Moscow claims oil could hit $300 a barrel

Footage shows civilian evacuations in Sumy

Kill Tymoshenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, on Tuesday shared footage of civilians being evacuated from Sumy.

Sumy, a city in north-eastern Ukraine, has been the scene of intense attacks in recent days, with an airstrike killing 18 civilians overnight, including two children.

Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that a humanitarian corridor from Sumy would be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time to allow for the evacuation of residents and foreign students.

– Chloe Taylor

According to the UN, 2 million people have fled Ukraine

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

– Chloe Taylor

Irpin Mayor says Russians threatened his life and demanded surrender

Abandoned baby carriages are pictured under a destroyed bridge as people walked across the collapsed concrete March 7, 2022 to flee Irpin, a northwestern Kyiv suburb.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Alexander Markushin, the mayor of Irpin – a town on the outskirts of Kyiv – said on Tuesday Russian forces had contacted him threatening his life and demanding 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 calls for “the complete surrender of Irpin”.

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

There has been fierce 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 such families have died in Ukraine? We will not forgive. We won’t forget,” he said.

– Chloe Taylor

Russian state media say the new ceasefire will result in Ukrainian civilians being evacuated to Russia

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

Evgeny Maloletka | AP

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

Interfax news agency reported that evacuation routes would take civilians “from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol to Russia,” citing Russia’s National Defense Control Center.

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

It came after evacuation attempts were halted over the weekend over claims that Russian forces are violating ceasefire agreements by continuing to attack cities and the routes out of them.

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

“No other routes have been agreed,” she said, according to a translation of NBC News. But she added: “We already have information that the Russian side is preparing to breach this corridor, they are preparing manipulations with the routes in order to get people to go inside [another] Direction.”

On Monday, a UN official said civilians must be allowed to exit conflict zones “in the direction they choose.”

– Chloe Taylor

A Ukrainian official said 18 people, including 2 children, were killed in an airstrike on Sumy

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

Anton Herashchenko, Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister, said in a Telegram post on Tuesday that Russian pilots “committed another crime against humanity in Sumy” by dropping bombs on residential buildings in Sumy.

“Debris clearance is still ongoing,” he said. “But 18 civilians have already died, including two children.”

Herashchenko said the deaths were also “on the conscience of European politicians… who have not yet made a 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 greater human suffering.

– Chloe Taylor

Russia is using claims of Ukrainian nuclear weapons to justify invasion, Britain says

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

“These narratives have been around for a long time, but are currently likely being reinforced as part of an afterthought for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

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

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

– Chloe Taylor

The United Nations is demanding safe passages for civilians fleeing conflict

In a statement Monday, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said there were three immediate priorities that needed to be addressed in Ukraine to “alleviate the pain and suffering we are all witnessing in real time.” .

First, he said, military operations must constantly protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from attack — which includes creating safe passages to allow civilians to leave areas of active hostilities “in the direction they choose.”

On Monday, Ukrainian officials accused Russia of allowing civilians to be evacuated only to Russian or Belarusian territory, a move the Ukrainian government called “completely immoral”.

Griffiths said in his statement that safe passage for humanitarian supplies in conflict zones is also vital. The UN also wants a system of “constant communication” with Russia and Ukraine, as well as assurances that the delivery of humanitarian aid will be made possible, he said.

– Chloe Taylor

Ukraine says Russian advance has ‘slowed significantly’

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

This was announced by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a post on Facebook Tuesday that: “The opponent continues offensive operations, but the rate of advancement of his troops has slowed down significantly,” reads one translation.

As of 6 a.m. local time, defense 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 “are increasingly violating the rules of international humanitarian law in military conflicts,” Ukrainian officials said.

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

– Chloe Taylor

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

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

Andrei Rudakov | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has claimed oil prices could soar to over $300 a barrel if the West decides to impose sweeping sanctions on its energy exports.

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

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

Brent international crude futures were up 3.5% to $127.61 a barrel on Tuesday morning in London, while US West Texas intermediate futures were up 3% to $123.04.

– Sam Meredith

Putin still has strong support in some circles in Russia, says the former NATO deputy chief

Rose Gottemoeller, a former deputy secretary general of NATO, said there were signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to enjoy strong support in certain parts of the country.

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

Some polls also suggest its popularity is still growing in Russia, she added.

On the other hand, people who are informed or involved, “like the oligarchs who are invested globally and want to keep their wealth,” could be increasingly concerned in the face of international sanctions.

“I’m not surprised that they are becoming increasingly concerned,” Gottemoeller said.

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

– Abigail Ng

Ukraine claims it has killed another of Putin’s top generals, other senior officers in the Russian army

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

Oleksandr Lapshyn | Reuters

The Defense Intelligence Service of Ukraine said that Major General of the Russian Army Vitaly Gerasimov was killed, and other senior officers in the Russian army “were also killed or wounded” in action near the city of Kharkiv.

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

The agency, which said Gerasimov was “liquidated,” claimed that the data received related to his death near the city in northeastern Ukraine revealed “significant problems with communications” in the Russian army “and with the evacuation of their… defeated units”.

The post contains embedded audio files pretending 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 fatally shot by a Ukrainian sniper.

– Dan Manganese

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