Russia claims it will cease fire in 4 Ukrainian cities; US crude oil is rising

UK says Russia is trying to isolate Ukrainians from reliable news and information

Damage from a Russian missile attack on a television tower in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 2, 2022.

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

In a daily intelligence update on Monday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said there were reports of Russian forces targeting TV towers in Ukrainian cities.

“Russia is likely targeting Ukraine’s telecommunications infrastructure in order to limit Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information,” the ministry said.

It added that internet access in Ukraine is likely to be disrupted in the wake of the attacks on infrastructure, as outages have already been reported in the cities of Mariupol, Sumy, Kiev and Kharkiv over the past week.

Within its borders, Russia has taken steps in recent days to clamp down on news coverage of the conflict in Ukraine. Lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that would make calling for foreign sanctions against Russia a criminal offense, while publishing so-called “fake” information about the Russian military could lead to prison sentences of up to 15 years.

The Kremlin’s official line is that the invasion of Ukraine is a “special operation” aimed at liberating Ukrainians from their government, but the West rejected this position, calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine an unjustified war. The International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into alleged Russian war crimes.

– Chloe Taylor

Russia claims it will cease fire to allow civilians to leave 4 Ukrainian cities

A view of a destroyed building after a bombing in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, on March 3, 2022.

Sergey Bobok | AFP | Getty Images

Moscow claimed on Monday that it would halt attacks in four Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, to allow for the evacuation of civilians.

Evacuation attempts were halted at the end of last week after Russian forces were accused of violating the ceasefire in the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakia.

Russian state news agencies reported on Monday that the latest ceasefire will begin at 10 a.m. Moscow time (9 a.m. Ukraine, 2 a.m. ET) in the cities of Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy.

Russian aid workers in Ukraine said the decision was the result of the “catastrophic humanitarian situation” in the country and “a personal request from French President Emmanuel Macron. [for a cease-fire] To Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Russian News Agency Interfax mentioned.

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The Russian government said it had informed the United Nations, the Red Cross and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of its plans for a ceasefire.

Over the weekend, evacuations from Mariupol were aborted on Saturday and Sunday, as Ukrainian officials said Russian forces continued to attack the city and the planned route out.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities said about 400 civilians who fled Volnovaka came under Russian fire on Sunday despite promises of a safe exit. According to Reuters.

– Chloe Taylor

Economist Stephen Roach says Xi Jinping is the only person with ‘influence’ over Putin now

China has so far said it will not participate in sanctions against Russia and has also abstained from a UN vote reprimanding Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

– Weezin Tan

Professor Emeritus says ‘Putin’s endgame’ is ‘decapitation’ of the Ukrainian government

Graeme Gill, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney, said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “end-game” in Russia’s war against Ukraine was to “replace Zelensky’s government” with someone of his “chosen”.

What Putin “really wants is to decapitate” the Ukrainian government and form his own, he told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

US and European officials have begun discussing the possibility of forming a government-in-exile led by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if he and his aides are forced to flee Ukraine and form a new government while in Poland.

However, if Russia succeeded in gaining control of Ukraine, it would prefer that Zelensky not preside over it because he proved to be “an effective figure in opposing the Russians in their invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

Gill said Zelensky has escaped three assassination attempts by Russia-backed special forces, but he can “expect more assassination attempts.”

“It is not surprising that there were attempts to assassinate Zelensky,” he added.

Charmaine Jacob

Security Concerns Grow in the Baltic States Following Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Trilateral talks are underway to send fighter planes to Ukraine

Poland, Ukraine and the United States are in talks over a deal that would put more MiG fighter jets into Ukraine’s hands.

NBC News reported that the deal will include Poland presents MiG fighter jets to Ukraine, and the US in turn replaced Poland’s fighters with US-made F-16s.

Two Polish MiG-29s sit at an air base in Malbork, Poland, in this file photo from August 2021.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Neither Ukraine nor Russia has demonstrated air superiority in their 11-day war, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an urgent request for fighter jets during a call with 300 members of Congress on Saturday.

Ukrainian pilots are not trained to fly American-made warplanes. However, both Poland and Ukraine operate MiGs – aircraft designed and built in Russia – that have survived from the days of the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the weekend that warplanes and air defense systems are his country’s “highest demand” as Ukraine faces nearly 200,000 Russian soldiers and their vehicles.

The F-16 is manufactured by General Dynamics, a unit of Lockheed Martin.

– Ted Kemp

A defense analyst said that the no-fly zone over Ukraine would increase the risk of war between the United States and Russia

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would “significantly increase” the risk of war between the United States and Russia, according to Ted Galen Carpenter, senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

“It is absolutely essential that the United States resist Zelensky’s call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine,” he told CNBC. “Asia Street Signs” on Monday.

The Ukrainian president has repeatedly asked NATO to create a no-fly zone over his country, but the United States and its allies have so far refused this request. The creation of a no-fly zone would mean that the coalition would have to shoot down Russian planes over Ukraine.

“This would greatly increase the risk of war between the United States and Russia, and we are talking about a war with nuclear ramifications at that point,” Carpenter said.

“I don’t think anyone in the United States thinks that Ukraine’s security is worth the risk at that level,” he added.

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Putin had previously said that he would consider a third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as “Participation of that country in military action. “

– Abigail Ng

US House ‘Exploring Strong Legislation’ to Ban Russian Oil

In a letter to fellow Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US House of Representatives is “exploring robust legislation” to ban Russian oil imports.

She wrote that the legislation would “further further isolate Russia from the global economy.”

“Our law will ban the import of Russian oil and energy products into the United States, cancel normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, and take the first step to deny Russia access to the World Trade Organization. We will also enable the executive branch to raise tariffs on Russian imports.”

The House of Representatives will vote this week on aid to Ukraine totaling $10 billion in humanitarian, military and economic support.

– Ted Kemp

US crude oil price jumps above $125 a barrel on possible Western ban on Russian oil

The crude tanker, Chemtrans Cancale, is seen moored offshore as it waits to dock at Port Everglades on April 20, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Riddell | Getty Images

US crude oil Jumped over $125 a barrel In early trading Sunday evening, the market continued to respond to supply disruptions stemming from the war between Russia and Ukraine and the possibility of the United States and its allies and partners imposing an embargo on Russian oil and natural gas.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures contractsThe US oil index jumped 8%, at one point, exceeding $130 a barrel, reaching its highest level since mid-2008. Brent crudethe international benchmark, rose 9% to $128.60, also the highest price since 2008.

“Oil is rising with the expectation of a complete ban on Russian oil and products,” said John Kilduff, co-founder of Again Capital. “Gasoline prices that are already high will continue to rise in a paradoxical manner. Prices in some states will push $5 very quickly.”

– Tanaya Michel

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