Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for “maximum” sanctions against Russia, including the oil embargo

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told business leaders that the world must step up sanctions against Russia to dissuade other countries from using “brute force” to achieve their goals.
Zelenskyy spoke via video link to the World Economic Forum in Davos as the Ukrainian military said it had repelled a Russian assault on Sievierdonetsk, an eastern city that became the main target of a Russian offensive following the surrender of the southern port city. by Mariupol last week.

It also revealed Ukraine’s worst military casualties in a single attack of the war on Monday, saying 87 people had been killed last week when Russian forces struck a barracks housing troops at a training base in the north.

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Earlier, Ukraine had said that eight people had died in the May 17 strike in the barracks in the city of Desna.
In the first of what could be many war crimes trials stemming from the February 24 Russian invasion, a Kiev court sentenced a young Russian tank commander to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian.
Ukrainian Attorney General Iryna Venediktova said around 13,000 cases of alleged Russian war crimes are under investigation.
Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes while carrying out what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
With the conflict entering its fourth month, Zelenskyy urged countries to put more pressure on Russia and accused them of not running out of sanctions.

“Sanctions should be maximum, so that Russia – and any other potential aggressor wishing to wage a brutal war against its neighbor – clearly knows the immediate consequences of their actions,” he said at the Davos meeting.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and Ukrainian Attorney General Iryna Venediktova speak as they stand near a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, May 10, 2022. sources: AP / Efrem Lukatsky / AP

He called for an oil embargo, the blockade of all Russian banks and an end to all trade.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday that 20 countries have approved arms shipments to Ukraine.
Greece, Italy and Poland had all agreed to send artillery systems, Austin said, while Denmark had promised missiles and assistance with training had been promised by many others.
He added that the group of countries supporting Ukraine with arms has grown since its initial meeting last month in Germany, with Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia and Ireland also participating, bringing its membership to 47.

A next meeting has been set for June 15, on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

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Russia has focused its offensive on the eastern Donbas region since its troops were driven out of the area around the capital Kiev and to the north in late March.
After capturing Mariupol last week after a three-month siege, Russian forces now control a largely uninterrupted swathe of the east and south, releasing more troops to join the main battle of the Donbas.
Russia is trying to encircle Ukrainian forces and completely capture the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces which make up Donbas and where it supports the separatist forces.
Ukraine said Russian forces attempted to storm Sievierodonetsk but were unsuccessful and withdrew.

The city is located in the easternmost part of a Ukrainian-controlled pocket of Donbas and one of the last areas of Luhansk still out of Russian grasp.

The military of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Mariupol, which is controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic. Credit: TASS / Sipa USA

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russia was “wiping Sievierodonetsk off the face of the earth” and was trying to advance from three directions: invading Sievierdonetsk, cutting a highway south of it and crossing the river further west.

Head of Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushpin, said on Monday that Ukrainian prisoners of war captured at Azovstal steel mills in Mariupol could also face courts.
“They are now being held on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It is planned to organize an international court later.”
In other developments, a Russian diplomat at the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva said he would be leaving his post due to his disagreement with the invasion of Ukraine, a rare political resignation to the war.
Boris Bondarev, who identified himself on LinkedIn as an adviser who worked on arms control, told Reuters: “The scale of this disaster prompted me to do so.”

“I simply can no longer share this bloody, senseless and utterly useless ignominy.”

Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for war crimes

A Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial caused by the February 24 Russian invasion.
Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old tank commander, pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on February 28 after he was ordered to shoot him.
Judge Serhiy Agafonov said Shishimarin, carrying out a “criminal order” by a senior soldier, had fired several shots to the victim’s head from an automatic weapon.
“The court ruled: Shishimarin Vadim Evgenyevich … is found guilty … and sentenced to life in prison,” he said.

“Since the crime committed is a crime against peace, security, humanity and the international legal order … the court does not see the possibility of imposing a (shorter) prison sentence on Shishimarin for a certain period” .

On May 19, 2022, Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin sits in the dock on the second day of his war crimes trial at the Solomyansky District Court in Kiev, Ukraine. sources: EPA / OLEG PETRASYUK v EPO

Shishimarin, who wore a blue and gray hoodie, silently watched the proceedings from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the verdict was read aloud.

Most of the time he kept his head down as he listened to a translator who stood with two guards outside the reinforced glass box.
The trial has enormous symbolic significance for Ukraine, which accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and claimed to have identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes.
Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes.

The Kremlin did not immediately comment on the verdict. He previously stated that he has no information on the trial and that the absence of a diplomatic mission to Ukraine limits his ability to provide assistance.

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Ukrainian prosecutors said Shishimarin and four other Russian military personnel stole a privately owned car to escape after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces. The soldiers then drove to the village of Chupakhivka, where they saw Shelipov riding a bicycle and talking on the phone, they said.
Prosecutors said Shishimarin was ordered by another military man to kill the civilian to prevent him from reporting on the Russian presence and fired several shots through the open car window with an assault rifle in Shelipov’s head. Shelipov died instantly.
In court last week, Shishimarin acknowledged that he was guilty and asked the victim’s widow, Kateryna Shelipova, to forgive him.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 87 people were killed in a Russian attack earlier this month on a military base in a region of northern Ukraine that had been previously reclaimed by the forces of Kiev.

“Today, under the rubble in Desna, there are 87 victims. Eighty-seven corpses, victims who have been killed,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the Russian attacks on May 17 in a village that hosts a Ukrainian military base in the Chernigiv region.