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Russian artillery pounds Sievierodonetsk, hundreds of civilians shelter in chemical plant

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© Reuters. A local resident looks at grass that is on fire after a shelling, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region Ukraine June 12, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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By Natalia Zinets and Maria Starkova

KYIV (Reuters) -Russian forces swarmed into the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk and pounded a zone where hundreds of civilians were sheltering, a Ukrainian official said on Monday – a scene that mirrored Moscow’s brutal capture of Mariupol last month.

Ukraine has issued increasingly urgent calls for more Western weapons to help defend Sievierodonetsk, which Kyiv says could hold the key to the outcome of the battle for control of the eastern Donbas region and the future course of the war.

In a report that was not confirmed by the Ukrainian side, a Russian-backed separatist said the last bridge into the city had been destroyed on Sunday, effectively blockading its Ukrainian defenders inside.

“They have two options: either follow the example of their fellow soldiers and surrender, or die,” Russia’s RIA news agency quoted separatist spokesperson Eduard Basurin as saying. “They have no other option.”

Regional governor Sergei Gadai had said on Sunday evening the last crossing over the Siverskyi Donets river was still standing after another bridge was destroyed earlier in the day.

“The third bridge is working. But the condition of the bridge is threatening: it is half-destroyed, it is impossible for trucks to move on it,” he said.

On Monday he said fighting was raging in the city, where Ukrainian forces were defending building by building.

“The battles are so fierce that fighting for not just a street but for a single high-rise building can last for days,” he said on social media.

Russian artillery fire also rained down on the Azot chemical plant, where hundred of civilians were sheltering, Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that includes Sievierodonetsk, said.

Before Mariupol fell to Russia last month, hundreds of civilians and badly wounded Ukrainian soldiers were trapped for weeks in the Azovstal steelworks. Ukrainian officials say cholera is now spreading among remaining residents due to bodies buried in rubble from destroyed residential buildings.

Gaidai estimated that Russian forces now controlled about 70% of Sievierodonetsk, and said they were destroying it “quarter by quarter” in one of the bloodiest assaults since the invasion was launched on Feb. 24.

“Russians continue to storm the city, having a significant advantage in artillery they have somewhat pushed back the Ukrainian soldiers,” Gaidai said on Monday.

IMAGE OF RUSSIA

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday that Russia was trying to pour military reserves into the Donbas.

“Severe fighting is ongoing there – literally for every metre,” he said.

Zelenskiy said attacks that resulted in child casualties had created a lasting image of Russia for the rest of the world rather than the images Moscow was trying to project.

“Not Peter the Great, not Lev Tolstoy, but children injured and killed in Russian attacks,” he said, in an apparent reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks last week comparing Moscow’s military campaign to Russian emperor Peter the Great’s 18th century conquest of lands held by Sweden.

Russia has denied targeting civilians.

Putin launched what he called a “special operation” to restore Russian security and “denazify” its southern neighbour. Ukraine and its Western allies call this a baseless pretext for an invasion which has raised fears of wider conflict in Europe.

More than five million people have fled Ukraine, thousands have died and cities have been reduced to rubble in the biggest assault on a European country since World War Two.

The war has sparked a global energy and food crisis by disrupting gas, oil and grain supplies from Russia and Ukraine.

TRAPPED IN CHEMICAL PLANT

After failing to take the capital Kyiv, Moscow turned its attention to expanding control in the Donbas, where pro-Russian separatists have held territory since 2014.

In Sievierodonetsk, the last pocket of Ukrainian land held in the Luhansk region, Ukrainian and Russian forces were both suffering heavy losses, Roman Vlasenko, head of Sievierodonetsk district administration, told local TV.

“Our boys are holding on but the conditions are tough,” he said. Vlasenko said the city had been without communications and normal services for a month.

Russian shelling had hit the Azot chemical plant area three times, said Luhansk governor Gaidai.

“About 500 civilians remain on the grounds of the Azot plant in Sievierodonetsk, 40 of them are children. Sometimes the military manages to evacuate someone,” he said, adding that the remaining bridge out of the city to the west was vulnerable.

“If after new shelling the bridge collapses, the city will truly be cut off. There will be no way of leaving Sievierodonetsk in a vehicle,” Gaidai said, noting the lack of a cease-fire agreement or agreement on evacuation corridors.

Gaidai said the twin city of Lysychansk across the river to the west was also being shelled by Russian forces, and a six-year-old child had been killed there.

Reuters could not independently confirm that account.

In Pokrovsk, southwest of Sievierodonetsk, women, children and elderly, some in wheelchairs, boarded the only train evacuating people on Saturday from the conflict zone to relative safety in faraway Lviv, near the border with Poland.

