(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “partial mobilization” and promised to annex the areas his forces occupied. In a televised address, he described the steps as “urgent, necessary steps to defend Russia’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.”
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised interview that as many as 300,000 troops would be called up, with a gradual move. The Kremlin will host hastily organized referendums this weekend on the inclusion of four occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine in the latest escalation of the invasion.
Treasuries, gold and the dollar led to gains in port assets after Putin disrupted markets that were already anticipating a massive rate hike by the Federal Reserve. German Robert Habeck, who is both vice-chancellor and economy minister, called Putin’s order “another bad and misguided step”. He promised that Berlin would continue to fully support Ukraine.
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To the ground
Russian shelling damaged infrastructure in more than 50 settlements, including Bakhmut, Zaporizhzhya and Nikopol, while Russian forces also tried 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 forces have pushed back Russian attacks near nine settlements, according to the statement. Russia shelled the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant overnight, causing damage to one of the power plants, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said on Telegram. Russia has hit residential buildings in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkov, with missiles overnight, Unian reported, citing local authorities. Russian troops stormed the dam at the Pechenihy water reservoir in the Kharkov region, and local authorities warned of a risk of “catastrophic flooding of areas,” Unian said.
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West cannot give up despite Putin’s nuclear blackmail, Latvia says (10 a.m.)
“Putin cannot handle the failures in his own plan for the occupation of Ukraine and on the battlefield, so he is ready to escalate the situation with both conventional threats and nuclear blackmail and other elements,” said Latvian Defense Minister Artis. Pabriks in a statement. mailed statement.
“The entire democratic world must tell Russia directly and unequivocally that no amount of fake referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine will change our attitude towards this unjust war,” Pabriks said. “I call on all Western society not to succumb to Russia’s nuclear blackmail.”
Lithuania urges ‘continuous flow’ of advanced military assets (9:50 AM)
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusaukas said the response to Putin’s decision from countries supporting Ukraine should be “a continuous flow of advanced military equipment to help the nation defend itself against genocide”.
Putin’s “three-day victorious war” has “reached the stage of mobilization after seven months,” Anusaukas said in a Facebook post. “It means the situation is very bad.”
“The partial mobilization that Putin has announced from today will provide new ‘cannon fodder’, help replenish nearly destroyed units and send new waves of ill-trained troops with old tanks to fight.”
Germany says mobilization ‘bad and misguided’ (9am)
The German vice chancellor condemned Putin’s decision to order a partial mobilization and said the government in Berlin will discuss “how to respond” to what he called Russia’s latest “escalation”.
“This is another bad and misguided step,” Robert Habeck, who is also the economy minister, told reporters in Berlin. “In any case, it is clear to me and to the federal government that we will continue to fully support Ukraine during this difficult time.”
Global assets fluctuate as tensions escalate (9:20 a.m.)
After Putin’s speech, a group of global assets fluctuated as tensions escalated in Ukraine. Both the euro and the Chinese yuan fell offshore, adding to their modest losses from the day before as traders prepared for another increase by the Federal Reserve. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude rose above $85 a barrel after fluctuating earlier in the session. European natural gas prices also rose.
Oil jumps on news of partial mobilization (8:50am)
Oil prices rose after Putin’s announcement. Brent rose to $92.57 a barrel on the London morning, a gain of about $1.75 from before the news. The escalation adds another layer of uncertainty over Russia’s oil output, as the west has already taken multiple measures to combat the Kremlin’s revenue from petroleum sales.
Wheat extends biggest gain since March as Russian tensions mount (8:45am)
Wheat posted its biggest gain since March when Putin promised the annexations. Grain traders are concerned that this further questions the future of the Black Sea export corridor for Ukrainian grain, which requires Kremlin approval to continue operating.
Putin says US and allies want to ‘destroy’ Russia (8:20am)
The Russian president said in his televised address on Wednesday that Russia is fighting the full power of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The US and its allies, he said, are trying to “destroy” Russia.
“We will certainly use all available means” to defend Russian territory,” Putin said. “That’s not a bluff.” The partial mobilization means reservists will be called up for military service, Putin said with immediate effect.
Germany nationalizes Uniper to prevent energy collapse (8 hours)
Germany said it will nationalize Uniper SE in a historic move to rescue the country’s largest gas importer and avoid a collapse of the energy sector in Europe’s largest economy.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition is determined to ensure Uniper’s survival in the coming months, when the energy crisis could worsen as temperatures dip towards winter.
Zelenskiy says combat initiative belongs to Ukraine (7:50am)
The frontline situation “clearly indicates” Ukraine’s initiative in its war against Russia, Zelenskiy said in his regular overnight address to the nation on Tuesday. He pledged more support to the Ukrainian military and intelligence service, “for anyone who is gradually restoring our territorial integrity,” his statement said.
“Our positions are not changing because of the noise or any announcements somewhere,” Zelenskiy said, referring to an upcoming speech by Putin. “And in doing so, we enjoy the full support of our partners.”
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