Russia Ukraine War Crisis: The European Union’s leader on Wednesday called on the 27-nation bloc to ban oil imports from Russia in the sixth package of sanctions targeting Moscow for its war in Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also proposed that Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two other major banks be disconnected from the SWIFT international banking payment system. The proposals need to be unanimously approved to take effect and are likely to be the subject of fierce debate.
Meanwhile, attacks and shelling intensified in Donetsk and Luhansk, with the most difficult area being Popasna, where it was impossible to organise evacuations, regional governor Serhiy Haida said.
Scores of evacuees who did manage to leave Mariupol under United Nations and Red Cross auspices over the weekend reached the relative safety of Ukraine-controlled Zaporizhzhia after cowering for weeks under the sprawling Azovstal steel plant. Mariupol is a major target for Russia as it seeks to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea and connect Russian-controlled territory in the south and east. (Here we explained why Mariupol matters to Russia)