Puerto rico government

Oil prices soar; fighting could become more destructive as Russians bombard cities

Oil prices jump nearly 7% on supply fears amid Russian-Ukrainian conflict

Oil prices surged during afternoon trading in Asia as markets were rocked by supply concerns amid the Russia-Ukraine war. At one point, Brent and U.S. crude futures climbed almost 8%.

Brent pared some losses for the last time, jumping 6.88% to $112.19 a barrel. It briefly touched $113.02 a barrel – a level not seen since December 2013, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

U.S. crude futures also saw big gains, last trading up 6.98% at $110.63 a barrel. It had reached $111.50, its highest level since May 2011, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

— Eustance Huang

‘Limited’ overall gains for Russia in past 24 hours, UK MoD says

In its latest intelligence update on the Ukraine crisis, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that Russian forces had made slow progress in their military assault on Ukraine over the past 24 hours.

Posting an update on Twitter, the Ministry of Defense said “while Russian forces have reportedly moved towards central Kherson in the south, overall gains on the axes have been limited over the past 24 hours.”

The slow progress of the Russian advance was likely due to “a combination of continuing logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance”.

The ministry noted that Russian heavy artillery and airstrikes continued to target built-up areas, mainly concentrated in the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv.

Holly Ellyatt

The war in Ukraine is likely heading for a more destructive phase

The next phase of the war in Ukraine is likely to come at a terrible cost as Russia turns to bigger, more indiscriminate weapons to bombard cities and prepares for brutal urban combat.

If Russian troops manage to encircle Kiev, they will likely use artillery, rockets and similar weapons on the city, retired US Army Col. Jack Jacobs told CNBC.

Such an approach is one the Russians “didn’t want to do, because they wanted to take the city intact,” Jacobs said. Either way, they will use rockets, “artillery, missiles and other indirect fire to subdue the Ukrainians in the city. And then they will try to settle there.”

Indirect fire refers to weapons that do not require a direct line of sight to the target. Such weapons, such as artillery, can be used in large numbers to destroy large areas.

But such a fight is what the Ukrainians are preparing for.

The Ukrainians “knew from the very beginning that ultimately it might depend on their ability to destroy Russian forces inside built-up areas,” said Jacobs, who experienced urban combat as an officer. during the Vietnam War.

NBC News reported earlier that Russian troops had already begun shelling Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Sanctions against Russia are neither broad nor severe enough, says former Ukrainian finance minister

Western sanctions against Russia have not been tough enough, according to Natalie Jaresko, who previously served as Ukraine’s finance minister.

“The sanctions weren’t deep enough and they weren’t wide enough,” she told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.

She suggested that all Russian and Belarusian state banks be sanctioned, instead of just some.

“We’ve done a really good job with the central bank of Russia – that’s why I think we’re seeing the reaction we’re seeing – but I think we need to go beyond that with the energy companies,” Jaresko said, who is now the executive director of the Financial Supervisory and Management Board of Puerto Rico.

“We need to stop funding war,” she said, pointing to the millions of dollars worth of goods the US, UK and Europe import from Russia.

“This money directly or indirectly funds the bombs that fall on the heads of all Ukrainians today,” she said.

The sanctions are aimed at convincing the Russian people, including the elites, to get President Vladimir Putin to stop the war, she added.

“He has it under his control, he can quit,” she said.

—Abigail Ng

Ukraine issues war bonds, raising around $270m

The Ukrainian government has raised about $270 million through war bonds it issued on Tuesday.

“The bond proceeds will be used to meet the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and to ensure the uninterrupted supply of the state’s financial needs during the war,” its finance ministry tweeted.

The Ukrainian Finance Ministry said the bonds have a yield of 11% with a duration of one year.

Ukraine has sought to raise funds in several ways, such as accepting funds through crypto wallets, as its conflict with Russia deepens.

—Weizhen Tan, Christine Wang

US and allies pledge to render Putin’s war funds ‘worthless’

Biden rallied his allies on Tuesday night and hailed the joint economic measures imposed on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economy.

“We are cutting the biggest Russian banks from the international financial system,” Biden said. “Putin is now more isolated from the world than ever before,” he added, referring to retaliatory measures taken for the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

Biden said the United States and its allies were rendering “Putin’s $630 billion war fund worthless” by preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian rouble.

“We are stifling Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come,” he added.

—Amanda Macias

Life in an air-raid shelter in the Donetsk region

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka (Nikolayevka) and Bugas in the Donetsk region (DPR) of Ukraine on March 1.

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka and Bugas in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka and Bugas in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka and Bugas in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka and Bugas in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Residents stay in an air-raid shelter after recent bombings at separatist-controlled settlements in Mykolayivka and Bugas in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on March 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images