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US, UK Prohibit Russian Oil And Gas Imports

The United States imposed a ban on Russian oil imports, ratcheting up punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as McDonald’s and Starbucks closed stores and Moscow promised safe passage for some people fleeing on March 8, 2022. On the 14th day of the incursion, as the number of refugees created by the largest assault on a European country since World War Two surpassed 2 million, several of the world’s most famous brands added to the Kremlin’s global isolation. The article is about US, UK Prohibit Russian Oil And Gas Imports.

McDonald’s, a symbol of capitalism that opened in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, and coffeehouse chain Starbucks will temporarily close stores, while Pepsi will stop selling its soft drink brands and Coca-Cola will cease operations in the country. Meanwhile, Washington imposed an immediate ban on Russian energy imports, sparking a further increase in the oil price, which rose around 4%. Prices have increased by more than 30% since Russia’s incursion began on February 24.

Russia, the world’s second-largest crude exporter, has warned that the price will skyrocket even further if the West imposes bans. However, despite the prospect of higher household bills, US President Joe Biden stated that President Vladimir Putin must face the consequences of the attack. “The American people will deliver another crushing blow to Putin’s war machine,” he predicted. The Kremlin describes its actions as a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and depose neo-Nazi leaders.

Ukraine and Western allies call this a bogus pretext for an invasion that has sparked fears of broader conflict in Europe and could devastate the global economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Civilians fled the besieged city of Sumy via the first booming “humanitarian corridor” established since Russia’s invasion, but Ukraine accused Russian forces of shelling another evacuation route from Mariupol in the country’s south. Previously, talks between Kyiv and Moscow over safe passage have failed, with Ukraine opposing routes to Russia or its ally Belarus.

On March 9, Moscow is ready to provide humanitarian corridors to leave the capital Kyiv and four other cities – Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. The head of Russia’s National Defense Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency. “To ensure the safety of civilians and foreign citizens, Russia will observe a regime of silence beginning at 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 GMT) on March 9 and is prepared to provide humanitarian corridors,” he stated. It was unknown whether the proposed routes would go through Russia or Belarus.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy renewed calls for no-fly zones, which the West has opposed due to concerns about the escalation of the conflict. The US turned down a surprise Polish offer to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to a US base in Germany to help Ukraine’s air force. According to the Pentagon, the prospect of flying combat aircraft into a war zone from NATO territory “raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” according to the Pentagon. So instead, the West has concentrated its pressure on individuals and financial institutions through sanctions. Oil and natural gas had previously been excluded.

The United States is not a significant buyer of Russian oil, and Europeans, who rely on it far more, have been hesitant to follow suit. On the other hand, Britain stated that it would phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022, while the EU announced plans this year to reduce its reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds.

Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said the measures would harm Europe while benefiting the United States. “By promoting sanctions against Russian energy resources, Washington seeks to occupy the European market,” he said. 

‘Apocalyptic’

For more than a week, hundreds of thousands of people have sought refuge in Mariupol, which has been bombarded. On Tuesday, many attempted to flee along a safe corridor, but Ukraine’s foreign ministry said Russian forces violated a ceasefire and shelled it. Moscow denies that civilians were targeted.

According to Ewan Watson, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, people in Mariupol are rapidly running out of electricity, heat, food, and drinking water. “Mariupol’s situation is apocalyptic,” he said. Russia established a separate exit route from the eastern city of Sumy. According to regional officials, buses left for Poltava, further West, only hours after a Russian airstrike hit a residential area, killing 21 people. Reuters was unable to confirm the incident.

According to Russia, 723 people were evacuated through that corridor, including 576 Indian nationals. Residents were also fleeing Irpin, a Kyiv suburb on the outskirts. In other news, Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attempts to enter the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday and thwarted a planned operation by 120 Russian paratroopers near the border, according to regional governor Oleh Synehubov.

Five people were killed, two of them children, late March 8 when Russian planes attacked the town of Malyn, about 100 kilometers (northwest of Kyiv, and destroyed seven houses, according to the state emergency service in an online post. Reuters was unable to confirm.

Since the invasion began on February 24, the UN human rights office has confirmed 1,335 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 474 killed and 861 injured. But, according to the report, the actual cost is likely to be higher. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, a total of 2 million people have fled, the majority of whom are women and children.

Advance slowed

According to Western countries, Russia’s initial battle plan for a quick strike to destabilize Ukraine’s government failed early in the war, and Moscow has changed tactics to allow for more extended sieges of cities. “The enemy’s advance has slowed significantly, and in some directions where they were advancing, it has practically stopped,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told a briefing.

According to Ukraine’s defense ministry, Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, was killed on Monday, making him the second Russian major general killed during the invasion. The Russian defense ministry did not respond to requests for comment. The main Russian assault force en route to Kyiv has become stranded on the road north of the capital. On the other hand, Russia has made more progress along the Black and Azov Sea coasts. The war has resulted in a harsh new crackdown on dissent within Russia, with the last independent media outlets essentially shut down last week and foreign broadcasters barred. According to the OVD-Info monitoring group, Russian police arrested at least 100 protesters against the invasion of Ukraine. 

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