Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj sees the tenth EU sanctions package, which came into force on Saturday, as an important blow to the attacker Russia. "It is powerful, directed against the military industry and the financial sector of the terrorist state and against the propagandists who have drowned Russian society in lies and are trying to spread their lies around the world," Zelenskyi said in his nightly video message. "They definitely won't succeed." At the same time, he once again insisted on punitive measures against Russia's nuclear industry.
Meanwhile, the deputy head of Ukraine's military intelligence service announced details of the planned counter-offensive of his own armed forces, which is also to succeed with the help of Western tank deliveries. And French President Emmanuel Macron plans to travel to China in early April for talks on an internationally united approach to Russian aggression.
Alfa Bank and Wagner Group
This time, the EU imposed punitive measures on 87 other individuals and 34 entities that it believes contribute in one way or another to Russia's war against Ukraine. Among them is Alfa Bank, which is considered Russia's largest privately owned financial institution. Deputy ministers, Russian government officials, those responsible for the deportation and forced adoption of Ukrainian children and new members of the Russian Federation Council were also placed on the sanctions list.
In total, according to the Council of Member States, the EU has now placed 1473 individuals and 205 entities on the sanctions list on the grounds that they undermine or threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.
Among other sanctions regimes, the EU has now also imposed punitive measures on eleven other members and seven institutions linked to the Russian Wagner mercenary force.
Military intelligence: Ukraine targets offensive in spring
The deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Vadym Skibizkyj, expects his army to launch a counteroffensive against the Russian occupiers this spring. "I think in the spring we are ready for a counteroffensive," Skibizkyj told the newspapers of the Funke media group. However, the exact timing depends on several factors – such as the delivery of Western weapons, which are very important for the attacked country.
Skibizky stressed that Ukraine's goal was the liberation of its entire territory – including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. "We won't stop until we have our country back within the 1991 borders. This is our message to Russia and to the international community."
The intelligence official also did not rule out attacks on weapons depots in Russian border areas: "It is possible that we will also destroy weapons depots or military equipment on Russian territory, for example around the city of Belgorod. From there, attacks on Ukraine are launched. This is a threat to Kharkiv."