Russia-Ukraine war, latest news: Putin’s nuclear alert and the start of negotiations today

Of Francesco Battistini, Lorenzo Cremonesi, Andrea Nicastro, Paolo Foschi

The news on the war, live: talks are starting between the delegations of Moscow and Kiev, but in the background there is the specter of nuclear war evoked by Putin. The advance of the Russian troops has still for now been slowed down by the resistance of the Ukrainian regular troops and volunteers. Meanwhile, the financial centers are at the mercy of events

• Waiting for the start of talks between Russia and Ukraine. After a long back and forth over the place and mode of face-to-face, delegations from Moscow and Kiev will meet in Chernobyl (here the article by the correspondent Francesco Battistini
). The confrontation will start after days of very hard fighting and with the nuclear nightmare brought up by Vladimir Putin who has ordered the alerting of the nuclear deterrence systemthreatening consequences such as have never been seen in history, in response the tightening of sanctions

against Russia decided by the United States, the European Union, Canada and Great Britain (here Paolo Valentino explains why Putin has resorted to the nuclear threat
).
• After the acceleration of military operations in Moscow in the night between Friday and Saturday, now the offensive seems to have lost momentumeven if Russian army vehicles and men continue to approach Kiev (here the analysis by Andrea Marinelli and Guido Olimpior
). The advance slowed down by the unexpected resistance not only of the Ukrainian regular troops, but also of the volunteers who enlisted to defend their cities.

According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, since the beginning of the war 352 civilians were killedincluding 14 children.

• Italy has announced the sending of planes and men to Romania, to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank; from all over Europe weapons are also arriving in Ukraine and other aids (here the article by Guido Olimpio).
• In this confusing and ever-changing situation, the financial markets are in great tension, while we wonder about the effects of the sanctions on the Russian economy (here the analysis by Federico Fubini).

The reasons for the crisis
are explained in
this deepening

.

6.44 am – Zelensky: spoke with Von der Layen about Ukraine’s accession to the EU
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a telephone conversation with European Commission President Ursula Von der Layen in which concrete decisions were made to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities, macro-financial assistance and EU membership. Zelensky himself reveals it in a tweet.

6.25 am – South Korea joins sanctions against Russia
This was announced by the Yonhap news agency. The Foreign Ministry has communicated to the United States its intention to block the export of strategic material to Moscow and the exclusion of banks from the Swift payment system.

6.15 am – Google Maps blocks two functions in Ukraine so as not to put the civilian population at risk

Google Maps has blocked two features in Ukraine that provide information to users in real time in an effort to protect Ukrainians. The Kyiv Independent reports it citing statements from the company. Disabled features include Google Maps real-time traffic overlay and Live Busyness, a feature that shows any concentrations of people in one location at any given time.


5.30 – Ruble at historic lows, Moscow Stock Exchange postponed
The Moscow Exchange will open its currency trading market at 10 am today, three hours later than the regular Forex market time, in response to the chaos caused by the harsh financial sanctions passed by the West against Russia in follow-up to the military offensive in Ukraine. The Russian ruble fell 30 percent this morning, slipping to119 against the dollar. The euro also suffered, which fell 0.76 per cent after the announcement of Western sanctions on Russia, as did the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

4.53 am – The ruble collapses by 30% after the new sanctions
The ruble collapses with the new sanctions on Russia, including the selective exclusion of banks from the Swift payment circuit, for the invasion of Ukraine, yielding almost 30% against the dollar: on the Asian markets the currency indicated is down by 28% at 117.8170 on the greenback in offshore trading.

4.49 am – Biden-Allies telephone meeting for joint response to Russia
US President Joe Biden will be calling allies by phone today (Monday) to coordinate a response to the Ukrainian crisis. He lets the White House know.

4.04 am – Ukrainian media: Belarus is about to join the Russian invasion
Vladimir Putin is about to drag his Belarusian ally, Aleksandr Lukashenko, into the war of occupation of Ukraine. The news reported by the Kyiv independent, which cites unspecified sources according to which in a few hours the first Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane will take off carrying Belarusian paratroopers to be deployed against Ukraine. Rumors about Belarus’ involvement in the war began to circulate yesterday – writes the online edition of the Kyiv independent – following a report received by diplomatic circles from anonymous journalists of the Belarusian opposition. The message suggested that Belarusian troops could be deployed in the areas of Kiev or Zhytomyr, in support of Russian soldiers. Also yesterday, a former senior Belarusian officer, Valeriy Sakhashik, in a video speech urged the Belarusian military not to obey orders that would involve them in a war against a friendly nation. Several thousand Belarusian citizens mobilized against the war across the country on February 27.

