Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Russia now controls about one-fifth of the country, The New York Times reports.
Zelensky said Russia now controls as much territory in Ukraine as the area of the Netherlands.
“If you look at the entire front line, and it is, of course, not straight, this line is more than a thousand kilometers,” Zelensky said in a virtual address to the Parliament of Luxembourg. “Just imagine! Constant fighting, which stretched along the front line for more than a thousand kilometers.”
Though Russia withdrew forces from around Kyiv, Russia has made significant gains in the eastern part of the country.
Zelensky said Russians have occupied about 3,600 settlements. About 14,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, according to the president, and more than 6 million have been displaced.
New EU sanctions:
The European Union on Thursday approved its sixth round of sanctions against Russia, including a ban on most Russian oil exports and a ban on Rusia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, from the SWIFT international transaction system.
The EU leaders finalized the deal after a delay caused by Hungary, which insisted that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, a close Putin ally, be exempt from personal sanctions.
The EU agreed to remove his name and gave Hungary an exemption from the oil ban.
"This will reduce Russia's capacity to finance its war," vowed EU leader Ursula von de Leyen.
New US sanctions:
The Biden administration, which announced it would send new advanced weapons to Ukraine, announced a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin on Thursday.
The Treasury Department targeted the sanctions at Putin’s inner circle, including Sergei Roldugin, who manages Putin’s offshore finances.
The Treasury will also target the CEOs of Imperial Yachts and United Aircraft Corporation.
“The United States and our allies and partners are committed to supporting Ukraine and ensuring the Russian government feels the compounding effects of our economic actions,” the White House said in a statement. “Today the United States took further action, several of which have also been targeted by partners and allies, to crack down on evasion and tighten our sanctions to enhance enforcement and increase pressure on Putin and his enablers.”