KYIV/MARIUPOL: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told global business leaders on Monday the world must increase sanctions against Russia to deter other countries from using “brute force” to achieve their aims.
Zelenskiy spoke via video link to the World Economic Forum in Davos as the Ukrainian military claimed to have held off a Russian assault on Sievierodonetsk, an eastern city that has become the main target of a Russian offensive after the surrender of the southern port city of Mariupol last week.
Zelenskiy also revealed Ukraine’s worst military losses from a single attack of the war on Monday, saying 87 people had been killed last week when Russian forces struck a barracks housing troops at a training base in the north.
Previously, Kyiv had said eight people died in the May 17 strike on the barracks in the town of Desna.
In the first of what could be many war crimes trials arising from Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, a court in Kyiv sentenced a young Russian tank commander to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian.
Zelensky says 87 killed in May 17 Russian strike on base
Ukraine Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova told the Washington Post about 13,000 cases of Russian alleged war crimes were being investigated.
Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes while it carries out what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
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With the conflict about to enter its fourth month, Zelenskiy urged countries to put more pressure on Moscow and accused them of not exhausting sanctions.
“The sanctions should be maximum, so that Russia – and every other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbour – clearly knows the immediate consequences of their actions,” he told the Davos meeting.