The Russian bank is leaving Europe amid sanctions

Recent developments on Russian-Ukrainian war:

MOSCOW – Russia’s leading bank Sberbank announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing from European markets amid tougher Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bank said its subsidiaries in Europe were facing an “abnormal outflow of funds and a threat to the safety of employees and branches,” according to Russian news agencies. Details of the threats they did not report.

The authorities of Austria and the Czech Republic have recently taken measures against the activities of the Sberbank in Europe.

The move was the latest in a crackdown on Russia’s invasion last week that led to the war in Ukraine and unprecedented Western sanctions aimed at isolating Russia’s economy.

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BOSTAN – A firm that tracks transactions with cryptocurrencies says $ 33.8 million in digital currency has been donated to Ukraine’s government and NGOs since the Russian invasion began, nearly a third on Tuesday.

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This was stated by Chief Research Fellow Elliptic Tom Robinson most donations to date have been in bitcoins and on the air. Some people send irreplaceable tokens, or NFT, to the account of the Ukrainian government’s etherium.

Last week, Ukraine asked for contributions on Twitter. To date, he has received 30,000 donations, including $ 5.8 million from Gavin Wood, a British programmer who co-founded Ethereum. There were several other donations worth more than $ 1 million.

Elliptic also warned of fraudsters who deceive unsuspecting cryptocurrency holders who want to donate to Ukrainian targets.

Elliptic is one of the firms that help law enforcement track cryptocurrencies to combat money laundering.

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WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is working on a “focused tactical strategy” to make sure that cryptocurrency does not become a mechanism that Moscow can use to prevent sanctions, a senior official said.

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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the unannounced move, did not specify when the new steps in the field of cryptocurrency will be published, but said that the area is one of several places where representatives of the Biden administration work. seek to strengthen to ensure that sanctions against Russia have the maximum impact.

The official said past experience of evading sanctions in Iran and Venezuela explains the administration’s efforts. Additional export controls and new targets of sanctions are expected to be released in the coming days and weeks to counter Russian sanctions evasion efforts, the official said.

Officials were already looking for opportunities to use and set up bogus companies and alternative financial institutions that Moscow could try to use to circumvent the sanctions.

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TOKYO – Sony is donating $ 2 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the humanitarian group Save the Children.

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Japanese electronics and entertainment company has already said it is stopping movie theaters in Russia. Upcoming movies include Morbius with the Marvel comic book hero.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, and we hope that this crisis will be resolved soon,” Sony Pictures said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Mickey Mikitani, executive director of Japan’s online store Rakuten, donated 1 billion yen ($ 8.7 million) to the Ukrainian government through the embassy in Japan.

Separately, the Foreign Ministry said that the Japanese Embassy in Kiev is temporarily closed, and activities are transferred to the office in Lviv, in western Ukraine.

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WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden said in his first address on the state of the Union that the United States is closing its airspace to all Russian flights in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said the United States was working to seize the yachts and apartments of Russian oligarchs.

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Biden devoted the first 12 minutes of his address to Ukraine. Lawmakers on both sides have repeatedly risen to their feet and applauded as he praised the courage of the people of Ukraine and condemned Russia’s offensive.

He also warned about the costs to the US economy, but said that without the consequences of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression will not be restrained against Ukraine.

Biden said he and all members of Congress, whatever their political differences, were united “with an unwavering determination that freedom will always prevail over tyranny.”

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CHICAGO – Aircraft maker Boeing says it has suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed its office in Kiev.

A statement from the company said it was also suspending spare parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines.

“As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” the statement said.

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KIV, Ukraine – The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine states that it has evidence that Belarus, an ally of Russia, is preparing to send troops to Ukraine.

A ministry statement posted on Facebook at midnight said that Belarusian troops had been put on alert and concentrated near Ukraine’s northern border.

“Over the past 24 hours, according to intelligence, there has been significant aviation activity. In addition, a convoy of vehicles with food and ammunition is moving to the border, ”the statement reads.

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IRVING, Texas – ExxonMobil says it will not invest in new developments in Russia due to Russian military attacks on Ukraine.

The company said in a statement that it supports the people of Ukraine, which seeks to “protect their freedom and define their own future as a nation.”

ExxonMobil manages the Sakhalin-1 project on behalf of an international consortium of Japanese, Indian and Russian companies. The company says that in response to recent events, they are starting the process of closing down and developing steps to leave the Sakhalin-1 enterprise.

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Kyiv, Ukraine – A Russian airstrike struck a residential area near a hospital in Zhytomyr, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) west of the Ukrainian capital, on Tuesday night, Mayor Serykh Sukhomlin said in a Facebook video.

The Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine stated that at least two people were killed, three houses were set on fire and windows in the hospital were broken.

An elite 95th Airborne Assault Brigade was stationed in Zhytomyr, which may have been the intended target.

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CHICAGO – United Airlines said on Wednesday that it had stopped using Russian airspace for flights between the United States and Mumbai and Delhi in India.

An airline spokesman called the move “temporary” but did not provide further details.

American Airlines avoided Russian airspace for flights between Delhi and New York, operating a flight south of Russia.

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