to any citizen who wanted to fight, and the defence ministry has opened the army to any Ukrainian citizen.
Joe Biden has released $350m in military aid to Ukraine. In a memorandum to the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, Biden directed that $350m allocated through the Foreign Assistance Act be designated for Ukraine’s defence.
Vladimir Putin on Friday urged the Ukrainian army to overthrow its leadership, whom he labelled as a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis who has lodged itself in Kyiv and taken hostage the entire Ukrainian people”.
Prominent Russians have joined protests in Russia or spoken out against the invasion amid at least 1,800 arrests at anti-war rallies. They include pop stars, chatshow hosts and newspaper correspondents who have gone public despite the professional and personal risks that come with political dissent.
The UN security council voted on a resolution deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Eleven member states voted for the resolution, three abstained (China, India and UAE), and one voted against (Russia). As Russia holds a veto, the resolution was not upheld.
The Council of Europe suspended Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The 47-nation council announced that Russia was suspended with “immediate effect” from the organisation’s committee of ministers and parliamentary assembly on Friday “as a result of the Russian Federation’s armed attack on Ukraine”.
Russia will no longer be allowed to compete in this year’s Eurovision song contest, with organisers saying its inclusion could “bring the competition into disrepute”.
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