President Vladimir Putin on Sunday (February 27) thanked Russia's special forces, singling out those who are "heroically fulfilling their military duty" in Ukraine, in a televised address that was also published on the Kremlin website.
Vladimir Putin said, "I want to thank military commanders and personnel of the special operation forces, combat veterans of the special forces for the loyalty to their oath. And special gratitude to those who are within these days heroically fulfilling their military duty in the special operation to help people's republics in Donbas."
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Russian forces have attacked oil and gas facilities in Ukraine, sparking huge explosions, officials said on Sunday, as Western allies prepared new sanctions, including banishing key Russia banks from the main global payments system.
Amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the United Nations Security Council will convene Sunday at 3 pm (local time) to vote on a resolution calling for a special session of the General Assembly. Notably, the United States and Albania have requested a meeting of the UN Security Council on Sunday for a procedural vote to appoint a special session of the General Assembly over the events in Ukraine, a UNSC source told Sputnik.
Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's second-largest city and Russian troops squeezed strategic ports in the country's south on Sunday, advances that appeared to make a new phase of Russia's invasion following a wave of attacks on airfields and fuel facilities elsewhere in the country.
Until Sunday, Russia's troops had remained on the outskirts of Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million about 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) south of the border with Russia, while other forces rolled past to press the offensive deeper into Ukraine and Ukrainian fighters put up determined resistance.