US to level more sanctions as Russia claims fresh gains in Ukraine

The United States plans to impose sanctions Friday on more than 500 targets involved in Russia's war in Ukraine, as Moscow claims fresh battlefield advances two years after its invasion.

Ukraine, grappling with hold-ups to much-needed Western military aid, has been pushed back from the front line in recent months.

Already outgunned, Kiev is rationing ammunition as political wrangling in Washington, Ukraine's biggest ally, stalls a critically needed $60-billion aid package.

Russia has for months been ramping up arms production and driving massive resources into its renewed offensive, exacting an enormous human toll.

"There are no more tears, our country has been going through what has been happening for two years now," Oleksandra Terekhovych said as Ukraine endures another winter at war. "We live with horror inside of us."

The Russian defence ministry on Thursday announced the capture of Pobeda ('victory' in Russian), a frontline village about five kilometres (three miles) west of Donetsk city.

Last week, it said it had seized the former Ukrainian stronghold of Avdiivka.

With no end to the war in sight, Ukraine's army is struggling with recruitment as well as depleted resources.

U.S. President Joe Biden has voiced "confidence" that Congress will soon push through new war aid, while his administration revealed sanctions to be doled out Friday.

The U.S. Treasury Department told AFP the measures would hit "Russia, its enablers, and its war machine".

Since Russian troops poured across the border on Feb. 24, 2022, Washington and its allies have imposed a host of sanctions, targeting Moscow's revenue and military-industrial complex.

Earlier Thursday, the U.S. government marked the looming second...

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