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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.
2:20 a.m.: Beyond the Donbas, Russia continues to conduct long-range missile strikes against infrastructure across Ukraine, the British defense intelligence report said on Wednesday.
“The strategically important bridge links Ukraine with Romania and with Ukraine’s ports on the Danube, which have become critical to Ukrainian exports after the blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports by Russia.”
Russia continued its focus on ground operations with intensified fighting in Sieverodonetsk streets the ministry added in its daily report.
2:00 a.m.: Swiss financial market supervisor FINMA extended through August a ban on the Swiss arm of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank from making payments and transactions, as well as other measures designed to protect creditors, Reuters reported.
FINMA imposed the measures on Sberbank (Switzerland) on March 4 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted a host of sanctions to be imposed by Western countries, the report said. They were later extended through May 31, with FINMA on Wednesday adding on a further two months. “The measures will remain in place until 2 August 2022 owing to heightened international sanctions and the continuing risks for the bank’s liquidity situation,” FINMA said in a statement.
1:30 a.m.: Russian defense ministry claimed Wednesday that its forces are holding drills with about 1,000 servicemen in the Ivanovo province, a city located northeast of Moscow, Reuters reported citing the Interfax news agency. The ministry said the exercise includes “intense maneuvers using over 100 vehicles including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers,” news agency reported.
Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden made mention of the threat of nuclear weapons since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in an Op-Ed he penned for The Times on Tuesday. “I know many people around the world are concerned about the use of nuclear weapons,” Biden said. “We currently see no indication that Russia has intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, though Russia’s occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear saber is itself dangerous and extremely irresponsible. Let me be clear: Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict on any scale would be completely unacceptable to us as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences.”
12:15 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday he decided to provide Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” as part of U.S. efforts to help the Ukrainian fight against a Russian invasion now in its fourth month.
Biden wrote in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the United States has aided Ukraine with weapons and ammunition in order to bolster its position on the battlefield and ultimately in peace negotiations with Russia.
“Unprovoked aggression, the bombing of maternity hospitals and centers of culture, and the forced displacement of millions of people makes the war in Ukraine a profound moral issue,” Biden said.
Biden wrote Tuesday that he does not seek war with Russia.
“As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow,” Biden said. “So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces. We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders.”
12:01 a.m.: Russian opposition figure and jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny could face 15 more years under a new charge, The Associated Press reported.
Navalny took to social media Tuesday to say he now has been charged with starting an extremist organization. There has been no official announcement about new charges against Navalny.
Navalny was jailed last year when he returned to Russia after receiving medical treatment in Germany following a poison attack with a Soviet-era nerve agent during a visit to Siberia in 2020. Navalny blamed Putin for the attack.
He is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a prison camp east of Moscow on a 2014 embezzlement conviction. Navalny has been a longtime outspoken critic of the government, including calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “stupid” and “built on lies.”
Last year, Navalny’s foundation was outlawed after being labeled “extremist” by authorities, who blocked tens of websites run by his network.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.