Russia sanctions Johnson and intensifies attacks in Ukraine; Kiev blast leaves dead, injured

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Russia announced sanctions on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday as it intensified attacks in several locations in eastern Ukraine, mainly in the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions, according to Ukrainian military and regional officials.

Johnson, his predecessor Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and other members of the British government were banned from entering Russian territory in response to British sanctions.

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The UK had joined other Western nations in imposing restrictive sanctions on Russia amid President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Amid sanctions, Russia continues its offensive. The capital Kiev was the target of Russian attacks this morning, with shelling that led to the death of one person and other injuries.

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Local officials said two civilians had died and four others were injured across the country after Russian attacks on Saturday.

Russia intends to blockade the city of Kharkiv, which continues to see persistent bombing, and has concentrated up to 22 battalion tactical groups around Izyum, according to the Ukrainian government. A battalion tactical group typically comprises around 1,000 soldiers.

Around Slobozhansky, which is an area south of Kharkiv, “the main focus of the Russian enemy is on regrouping and strengthening troops,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

“The enemy’s main efforts are focused on holding positions previously occupied,” Ukraine said, noting the deployment of additional Russian units.

In the Donetsk region, Russian efforts focused on taking the cities of Popasna and Rubizhne, as well as establishing full control over the strategic port city of Mariupol, the statement said.

The Ukrainian government also reported on constant fire against its troops around Popasna, saying Russian forces are “trying to improve the tactical situation and advance deep into the Popasna settlement”, but have ended up frustrated.

Intensified shelling around the city of Severodonetsk was reported “in order to inflict losses, deplete troops and possibly prepare for offensive operations”, as well as shelling further south in Toretsk.

One person was killed in Kreminna, northwest of Severodonetsk, a local official said.

Efforts continue to get residents of the cities of Rubizhne and Kreminna to safety amid intense fighting in the area, said Serhii Haidai, head of Luhansk’s regional administration. He added that there is no water or gas in Severodonetsk.

On Friday (15), 10 Russian enemy attacks were contained in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“The main events that we will talk about in the coming days, or rather weeks, will be events related to the fighting in the Ukrainian Donbas,” Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, said on Saturday (16).

Russian missile attacks have expanded to areas other than the Donbas region, Ukrainian officials say.

One person was killed in an attack on a village near the city of Poltava, according to Dmytro Lunin, head of Poltava’s military administration.

The country’s top general said he spoke with the top US military official on Friday.

Valery Zaluzhny stated that he discussed the “heavy fighting on the Kharkiv-Izyum border, deterrence of the Russian offensive in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, the critical situation around Mariupol and rocket fire across Ukraine” with the state president. – Major Assembly, General Mark Milley.

“I reiterated the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in armaments and ammunition to strengthen our defense capabilities,” added Zaluzhny.

The news comes as Russian preparations continue in eastern Ukraine for an offensive operation.

Source: CNN Brasil

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