3.50 am – Summit between Blinken and all the G7 foreign ministers
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with G7 foreign ministers, joined by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, to discuss the global response to Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked and unwarranted attack on Ukraine. . According to reports from the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, the G7 secretary and foreign ministers underlined their unified response to the invasion of Russia in Kuleba.

3.36 am – The price of wheat is still splashing
US wheat futures jumped nearly 7%, the largest one-day rally in the past 10 years, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine held back supplies from one of the world’s largest exporting regions. Corn gained over 3% while soy grew 2.4%. At the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) the most traded wheat contract rose 6.8% to $ 19.18-1 / 4 a bushel, after peaking at 8% at 9.35 at the start of the session. Corn increased 3.2% to 6.77 per bushel and soybean 2.4% to $ 16.23 per bushel. Russian exports of all commodities, from oil and metals to grains will be abruptly halted due to new Western sanctions, which deal a severe blow to the Russian economy and harm the West with rising prices and inflation . Exporters are looking for alternative sources of wheat and corn, while the Russian invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies. The two countries account for approximately 29% of total wheat exports, 19% of world maize supplies and 80% of world sunflower oil exports.

3.25 am – Explosions in Kiev and Kharkiv in the night
New explosions were heard in Kiev and Kharkiv shortly after 3 am, after a few hours of apparent calm. This was stated on its Telegram channel by the state communications service, according to reports from the Ukrainska Pravda. According to the same sources, a Russian missile hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv. The building on fire but it is not yet known if and how many people were involved.

3.04 – Zelensky: the next 24 hours are crucial
The next 24 hours will be crucial for Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Zelensky himself made it known on Twitter, adding that he also had a telephone conversation with the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. We spoke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Polish President Andrzej Duda about the current security situation. Further joint steps agreed to counter the aggressor. Coalition against the war in action !, he wrote in the post.

2.37 am – Kiev: the oligarch Medvedchuk, a friend of Putin, escapes from house arrest
Ukrainian oligarch of Russian origin Viktor Medvedchuk, close to Putin and considered among the possible candidates to lead a puppet government if Russia were to conquer Kiev, escaped from house arrest he was serving on charges of high treason for supporting the separatist forces in the Donbass. Kyiv independent reports it. Medvedchuk, leader of the opposition Platform party and entrepreneur active in many fields including energy and media, very close to the Russian president and unofficially represents his interests in Ukraine. His lawyer said he is in a safe place in Kiev.

2.15 am – The Russian central bank launches a plan of measures to try to mitigate the effect of the sanctions
The Russian central bank is running for cover and is quick to manage the fallout from the heavy sanctions decided by the West over the weekend and announces a series of measures to support domestic markets. The central bank said it will resume buying gold domestically, launch an unlimited buyback auction, and ease restrictions on banks’ open foreign exchange positions. It also increased the range of securities that can be used as collateral for borrowing and ordered market participants to reject offers from foreign clients to sell Russian securities.

1.53 pm – Futures on the European stock exchange lists are in sharp decline
The indications on the reopening of European financial markets are negative, due to the dramatic evolution of the crisis in Ukraine: the Euro Stoxx 50 which loses 3.3%.

1.46 am – ECB: probable bankruptcy for the European branch of the Russian bank Sberbank
The European Central Bank has detected the bankruptcy or probable bankruptcy of the European branch of the Russian bank Sberbank, one of the largest in the country, due to significant withdrawals of deposits due to the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions imposed by Western countries. Sberbank Europe AG, which is headquartered in Austria, and its subsidiaries in Croatia and Slovenia have
seen significant outflows of deposits due to the impact of geopolitical tensions on their reputation, the ECB banking supervisor explains in a statement, believing that in the near future, the bank may not be able to pay its debts or other commitments at maturity .


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