Survivors of Russian attack on eastern Ukrainian school describe harrowing experience

US President Joe Biden makes remarks at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 4.
US President Joe Biden makes remarks at the White House in Washington, DC on May 4 (Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden and the leaders of the G7 met virtual with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday and discussed further actions the US and its allies are taking to punish Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including sanctions against Russia’s three largest television channels and a commitment by each member of the G7 over Russian oil imports, according to a senior government official and a White House fact sheet.

“This is already a failure for Putin, and we will continue to honor the brave battles that are taking place by the Ukrainian people and listen to President Zelensky and recommit to stay on track,” the senior official told reporters ahead of the meeting. meeting of the president. †

This official added that while today’s leaders will “take stock of where we are,” the call will also highlight how Russian President Vladimir Putin is “dishonoring” the sacrifices made by Soviet citizens, millions of whom sacrificed their lives to defeat fascism during World War II.

“Putin dishonored those sacrifices by spreading his lies, his disinformation about the barbarity he is perpetrating in Ukraine… It is truly an opportunity to speak the truth and demonstrate our continued unity,” the official said of the appeal.

The new sanctions unveiled by the US on Sunday will cut Kremlin-controlled media outlets from US advertisers and manufacturing technology, ban Russia from using US-provided services such as management or business consulting and accounting, and impose new export controls on Russian industrials. sector. Sunday’s announcement also includes about 2,600 visa restrictions on Russian and Belarusian officials, and the first sanctions against executives of Gazprombank – the institution through which most of Europe buys Russian gas.

Taken together, today’s actions are a continuation of Russia’s systematic and methodical removal from the global financial and economic system. And the message is that there will be no safe haven for the Russian economy if Putin’s invasion continues,” the senior government official told reporters.

Some more context: The series of US and West sanctions imposed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 have pushed the Russian economy into a deep recession as it makes the difficult transition to a closed economy.

The three television networks sanctioned by the US today — Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1 and NTV Broadcasting Company — received more than $300 million in ad revenue from Western countries last year, according to the official.

“It is not our job to help them broadcast the lies and deceit you hear from Putin every day,” the official said.

Not included in the current ban on services: legal services. The US has decided, according to the senior official, to continue to allow the search for an “appropriate process”, but that the government will re-evaluate it “every day” and wait to see what happens after this first service ban. The official noted that the United Kingdom has not instituted such a ban either.

The official also noted that the sanctions against Gazprombank executives are just that, actions against leaders of the major financial institution and not a full-blown sanction against the bank itself, with which Europeans must do business to continue buying Russian gas.

“This is not a complete block. We do not freeze the assets of Gazprombank or prohibit transactions with Gazprombank. What we are signaling is that Gazprombank is not a safe haven. And so we are punishing some of the top executives of the business, they are the people who are at the top of the organization, to create a chilling effect,” this official said.

The decision to restrict exports of industrial products to Russia is intended to hamper the Kremlin’s industrial and war capabilities, similar to how Western restrictions on microchips limit Russia’s ability to make precision-guided missiles, the senior official said. .

In addition to the export ban on Russian industrial services, the US has also imposed sanctions on Promtekhnologiya LLC, which makes weapons, such as rifles, used by Russian forces in Ukraine, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also prohibit the export of uranium, plutonium or other nuclear-related Products.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that the three television networks sanctioned by the US today received more than $300 billion in ad revenue from Western countries last year. The actual amount is $300 million. It has been corrected.

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