Kyiv rocked as Russia intensifies missile strikes across Ukraine; Biden announces ban on Russian gold imports: Live Ukraine updates




  • In Business
  • 2022-06-26 14:49:02Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

President Joe Biden announced Sunday that the U.S. will ban new imports of Russian gold as President Vladimir Putin's forces intensified missile strikes across much of Ukraine.

Biden is in Germany to meet with the leaders of France, Germany, Canada, the U.K., Italy and Japan, which form the economic alliance known as the Group of Seven. Other G-7 nations are expected to join the U.S. in banning Russian gold. The White House says gold is second only to energy among Russian exports - almost $19 billion in 2020. About 90% of Russia's gold exports are to G-7 nations, the vast majority of it to Britain.

"The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine," Biden said in a tweet Sunday. "Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia."

MAPPING AND TRACKING: Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Latest developments:

►Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko says Russia has attacked the Ukrainian capital with missiles. Biden, asked for his reaction to the latest Russian strike, said "it's more of their barbarism." (See more below)

►Four medium-range American rocket launchers arrived in Ukraine this week, and four more are on the way. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry released a video showing the first use of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, in Ukraine. The video gave no location or indication of the targets. The rockets can travel about 45 miles.

►Four Russian cruise missiles fired from the Black Sea hit a "military object" in Yaroviv, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said. Yaroviv has a military base used for training fighters, including foreigners who have volunteered to fight for Ukraine.

Impostor posing as Kyiv mayor converses with European mayors

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko warned that an impostor posing as him called several mayors via video around Europe. The German publication Bild reported that Mayor of Vienna, Austria, was not aware he was talking to a fake Klitschko during the entire call. The mayors of Madrid and Berlin figured it out after lengthy conversations, Bild said. Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey asked the State Criminal Police Office to investigate.

"It's a tool of modern warfare," she said.

Blinken: Kyiv attack meant to 'terrorize' Ukrainians

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" that Russian President Vladimir Putin has "already failed" in his attempt to overturn Ukraine. "His strategic objective was to end Ukraine's sovereignty and independence, to erase it from the map, to subsume it in Russia. That has failed," he said, adding that a "sovereign independent Ukraine is going to be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene."

The Associated Press reported that Russia was advancing in eastern Ukraine and also launched attacks overnight that hit two residential buildings and a kindergarten in Kyiv. Russia's invasion began in February with a mechanized march on Kyiv that failed, forcing Russia to turn its attention to the east. Blinken said the missile attacks on Kyiv were designed to "terrorize" Ukrainians.

"Ever since Putin lost the battle for Kyiv, he had to shift his focus," Blinken said, adding that Russian forces have "launched missiles at a distance to terrorize people."

- Merdie Nzanga

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine live updates: US to ban Russian gold imports

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