• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Russia – Ukraine conflict: What you need to know

Putin reacts to ban, signs decree to halt raw materials exportation

After President Vladimir Putin authorised a demilitarisation operation in Ukraine, Russian forces targeted locations across the country, sparking threats of further “serious sanctions” and sending global markets falling.

Early Thursday, Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles, prompting Ukraine’s Interior Ministry to issue a warning that the capital, Kyiv, was being targeted and urged inhabitants to seek shelter. According to Bloomberg, Ukraine’s border guard reported shelling from five different directions, including Crimea in the south and Belarus in the north.

Putin said in a nationally televised address before the offensive, that Russia did not intend to “occupy” its southern neighbour, but that the action was essential because the US and its allies had crossed Russia’s “red line” by expanding the NATO alliance.

CNN reported that Belarus joined Russia in the invasion of Ukraine and that both Russian and Belarusian troops invaded Ukraine from staging grounds in Belarus.

Map of Russian attacks as at 10:20 am 24, 02 2022

After the airstrikes in the early hours of Thursday, it was reported that Eastern European members of NATO invoked Article 4 of the agreement establishing the bloc, which prescribes urgent consultation on military plans for the alliance in case of territorial integrity threats.

Russia vs Ukraine conflict and the markets

The Russian rubles is currently in shambles. It is in its lowest dip ever, says CNBC. Stock Talk Weekly also reported that Moscow Exchange had gone down over 45 percent in its biggest single-session drop ever.

Bloomberg reported that U.S. equity futures and stocks tumbled while bonds jumped and oil soared with Brent scaling over $100 a barrel as Putin’s decision cast a pall over global markets.

Read also: Oil crosses $100 for first time since 2014 after Russia orders troops into Ukraine

The flight to safer investments saw the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fall below 1.90%. Gold hit the highest since early 2021. The dollar and yen jumped, while the euro is retreating along with the ruble.

Bitcoin is also hit as it drops 9 percent after confirmation of Russian airstrikes sent to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, watcherGuru reported.

Sanctions roll in

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the commission will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop the access of Russian Banks to the European financial market

Biden on Wednesday allowed sanctions to move forward against the company that built the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and against the company’s CEO.

Biden waived sanctions last year when the project was almost completed, in return for an agreement from Germany to take action against Russia if it used gas as a weapon or attacked Ukraine. Germany said Tuesday it was indefinitely suspending the pipeline.

President Joe Biden of the United States branded Putin’s action “an unwarranted and unjustified strike,” adding that the “world will hold Russia accountable.”

UK Prime minister Boris Johnson issued a statement saying “I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps”

China however opposed sanctions against Russia and criticized the U.S. for inflaming the Ukraine crisis suggesting its support for NATOs expansion left Vladimir Putin with few options_ Bloomberg

Ukraine reports increase in cyberattacks

Association press reported that the websites of Ukraine’s defense, foreign and interior ministries were unreachable and slow to load Thursday morning after a punishing wave of distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS)attacks as Russia struck at its neighbor.

In addition to DDoS attacks on Wednesday, cybersecurity researchers said unidentified attackers had infected hundreds of computers with destructive malware, some in neighboring Latvia and Lithuania.

Nigeria in the picture

According to BusinessDay analysts, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cut the world oil supply by around 11 million barrels per day, resulting in an increase in oil price and an improvement in Nigeria’s economy. Brent has already risen above $100 to $102, and if the situation continues, it may appear to rise even further to $150 in the following days.

Nigeria also needs the oil price to rise and, in the worst-case scenario, remain stable at any price above its revised budget benchmark of $62 per barrel in order to carry out its 2022 budget.