UK to hit Russia and Belarus with £1.7bn in trade sanctions

UK to hit Russia and Belarus with £1.7bn in trade sanctions

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Russian servicemen rehearsing for the Victory Day Parade on Monday – REUTERS

The Government has announced that Russia and Belarus will face a new wave of sanctions – targeting £1.7 billion of trade – to “thwart” Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

The sanctions, outlined by the International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, involve import tariffs and export bans.

New import tariffs will cover £1.4 billion of goods, including platinum and palladium, “hampering Putin’s ability to fund his war effort”, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said.

The move will bring the total value of products subjected to full or partial import and export sanctions since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to more than £4 billion, the department added.

It comes as the Defence Secretary will today accuse Putin of “hijacking history” and insulting the memory of fallen Soviet forces in the annual Victory Day parade that marks the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s army.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

03:05 AM

G7 to step up pressure on Putin, says PM

G7 leaders agreed that the world must intensify economic pressure on Vladimir Putin in any way possible, Downing Street said on Sunday after the Prime Minister addressed the group.

Boris Johnson said “the world must go further and faster to support Ukraine,” No 10 said after the call, which also included Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Ukraine needed to receive military equipment that allowed them to not just hold ground in Ukraine, but recapture it,” Mr Johnson told the leaders. It comes after the UK pledged another £1.3 billion in military support for Ukraine.

02:14 AM

In pictures: Last civilians leave Azovstal steel mill

A woman who fled from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol is helped from a bus upon her arrival at a reception centre for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia - APA woman who fled from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol is helped from a bus upon her arrival at a reception centre for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia - AP

A woman who fled from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol is helped from a bus upon her arrival at a reception centre for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia – AP

The last civilians sheltering in bunkers beneath a sprawling steel mill in the decimated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol arrived late Sunday night in Zaporizhzhia - APThe last civilians sheltering in bunkers beneath a sprawling steel mill in the decimated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol arrived late Sunday night in Zaporizhzhia - AP

The last civilians sheltering in bunkers beneath a sprawling steel mill in the decimated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol arrived late Sunday night in Zaporizhzhia – AP

A child who fled from Mariupol with his family waits in a bus upon their arrival at a reception centre for displaced people - APA child who fled from Mariupol with his family waits in a bus upon their arrival at a reception centre for displaced people - AP

A child who fled from Mariupol with his family waits in a bus upon their arrival at a reception centre for displaced people – AP

02:06 AM

Evacuee describes Azovstal horror

A 69-year-old woman who had been holed up in the Azovstal steelworks since March 10 has described the terror of sheltering beneath the plant.

“It was terrible in the bunkers,” evacuee Lyubov Andropova said.

“Water would run down from the ceilings. There was mould everywhere. We were worried for the children, for their lungs.”

She feared the “bunker would collapse” as the shelling was constant.

“Everything shook, we didn’t go out.”

12:30 AM

Evacuees escape battle for Azovstal

Buses carrying some of the last weary civilian evacuees from the besieged Azovstal steelworks reached Ukrainian-controlled territory on Sunday – the culmination of an international effort to extricate people trapped in bunkers under the Mariupol plant.

The convoy arrived in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia after dark, carrying around 175 evacuees. They included some 40 people who had been holed up for weeks alongside Ukrainian forces under heavy bombardment in Azovstal’s vast network of underground shelters.

Many children and elderly people were among the exhausted-looking arrivals, who were shepherded off the buses and into a large tent where they were offered tea and a hot meal.

“I just want to live and start again… Everything I have is here,” said Yegor Chekhonadsky, pointing to a cluster of bags at his feet.

Refugees arriving in Zaporizhzhia on Sunday - APRefugees arriving in Zaporizhzhia on Sunday - AP

Refugees arriving in Zaporizhzhia on Sunday – AP

12:03 AM

Mine-sniffing dog presented with award

Volodymyr Zelensky presented Ukraine’s famous mine-sniffing dog Patron and his owner with a medal on Sunday to recognise their dedicated service since Russia’s invasion.

The Jack Russell terrier has been credited with detecting more than 200 explosives and preventing their detonation since the start of the war, quickly becoming a canine symbol of Ukrainian patriotism.

Ukraine’s president made the award at a news conference in Kyiv with Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Patron barked and wagged his tail, prompting laughter from the audience. Mr Trudeau patted his pockets as though looking for a dog treat.

“Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralise explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat,” Mr Zelensky said.

Patron was presented with his medal by Volodymyr Zelensky and Justin Trudeau - REUTERSPatron was presented with his medal by Volodymyr Zelensky and Justin Trudeau - REUTERS

Patron was presented with his medal by Volodymyr Zelensky and Justin Trudeau – REUTERS

11:25 PM

Today’s top stories

  • Vladimir Putin is “mirroring” the fascism of Nazi Germany, Ben Wallace will say on Monday – as the Russian president holds a massive military parade to galvanise his war effort

  • Russia’s “doomsday plane” designed to protect Vladimir Putin in the event of a nuclear attack will make its first appearance in a decade at Moscow’s Victory Day parade

  • Western officials say Putin could use his speech on Victory Day to expand the offensive in Ukraine and refer to it for the first time as a “war”, instead of the widely-ridiculed “special military operation”

  • On Sunday, Putin sought to compare the illegal invasion of Ukraine to Russia’s triumph in the Second World War, as he referred to Ukrainians as “Nazi filth”

  • German authorities banned the display of Ukrainian flags near memorials in Berlin over the weekend as police said they did not want sentiment at Vladimir Putin’s war to “spill over” into Second World War commemorations

  • At least 60 people are feared dead in eastern Ukraine after a Russian airstrike on a village school on Saturday evening

  • Several Western leaders travelled to the Ukraine over the weekend, including Justin Trudeau, the Canadian president, and Jill Biden, the US First Lady. Bono and the Edge, from U2, also visited Kyiv, where they performed a gig in a subway station

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