Moscow says oil could hit $300 a barrel


2 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN

Two million people have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

—Chloe Taylor

Mayor of Irpin says Russians threatened his life and demanded his surrender

Abandoned strollers are pictured under a destroyed bridge as people crossed the collapsed concrete to flee Irpin, a northwestern suburb of Kyiv, on March 7, 2022.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Alexander Markushin, the mayor of Irpin – a town on the outskirts of Kiev – said on Tuesday that Russian forces had contacted him to threaten his life and demand his surrender.

“Yesterday at 5:58 p.m. I received a message from the occupiers threatening my life and health,” Markushin said, according to a translation.

He added that the message included demands for “the complete surrender of Irpin”.

“I’m surprised these monsters still haven’t gotten it – Irpin doesn’t give up, Irpin doesn’t sell, Irpin fights back,” he said.

There has been intense fighting in Irpin in recent days. On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops opened fire on civilians trying to flee the city, killing a family of four. “How many of these families died in Ukraine? We will not forgive. We will not forget,” he said.

—Chloe Taylor

Russian state media says new ceasefire will see Ukrainian civilians evacuated to Russia

Smoke rises after the shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022.

Yevgeny Maloletka | PA

The Russian military declared a new ceasefire in five Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, according to state media. But the escape routes will lead to Russia.

The Interfax news agency reported that the evacuation routes would lead civilians “from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol to Russia”, citing the Russian National Defense Control Center.

On Monday, Russian ceasefire plans to allow civilian evacuations were dismissed as “completely immoral” by Ukrainian officials, after it emerged that evacuation routes Russia planned to open would lead to Russian or Belarusian territory.

It came after evacuation attempts were halted over the weekend following allegations that Russian forces were violating ceasefire agreements by continuing to attack towns and their routes.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Kiev had agreed on an evacuation route from Sumy to the Ukrainian city of Poltava. The route had been agreed with Russia and the International Committee of the Red Cross, she told reporters.

“No other itinerary has been agreed upon,” she said, according to a translation from NBC News. But she added: “We already have information that the Russian side is preparing a violation of this corridor, they are preparing manipulations with the routes to bring people in. [another] direction.”

On Monday, a UN official said civilians should be allowed to evacuate conflict zones “in any direction they choose”.

—Chloe Taylor

Ukrainian official says 18 people, including 2 children, were killed in airstrike in Sumy

A Russian airstrike on the city of Sumy killed 18 civilians, including two children, on Monday night, a Ukrainian official said.

Anton Herashchenko, Ukraine’s deputy interior minister, said in a Telegram article on Tuesday that Russian pilots had “committed another crime against humanity in Sumy” by dropping bombs on residential buildings in Sumy.

“Debris cleanup is still ongoing,” he said. “But the fact of the death of 18 civilians has already been established. Including two children.”

Herashchenko said the dead were also “on the conscience of European politicians…who haven’t yet taken the decision to give us powerful anti-aircraft missiles or close the skies.”

Western countries and the NATO military alliance have ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, arguing that shooting down Russian planes would lead to an escalation of the conflict and further great human suffering.

—Chloe Taylor

Russia uses Ukrainian nukes claims to justify invasion, UK says

In an intelligence update on Tuesday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said that since late February there has been “a noticeable escalation in Russian accusations that Ukraine is developing nuclear or biological weapons.”

“These narratives have been around for a long time but are currently likely being amplified as part of a retrospective justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Last week Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russian claims that Ukraine was developing nuclear weapons a “hallucination”.

“I once again refute this fake fake,” he said on Twitter.

—Chloe Taylor

UN calls for safe passage for civilians fleeing conflict

In a statement on Monday, Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said there were three immediate priorities that needed to be addressed in Ukraine to “alleviate the pain and suffering that we all watch unfold. unfold in real time”.

First, he said, military operations must always ensure that civilians and civilian infrastructure are spared attacks, including creating safe passages to allow civilians to leave areas of active hostilities “in the direction they choose”.

On Monday, Ukrainian officials accused Russia of only allowing the evacuation of civilians to Russian or Belarusian territory, a decision described as “completely immoral” by the Ukrainian government.

Griffiths said in his statement that the safe passage of humanitarian supplies to conflict areas was also vital. The UN also wanted a system of “constant communication” with Russia and Ukraine, as well as assurances that the delivery of humanitarian aid would be activated, he said.

—Chloe Taylor

Ukraine says Russian advance has ‘significantly slowed down’

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its thirteenth day, officials in Kyiv say the pace of the Russian advance has slowed.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that: “The opponent continues the offensive operation, but the pace of promotion of its troops has slowed down significantly,” according to a translation.

As of 6 a.m. local time, defensive operations continued across the country, including in the city of Chernihiv, the capital Kyiv and on Ukraine’s southern coast, the post said.

Russian troops were “increasingly violating the rules of international humanitarian law on military conflict”, Ukrainian officials said.

In Kherson and Mykolaiv, which Ukraine says are currently occupied by forces from Moscow, Russia has set up tactical groups to “carry out propaganda work among the local population”, according to Ukrainian officials .

—Chloe Taylor

Russia says oil could hit $300 a barrel if Western allies target energy

Oil pumping jacks, also known as ‘nodding donkeys’, are reflected in a puddle as they operate in an oil field near Almetyevsk, Russia, on Sunday August 16 2020.

Andrei Rudakov | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has claimed that oil prices could soar above $300 a barrel if the West decides to go ahead with full sanctions on its energy exports.

“It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would have catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Novak said in a speech on state television.

“The price spike would be unpredictable. It would be $300 a barrel, if not more.”

International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 3.5% to trade at $127.61 a barrel on Tuesday morning in London, while US West Texas Intermediate futures jumped 3% to trade at $123.04.

—Sam Meredith

Putin still enjoys strong support in some circles in Russia, says ex-NATO deputy chief

Rose Gottemoeller, former assistant secretary general of NATO, said there were signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin retains strong support in some parts of the country.

“There are a number of very strong nationalists in Russia. Apparently they were present in … processions outside the Kremlin yesterday, waving flags, supporting the president,” she told “Squawk” on Tuesday. Box Asia” from CNBC.

Some polls also suggest that her popularity in Russia continues to grow, she added.

On the other hand, people who know or are affected by this, “like the oligarchs who have investments all over the world and want to keep their wealth” may be increasingly concerned about international sanctions.

“I’m not surprised that they are getting more and more worried,” Gottemoeller said.

“I don’t think he’s going to lose his grip on power, but maybe some messages will start to get to him,” she said.

—Abigail Ng

Ukraine claims to have killed another of Putin’s top generals, other senior Russian military officers

A man stands on the rubble of a house destroyed by recent shelling during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 7, 2022.

Oleksandre Lapshyn | Reuters

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Agency said Russian Army Major General Vitaly Gerasimov was killed and other senior Russian army officers “were also killed or wounded” in combat near the city ​​of Kharkov.

Gerasimov was identified by the intelligence agency as chief of staff and first deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army.

The agency, which said Gerasimov had been ‘liquidated’, said data obtained about his death near the town in northeastern Ukraine ‘shows significant communication problems’ in the military Russian “and evacuation of their defeated units”.

The message contains embedded audio files claiming to be intercepted communications between Russians discussing Gerasimov’s death.

The reported killing comes days after another deputy commander of the 41st Combined, General Andrei Sukhovetsky, was shot dead by a Ukrainian sniper.

—Dan Mangan

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