While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 27

Red paint is seen smeared over a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during an anti-war protest in Romania, on Feb 26, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

EU, US agree to disconnect some Russian banks from SWIFT

Western nations agreed to unleash drastic new sanctions aimed at further isolating Russia’s economy and financial system after initial penalties failed to convince President Vladimir Putin to pull out of Ukraine.

A joint decision to cut some Russian banks off from the SWIFT messaging system, used for trillions of dollars worth of transactions between thousands of banks around the world, was announced in a joint statement on Saturday (Feb 26).

The move is aimed at Russian banks that have already been sanctioned by the international community, but can be expanded to other Russian banks, if necessary, according to a spokesman for the German government.

In addition, the nations said they would act together to impose “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.”.


Russia frustrated by 'viable' Ukraine resistance, US says

Russian forces are becoming increasingly frustrated by what the United States believes is a viable and very determined Ukrainian resistance, as Moscow commits more and more troops to its invasion, a senior US defence official said on Saturday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said it appeared Russian commanders did not plan for enough fuel and basic logistics support, and were now trying to adjust.

The Russian military continued to pound Kyiv and other cities with artillery and cruise missiles on day three of a campaign that has sent hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing west toward the European Union, clogging major highways and railway lines.


At Ukraine border, a mother brings a stranger's children to safety

Clutching a mobile phone number of a woman she had never met, Nataliya Ableyeva crossed the border from Ukraine into Hungary on Saturday, entrusted with a precious cargo.

A stranger's children.

Waiting at the border crossing on the Ukrainian side, Ableyeva had met a desperate 38-year-old man from her home town of Kamianets-Podilskyi, with his young son and daughter.


Football: Man City restore six-point lead, United held by Watford

Manchester City re-opened a six-point lead in the Premier League but needed a late goal at Everton and a slice of luck to keep their destiny in their own hands on Saturday.

Phil Foden struck the only goal in the 82nd minute to break Everton's resistance but City breathed a sigh of relief when Rodri got away with a handball soon after with VAR failing to award Everton a penalty.

Manchester United's top-four hopes were dented as they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Watford.


Tennis: Emotional Rublev wins title in Dubai after plea for peace

An emotional Andrey Rublev said he will sleep for two days after securing his third trophy in seven days by ending the dream run of Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the Dubai final on Saturday.

The second-seeded Russian won the singles and doubles titles in Marseille last Sunday before flying to the Emirates and clawing his way to a 10th career singles crown, and a fifth at the ATP 500 level.

"For sure for the next two days I will sleep, I won't leave my bed," said Rublev, whose plea for peace in Ukraine after his win the previous night went viral across news stations worldwide.


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