Canada said on Monday it will impose sanctions on nine Russian and nine Belarusian individuals for having “facilitated and enabled” Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“By enabling (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s senseless invasion of Ukraine, these close collaborators of the regime are complicit in the horrific events unfolding before our eyes,” Canadian Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly said in a statement.
The individuals are close associates of the Russian and Belarusian regimes, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Monday Russia is preparing to launch a fresh assault in eastern Ukraine to try to take the city of Kharkiv and encircle Ukraine’s heavily fortified eastern frontline. Russia was attacking the towns of Rubizhne and Popasna in Luhansk region to lay the way for an assault on the regional capital of Severo donetsk and also massing forces to capture the besieged port of Mariupol, defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said.
Severo donetsk and Mariupol lie at the northernmost and southern most ends of Ukraine’s several-hundred kilometre “line of contact”, the ceasefire line that Ukrainian forces have held against Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbas since 2015.
Motuzyanyk said Russian units were moving out of Belarus and into Russia, and Moscow was readying fuel and ammunition stockpiles in areas bordering east Ukraine. Russia was also preparing medical facilities for a potential influx of casualties among its troops, he said at a briefing.