Latest news from Ukraine: US and EU oppose blanket visa ban for Russians


The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 continues, with mounting casualties on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are resisting using Western military aid, and President Volodymyr Zelensky regularly calls on the world to do more to help. Governments around the world have imposed heavy sanctions on Moscow but refrained from direct intervention for fear of triggering a wider conflict.

Meanwhile, rising geopolitical risks and volatility in energy and financial markets are rocking Asia.

For all of our coverage, visit our Ukraine War page.

Read our detailed coverage:

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All my friends are gone: A young Ukrainian in Kharkiv

To note: Nikkei Asia decided on March 5 to temporarily suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised penal code. Entries include material from news agencies and other sources.

Here are the latest developments:

Tuesday August 23 (Tokyo time)

4:49 US rejects Ukraine’s request for a blanket visa ban for Russians, saying Washington does not want to close routes to Russian dissidents and others vulnerable to human rights abuses .

The State Department, whose comments follow top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell’s opposition to a similar EU ban, said the Biden administration imposed visa restrictions on Kremlin officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy first called for the visa ban in an interview with The Washington Post this month, saying Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy.” He made another call a few weeks ago for EU states to ban visas for Russian nationals.

1h15 Russian security services have accused a Ukrainian woman of being the prime suspect in the car bombing that killed the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist thinker on Saturday.

The Federal Security Service said the woman arrived in Russia with her young daughter last month, changing license plates several times to avoid detection. After the attack, she traveled to Estonia, according to the FSB.

Ukraine has denied any involvement in the blast that killed Darya Dugina, whom Russian President Vladimir Putin called a patriot after her death.

According to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, Russian propaganda “lives in a fictional world”.

The Russian Navy landing ship Yamal, left, passes the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Kouros en route to the Black Sea in Istanbul in June 2016. © Reuters

00:13 Kyiv is banning public celebrations this week that commemorate Ukraine’s independence from Soviet rule, citing an increased threat of Russian rocket attacks on the capital. Kyiv has rarely been hit by Russian missiles since Ukrainian defenders repelled Moscow’s ground offensive to seize the capital in March.

As the war approaches six months, the United Nations said 5,587 civilians were killed in Ukraine on Sunday. A Ukrainian general claims that nearly 9,000 soldiers died in combat.

00:02 Top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell opposes a blanket EU visa ban for Russians, the Financial Times reports, as bloc officials prepare to discuss the proposal next week in Prague.

“Banning all Russians out is not a good idea,” Borrell said on Monday. “We have to be more selective.”

Finland, Estonia and the Czech Republic are among the countries calling for a ban on new tourist visas as punishment for Moscow’s war on Ukraine. Some EU states have unilaterally suspended visas for Russians, but claim that Russians are entering their territory using visas issued by other EU countries, in accordance with Schengen rules.

Monday August 22

5:30 p.m. Oil majors such as ExxonMobil and Chevron will again have to cut Kazakh oil exports through Russia due to damaged equipment, the pipeline operator said, adding to disruptions in Russia’s energy supply to the West. CPC, which ships oil from Kazakhstan via Russia to world markets and handles about 1% of global oil, said oil exports from two of its three berths at a Black Sea terminal had been suspended. . He said loads were only processed from SPM-3, while SPM-1 and SPM-2 were out of service. Oil loading requests will therefore have to be reduced, he said.

15:00 Turkey has doubled its imports of Russian oil this year, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. Trade between Turkey and Russia has been booming since the spring, as Turkish companies not banned from dealing with their Russian counterparts stepped in to fill the vacuum created by European companies leaving Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Turkey has increased its oil imports from Russia – including Ural and Siberian Light grades – to over 200,000 barrels per day so far this year, compared to just 98,000 bpd in the same period of 2021, according to data from Refinitiv.

1:50 p.m. Germany has a good chance of getting through the coming winter without taking drastic measures, but it is going through a difficult period and must be prepared for Russia to further tighten its gas supplies, the economy minister says Robert Habeck. “We still have a very critical winter ahead of us. We have to expect that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will cut the gas even further,” Habeck told German broadcaster ARD from Canada, where he is on a three-day trip with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

3h24 Russian missiles hit targets near the city of Odessa, a Ukrainian Black Sea port and grain export hub, as the war heads towards the six-month milestone on Wednesday. Local authorities say Ukrainian defenses shot down two of the cruise missiles while three hit agricultural targets, but there were no casualties.

August 24 will also mark 31 years of Ukraine’s independence from Soviet rule, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges vigilance in an overnight video address, saying Moscow may try ‘something particularly ugly’ .

Meanwhile, artillery shells rain down overnight on Nikopol, a town across the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, cutting off electricity to 3,000 residents and raising fears of a nuclear accident.

People attend an exhibition showing destroyed Russian military vehicles in central Kyiv. © Reuters

02:00 Russian authorities are investigating a suspected car bombing outside Moscow that killed the daughter of Alexander Dugin, an ultranationalist ideologue who advocates for Russia to absorb Ukraine. Investigators say they are considering ‘all versions’ when it comes to establishing who was responsible for Darya Dugina’s death, while the Russian Foreign Ministry speculates a link to Ukraine, which Kyiv denies.

“I confirm that Ukraine, of course, has nothing to do with this because we are not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation, and, moreover, we are not a terrorist state,” he said. said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. Read more.

Sunday August 21

10:00 p.m. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said US-China tensions and the Russian-Ukrainian war affect Asia-Pacific security. “We can expect more geopolitical contestation in Asia-Pacific,” he said, adding that Singapore would do its best to avoid getting caught up in “great power rivalry.” Deteriorating US-China relations make it “almost impossible” to work together on pressing global issues such as climate change, pandemics and nuclear proliferation, he said at the city’s National Day rally. State.

4:45 Russia has shot down Ukrainian drones in Crimea, while Ukrainian officials say Russian forces are continuing efforts to seize one of the few towns in eastern Ukraine not yet under attack. their control, reports the Associated Press.

In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Russian authorities said local air defenses shot down a drone over Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol. It was the second drone incident at headquarters in three weeks and followed explosions at a Russian airfield and ammunition dump on the peninsula earlier this month.

For previous updates, click here.

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