Hundreds of artillery shells exploded along the line of contact between the Ukrainians soldiers and Russian-backed separatists and thousands of people evacuated eastern Ukraine, further heightening fears on Sunday that the volatile region could trigger a Russian invasion.
Western leaders have warned that Russia is about to attack son neighbor, who is surrounded on three sides by about 150,000 Russian soldierswar planes and equipment. Russia held nuclear drills on Saturday in neighboring Belarus and has ongoing naval exercises off the side in the black Sea.
The United States and many Europeans countries alleged for months that Russia is trying to create pretexts to invade. They threatened massive and immediate sanctions if that was the case.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russian President Vladimir Putin choosing a place meet where the two leaders could meet to try to resolve crisis.
“Ukraine will continue to follow only diplomacy path for sake of a peaceful settlement,” Zelenskyy said Saturday at the Munich security conference. There was no immediate response from the Kremlin.
Zelensky spoke hours after separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a full military mobilization and sent more civilians in Russia, which issued approximately 700,000 passports to residents of rebel-held territories. Claims that Russian citizens are in danger could be used as justification for military action.
In new panels of fears that a war could start within days, Germany and Austria told their citizens to leave Ukraine. German air carrier Lufthansa has canceled flights to the capital, Kyivet in Odessa, a Black Sea port that could be a key target in a invasion.
NATO liaison office in Kyiv said he was relocating from personnel in Brussels and western Ukraine city of Lviv.
Meanwhile, the United States and Britain would seek to reduce off Russian companies » access in US dollars and British pounds if the Kremlin orders a invasion of Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC.
“The plan we see is for something that really could be the greatest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of on a large scale,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the sanctions on Russia in the event of a invasion would go much further than previously suggested in public.
He said the UK and the US would stop Russian companies”trading in pounds and dollars” – a move that he said would be”hit very very hard” with son impact, the BBC reported.
Britain, home In the center of global exchange trading had threatened to prevent Russian companies from raising capital in London and exhibit property and ownership of the company if Russia invades Ukraine.
Given Russia’s position as a one of the world’s main exporters of of oil, gas and metals – which are largely priced and regulated in US dollars – blocking Russian companies access for dollar the markets could have a stinging impact.
Putin repeatedly called for reduce dependency on United States dollar trade.
The largest Russian oil company, Rosneft, has completely changed its currency of its contracts in euros from US dollars to shield its transactions against US sanctions, said CEO Igor Sechin in 2019.
Johnson said that government would target Russian banks and Russian companies. Britain didn’t spell out who would fall under the sanctions, but promised that there would be nowhere for The Russian oligarchs are hiding.
With regard to the American and British approach, Russia first Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations said on Sunday that the balance sheets of American and British spies on Ukraine cannot be trusted car she made so many serious mistakes in the run up in the USA invasion of Iraq,
“We don’t trust US and UK intelligence, they let us downall world, on enough opportunities to remember weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sky.
Polyansky said no one should try to tell russia where she was standing military exercises on Russian territory.
Faced with escalating tensions, Russia says it took in tens of thousands of people run away from conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
According to the state news Tass, Civil Defense Minister Alexander Chupriyan said 40,000 refugees had arrived in Southern Rostov of Russia region and were hosted in 92 emergency shelters.
Denis Pushilin, the head of pro-russian separatists government in Ukrainian Donetsk region evoked a “ menace immediate of aggression” of the Ukrainian forces in his announcement of a call to arms. Ukrainian officials have vehemently denied having plans take rebel-held areas by force.
“I appeal to all men in The Republic who may hold arms to defend their family, their children, wives, mothers,” Pushilin said. “Together we will achieve the coveted victory that we all have need.”