Ukrainians hold Kyiv as Putin intensifies invasion

A woman sleeps on chairs in the underground parking lot of a hotel that has been turned into a bomb shelter during an air raid alert in Kyiv on Sunday. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

Air raid sirens sounded and residents sheltered underground as Russian forces continued to bombard Kyiv early Sunday. Ukrainian forces continued to hold the capital while the United States and its allies stepped up efforts to punish Moscow for its invasion with tough financial penalties.

The Biden administration and its European allies vowed on Saturday night to block the Kremlin’s access to its sizable foreign currency reserves in the West, and to cut off Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, a network that connects banks around the world. The actions could send Russia’s financial market into free fall and cripple the Kremlin’s ability to pay for its new war, which has intensified in recent days.

The governor of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, said Sunday morning that Russian forces had entered the city, including the city center, and warned residents to stay off the streets. The message from Oleg Synyehubov on Facebook followed earlier government reports that Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in the area. Ukrainian officials reported a number of other explosions Saturday, including in Vasylkiv, a town south of the capital, where the mayor said an oil depot was hit. That strike could not immediately be verified.

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