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Saturday, April 1, 2023

60% of Putin’s War Chest Frozen, US Officials Reveal

Sanctions have frozen more than 60% of Putin’s war fund, but more has to be done, according to Liz Truss.

The Russian economy is being pushed back “into the Soviet period” by “crippling” sanctions, according to the foreign secretary.

She noted that the government does not have access to more than $350 billion (£266 billion) of Russia’s $604 billion in foreign currency reserves.

Her appeal for additional action comes in the wake of outrage over photographs of bodies in the streets of Bucha, near Kyiv, following the withdrawal of Russian forces.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has warned that the biggest Russian atrocities have yet to be found, while Russia has denied killing civilians, saying, without evidence, that Ukraine has created such incidents.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has posted a video on social media directed to the Russian population in which he accuses Russian forces of atrocities such as civilian massacres and rape of women.

At the conclusion of the film, he states in Russian: “Your president has been charged with war crimes. But I’m not certain he’s operating on your behalf.”

Ms Truss, speaking following discussions with her Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau, encouraged G7 nations to tighten sanctions even more ahead of this week’s G7 and Nato summits.

She wants to prohibit Russian ships from their ports, tighten down on Russian banks, target businesses that “feed Putin’s war fund,” like as the gold trade, and agree on a timeline to phase out Russian oil and gas imports.

Ms Truss stated that the only way to stop the war is for Russian President Vladimir Putin to lose in Ukraine, and she will emphasize the need of escalating sanctions and providing Ukraine with weaponry to defend itself.

“Despite the fact that Russian forces were thwarted in their initial attack on Kyiv, their goal and desire have not changed,” she stated.

“We’re witnessing Putin’s soldiers turn their attention to Ukraine’s east and south, with the same callous contempt for civilian life and national identity.”

“Our sanctions have had a crushing effect on those who feed and pay Putin’s war machine so far,” he said.

More penalties against Russia are being planned by both the EU and the US this week, with EU ambassadors gathering on Wednesday to discuss what actions to take.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced a fifth round of penalties, including a ban on Russian coal imports worth 4 billion euros (£3.34 billion) per year.

Ms Truss had previously agreed with her counterpart from Japan, a fellow G7 member, that the international community needed to put more pressure on Russia through coordinated sanctions.

The UK has also launched a £10 million fund to aid Ukrainian organizations, particularly those that assist victims of conflict-related sexual abuse.

The United Kingdom will also contribute financial and technical support to the International Criminal Court’s probe into rape allegations.

“The sights from Bucha have startled us all,” she remarked. “These are heinous deeds that we believed we had left behind in the twentieth century.”

Nearly two weeks before Russians departed Bucha, a satellite image of the town dated March 19 purports to show dead laying on the roadway.

The photograph refutes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s assertion that film of bodies in Bucha was “fabricated” after the Russians left.

It depicts what appear to be bodies in the same areas where Ukrainian troops discovered them after regaining control of the town.

She also commended Poland for being on the “front lines of aiding Ukraine” and for always being “clear-eyed” about “Putin’s harmful agenda” throughout her visit.

To avoid a “new Buchas,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged countries to cease importing Russian oil, gas, and coal. He called the action the “mother of all sanctions,” claiming it would put an end to the war in months.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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