Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “partial mobilisation” and vowed to annex territories his forces are occupying. In a televised address, he described the moves as “urgent, necessary steps to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a television interview that as many as 300 000 troops would be called up, with the move a gradual one. The Kremlin is set to stage hastily-organised referendums on absorbing four occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine as soon as this weekend in its latest escalation of the invasion. Euro-dollar rates and risk assets came under pressure as Putin spoke.
Speaking on the eve of Putin’s address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the situation on the front line “clearly indicates” that the initiative belongs to Ukraine in its war against Russia. He pledged more support for Ukraine’s army and intelligence service, “for everyone who is gradually restoring our territorial integrity,” according to his statement.
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On the ground
Russian shelling damaged infrastructure in more than 50 settlements, including Bakhmut, Zaporizhzhia and Nikopol, with Russian forces also trying to hit a thermal power plant near the city of Slovyansk in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its morning update. Ukrainian troops pushed back Russian attacks near nine settlements, according to the statement. Russia shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant overnight, causing damage at one of the power units, the Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said on Telegram. Russia hit residential buildings in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv with missiles overnight, Unian reported citing local authorities. Russian forces pound the dam at the Pechenihy water reservoir in the Kharkiv region, and local authorities warned of a risk of “catastrophic flooding of territories,” Unian said.
(All times CET)
Oil Spikes on News of Partial Mobilization (8:50 a.m.)
Oil prices spiked after Putin’s announcement. Brent rose as high as $92.57 a barrel in the London morning, a gain of about $1.75 from where it was before the news. The escalation adds another layer of uncertainty about Russian oil output because the west has already taken multiple measures targeting the Kremlin’s revenues from petroleum sales — and any further steps could impact the nation’s supply.
Wheat Extends Biggest Gain Since March as Russian Tensions Mount (8:45 a.m.)
Wheat extended its biggest gain since March as Putin pledged the annexations. Grain traders are worried that this throws further into doubt the future of the Black Sea export corridor for Ukrainian grain, which requires the Kremlin’s approval to continue operating.
Putin Says US, Allies Seeking to ‘Destroy’ Russia (8:20 a.m.)
The Russian President said in his televised address Wednesday that Russia is fighting the full might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The US and its allies, he said, are seeking to “destroy” Russia.
“We will definitely use all means available” to defend Russian territory,” Putin said. “That’s not a bluff.” The partial mobilization will mean that reservists will be drafted into military service, Putin said, starting immediately.
Germany Nationalises Uniper to Avert Energy Collapse (8 a.m.)
Germany said it will nationalize Uniper SE in a historic move to rescue the country’s largest gas importer and avert a collapse of the energy sector in Europe’s biggest economy.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition is determined to ensure Uniper’s survival in coming months, when the energy crunch could worsen as temperatures fall heading into winter.
Zelenskiy Says Fighting Initiative Belongs to Ukraine (7:50 a.m.)
The situation on the front line “clearly indicates” that the initiative belongs to Ukraine in its war against Russia, Zelenskiy said in his regular nightly address to the nation Tuesday. He vowed more support for Ukraine’s army and intelligence service, “for everyone who is gradually restoring our territorial integrity,” according to his statement.
“Our positions do not change because of the noise or any announcements somewhere,” Zelenskiy said referring to a forthcoming address by Putin. “And we enjoy the full support of our partners in this.”
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