Kiev is enforcing an economic blockade on Eastern Ukraine, where banks are closed and cash machines and credit cards aren’t working. Disrupted social payments to the elderly have become the most acute issue.
‘Cash machines stopped working in rebel-held areas of Ukraine today and businesses no longer accepted credit cards after Kiev moved to shut down the banking system.
The measures form part of the government’s new strategy to suffocate Russian separatists after its costly military campaign has foundered.
Authorities have also pulled funding for all state services such as schools and hospitals in the apparent hope the population will rise up against the insurgents.
In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, dozens of people were today queuing up in the biting cold outside banks around the city after the ATMs stopped functioning’