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Russia-Ukraine conflict: day 7

It is the seven day of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, with major cities including the capital Kiev being the target of attacks. Clashes have erupted in the northeastern city of Kharkiv where Russian airborne troops have landed. The city’s authorities say over the past 24 hours, nearly two dozen people were killed and over 100 others wounded in shelling attacks. In the capital Kiev, an airstrike on the main television tower has killed five people. Russian forces have also taken full control of the regional center of the Black Sea city of Kherson. In fresh remarks, Ukraine's president has claimed almost 6,000 Russians have lost their lives during the ongoing conflict. So far no comments from Russian officials. Volodymyr Zelenskyy also says Moscow cannot win the war with bombs and rockets. But Russia’s defense minister earlier pledged to push ahead with the operation until all the objectives are achieved.

Western pressure on Russia

Hours ago, US President, Joe Biden, delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine was the primary theme of his speech, during which he pledged that the West will be all united in the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Biden had some tough words for President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of launching a pre-meditated and unprovoked war on Ukraine. He called Putin a dictator, and said he will pay a continuing high price over the long run. Biden said Washington, with the help of its allies, is inflicting economic pain on Russia. And he even announced a ban on Russian flights.

Oil tops $110; stocks slumps

Russia's military operation in Ukraine is rattling global markets, with oil prices surging to seven-year highs amid supply disruption fears, over the economic sanctions on Moscow. Brent crude oil has surged past 110 dollars per barrel. Also, US West Texas Intermediate crude is up by five percent, at above 108 dollars. OPEC and other major producers, including Russia, will hold a meeting to discuss increasing output to control price rises. On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency, which includes the US, agreed to release 60 million barrels of crude reserves to try and curb soaring prices. But a disruption from Russia, one of the world's top oil suppliers, could send prices even higher. Also, Asian stocks declined as investors fretted about the impact of sanctions on Russia. Observers are concerned that the disruption caused by the sanctions could have a deep negative impact on global growth and inflation. 

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