Ukraine seeks ‘ruinous’ sanctions on Russia as Europe hesitates

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Ukraine wants sanctions that are economically destructive enough for Russia to end its war after accusing some countries of still prioritising money over punishment for civilian killings that the West condemns as war crimes.

The democratic world must reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international finance system, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily video address early on Thursday.

After grisly images of dead civilians in the streets of Bucha sparked international condemnation, Zelenskyy said Kremlin forces were trying to cover up evidence of atrocities.

“We have information that the Russian military has changed its tactics and is trying to remove people who have been killed from streets and basements, this is just an attempt to hide the evidence and nothing more,” Zelenskyy said, but did not provide evidence.

Moscow has denied targeting civilians and says images of bodies in Bucha were staged to justify more sanctions against Moscow and derail peace talks.

Russia-Ukraine conflict | UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine: Part 1

Washington on Wednesday announced measures, including sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and Russia’s Sberbank and a ban on Americans investing in Russia.

The United States also wants Russia expelled from the Group of 20 major economies forum and will boycott a number of meetings at the G20 in Indonesia if Russian officials show up.