Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is grinding into its fourth day.
Ukrainian troops have so far repulsed attacks on Kyiv and other major cities, with Ukrainian and Western officials saying that no major population center has fallen yet to the Russian advance.
The scale of the attack — and the Western response — are starting to become clearer as time goes on. Pentagon officials told reporters that they assessed that Russia had committed around half of its forces deployed across the border from Ukraine to the invasion so far, while both the U.S. and EU continue to plan potentially far-reaching sanctions packages.
Below are key updates for today:
- The EU appeared to coalesce on Saturday around excluding Russia — or some Russian companies and financial institutions — from the SWIFT financial transaction system. Hungary, Italy, and Germany had previously opposed the move, but all three countries indicated on Saturday that they were open to it. CNN reported that the sanction may be to remove individual organizations from the system, and not the entire Russian economy.
- The Pentagon told reporters that Russia had committed more than half of the forces it had arrayed surrounding Ukraine to the invasion.
- Both European and U.S. officials said that their countries were overtly — not covertly — delivering weapons to the Ukrainian military. Germany lifted an export ban that allowed the Netherlands to send 400 rocket-propelled grenades to Ukraine, as the State Department authorized up to $350 million in lethal military assistance. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he had approved 1,000 anti-tank missiles and 500 stinger anti-air missiles to be sent to Ukraine.
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reacted to personal sanctions issued against top Russian officials, writing on his VK page that sanctions are a “myth, a fiction, a figure of speech.” He added that they had been implemented due to “political impotence, emerging from the inability to change Russia’s path.”
- Multiple reports from within Ukraine suggest that local officials and citizens are taking down road signs in an effort to confuse advancing Russian forces.
- The Pentagon told reporters that while reconnaissance detachments had entered Kyiv, the bulk of the Russian advance was around 30 kilometers from the capitol.
- Ukrainians fought street battles in Kyiv overnight, successfully repulsing a Russian attack. The Wall Street Journal reported that one street battle took place near the country’s parliament building. British intelligence said that “limited numbers of pre-positioned Russian sabotage groups” were involved.
- The Russian government has begun to throttle access to Facebook and Twitter for its residents.