Ukraine war: EU proposes to ban coal imports from Russia worth $4.4 billion a year amid outrage over Bucha killings | world news
The European Union has proposed a ban on coal imports from Russia amid international outcry over claims of “genocide” by Kremlin troops in Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the ban – worth $4.4 billion a year – would increase pressure on the president Vladimir Poutine after what she described as the “heinous crimes” perpetrated around kyiv.
It follows accusations that Russian soldiers carried out a “genocide” in Ukraine amid evidence of mass graves, torture and bodies lying in the streets.
Ukrainian battalion denies demands for surrender – latest news on the war in Ukraine
Western leaders have called for new sanctions in a bid to target cash flow to the Kremlin, which has adamantly denied killing civilians in Bucha.
On Tuesday, NATO’s secretary general said the alliance was determined to send additional arms support to Ukraine, including possible “high-end” weapon systems.
- Russia denied killing civilians in Bucha and claimed bodies were dumped by Ukraine
- Zelenskyy to address UN Security Council on war crimes allegations at 14:00 GMT
- Kremlin forces are reportedly preparing for an offensive in the Donbass region
- US warns next phase of war could be protracted as Russian troops outnumber Ukrainian forces
Russian forces are also reportedly preparing to launch a new offensive in southeastern Ukraine after withdrawing from around Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to identify the Russian troops behind the alleged war crimes, saying Moscow “cannot fool the whole world” despite its attempts to “distort the facts”.
Satellite images show bodies in Bucha
High-resolution satellite images show that many bodies lying in the open in Bucha have been there for weeks, when Russian forces occupied the town.
The bodies are clearly visible in two images taken by Maxar Technologies, a US space technology company, two weeks apart on March 19 and 31, discrediting claims they were planted after the Russian withdrawal.
The town, home to around 35,000 people before the war and popular with commuters, was released by Ukrainian forces this weekend.
The footage was first reviewed by The New York Times.
Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, said the footage reveals “the incredible brutality of Russia’s leadership and those who follow its propaganda”.
Russia denounces the “fakes”
One of Putin’s closest allies said on Tuesday that allegations that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha were Ukrainian and Western propaganda aimed at discrediting Russia.
“These are fakes that have matured in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda,” said Dmitry Medvedev, Russian president from 2008 to 2012.
Liz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, said there was mounting evidence of ‘indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians’ and they must be investigated as crimes of war.
“We will not allow Russia to cover up its involvement in these atrocities with cynical disinformation and we will ensure that the reality of Russia’s actions is brought to light,” she said.
Kremlin forces gather for another attack
Russian forces were preparing for an offensive in the Donbass region on Tuesday, the Ukrainian army said.
After withdrawing from towns around Kyiv, Putin’s forces would focus on seizing the towns of Popasna and Rubizhne in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Black Sea port of Mariupol, the General Staff wrote on Facebook.
Donetsk and Luhansk are controlled by Russian-backed separatists and recognized by Moscow as independent states.
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The General Staff said access to eastern Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was blocked.
The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region has urged residents to stay indoors, close windows and doors and prepare wet masks, saying a Russian strike hit a tank containing nitric acid.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, warned on Monday that Russia probably plans to deploy tens of thousands of troops in the East Ukraine as he shifts his attention south and east.
Zelenskyy addresses the UN
After a visit to Bucha on Monday, Mr Zelenskyy renewed his call for deadlier help from Western leaders, wondering why they had been gripped by “doubts and indecision”.
Later on Tuesday, he will address the UN Security Council on the war crimes allegations.
President Joe Biden said Monday, “What’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone sees it.”