“We held on until the last moment, we didn’t want to leave, but life has forced us to survive,” Lyuba, a woman from Lysychansk, told Reuters Television as she waited for the train to depart. “We are leaving, we don’t know where, to whom, but we are leaving.”

On Sunday, the Ukrainian general staff said General Valeriy Zaluzhny, the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, had spoken to General Mark Milley, the top U.S. military officer, and reiterated a request for more heavy artillery systems.

Moscow has criticised the United States and other nations for sending Ukraine weapons, threatening to strike new targets if the West supplied long-range missiles.

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Large tanker jam at the Bosphorus due to russian oil price cap

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oil price cap news

The embargo on Russian oil shipments from Russia and the Russian oil price cap came into force on December 5. On December 5, an embargo on sea shipments of oil from Russia and Russian oil price cap came into force.

This is now the most relevant oil price cap news. Now ships carrying Russian crude will be able to access Western insurers only if the crude is sold at $60 a barrel or lower. According to four oil industry representatives, Turkey has demanded a new insurance confirmation because of the price cap.

According to ship brokers, oil traders and satellite tracking services, about 19 tankers carrying Crude Oil piled up in Turkish waters on Monday, Dec. 5. According to a ship broker, the first tanker arrived as early as Nov. 29. According to information from ship brokers and the tankertrackers.com service, most of the oil is of Kazakh origin.

Since December 5, price limits for Russian oil have come into force; the limit is $60 per barrel. The price ceiling was agreed by the G7 countries (USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan), as well as Australia and the European Union. Besides, the European embargo on deliveries of Russian crude oil by sea became effective. As explained in the U.S. Treasury, now, Russia has two choices: to supply crude oil under the price ceiling, using the services of “best in class” companies of G7 countries, or to use the expensive services of “less reliable” companies outside the G7.

The Kremlin declined to acknowledge any limits. According to Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, a decision on retaliatory measures is “being prepared. He called the West’s actions “a step towards destabilizing world energy markets. The Russian side has repeatedly warned that it will stop supplying energy resources to countries that limit the price.

Earlier we reported that the G7 countries support limiting the price of Russian oil.

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Commodities

Caracas and Chevron will soon sign a series of contracts on crude oil production in Venezuela

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crude oil production in Venezuela

Caracas and Chevron will sign a series of contracts after Washington allowed the company to start crude oil production in Venezuela, local oil minister Tarek El Aissami said Tuesday.

According to the EFE news agency, the minister was informed of a “productive working meeting” with Chevron Venezuela head Javier La Rosa. “In the coming hours we will sign contracts to spur the development of joint ventures and oil production,” the minister said. What exactly will be in those contracts has not yet been disclosed.

The U.S. Treasury Department said earlier in November that it had allowed Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX). To resume resource extraction activities in Venezuela on a limited scale. If it is possible to influence the world oil market in this way, the situation on the stock market, including Boeing stock price predictions, will also improve.

Note that the cost of oil production in Venezuela compared with world prices is very low. According to the document, the company is allowed to extract, transport and supply to the United States oil or oil products produced by joint ventures (JV) Chevron (the license does not allow delivery to any other countries), as well as to carry out any related maintenance and repair on the joint venture assets. Also, Chevron was granted the right to purchase and import into Venezuela goods or resources related to the above activities, including diluents, condensates, oil or natural gas products.

We previously reported that oil prices are rising on the supply and demand outlook.

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Why is oil getting more expensive? Price rises on supply and demand outlook

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why is oil getting more expensive

Global oil prices moved higher Thursday afternoon, trading data showed. Why is oil getting more expensive? Investors continue to assess the prospects for the balance of supply and demand in the market, including the OPEC+ deal.

Why have oil prices gone up so much? The price of January futures on Brent grew 0.83% to $87.69 per barrel, while February futures on WTI grew 0.87% to $81.25. Oil was getting cheaper by 0.5% in the morning.

Why have oil prices gone up so much?

Investors continue to watch the outlook for oil supply and demand. Thus, investors are waiting for the OPEC+ meeting, which is scheduled for Sunday, December 4. Traders assess whether the parameters of the oil agreement will be changed. Because the situation remains tense, even the stock market is falling. The trend can even be seen in Walt Disney stock price predictions.

Traders also fear a possible recession amid global central bank policy to raise rates due to high inflation as well as China’s measures to combat the coronavirus. The economic outlook could affect oil demand.

“The OPEC+ decision remains uncertain, but an extension of current production cuts is likely. The group will need to better understand China’s real measures on COVID before doing anything else with production levels,” Vanir Global Markets Pte. managing director James Whistler told Bloomberg. James Whistler.

Earlier, we reported that Bloomberg learned about the EU’s discussion of a $60 price ceiling on Russian oil.

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