- The US discusses releasing yet more oil from its strategic reserves to combat rising prices. “Yes, (these ideas) were raised, especially during the G7 meeting. That was the main topic of discussion, the question is what tools do we have at our disposal in order to deal with world oil prices,” - Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor.
- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Spain and Portugal will be allowed to implement temporary measures to cut the price of energy as part of a deal agreed by EU leaders in Brussels. He said the measure will not distort prices on the European market.
- France also rejects buying gas in rubles.
- Germany is rapidly reducing its energy dependency on Russia which applies in particular to the coal and oil sectors, according to a report released on Friday. Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that “dependency on Russian oil will now drop to around 25 percent; these changed supply chains will already take effect in the coming weeks. Russian oil imports to Germany are expected to be halved by the middle of the year. By the end of the year, we aim to be almost independent.” Meanwhile, the German Bundestag on Friday obliged gas operators from now on to guarantee gas reserves before the onset of winter.
- Zelensky begs nations to increase their energy output so that Russia cannot “blackmail” them with oil and gas. Sure thing dude, I’ll just turn this dial to make this coal power plant go from 50% to 100%. Not sure why we didn’t do it before tbh.
- The Moscow Exchange will resume trading in bonds of Russian companies on Monday, TASS reported Saturday, citing the Russian central bank.
- European Center for Nuclear Research cuts ties with Belarus and Russia.
- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban: We do not allow Hungary to be involved in the war - we will not send troops and weapons to Ukraine. You do not gotta hand it to him.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday that “no consensus in negotiations” have been reached with Russia yet. Kuleba said that Ukraine’s position is clear, with “ceasefire, security guarantees, and no compromises on territorial integrity.” However, he said, “Russia sticks to ultimatums.”
- The Russian military said it has started a military exercise involving more than 3,000 troops on a chain of islands including those disputed with Japan, Russian news agency Interfax reported on Friday. The disputed Pacific islands are known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
- Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has announced that an agreement has been reached to create 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians on Saturday, according to Reuters.
- Russia hasn’t left the dialogue with the United States and is ready to negotiate, but strictly “on an equal footing,” TASS news agency quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as saying on Saturday.
- Mariupol continues to be mopped up. Active fighting, quarter by quarter.
- Mangush, a little west of Mariupol, was taken by the DPR from Azov.
- Chernihev/Chernigov is seeing action - Russia has been shooting down UAVs, and also a Ukrainian Su-25. Russia announces the capture of Slavutych, west of Chernihiv. The mayor has negotiated with Russian forces, they will deliver humanitarian aid, citizens will surrender the kalashnikovs they were given by the government, Russian troops will patrol the town. “Ukrainian authorities said on Friday Russian forces had effectively surrounded the northern city of Chernihiv, Reuters reported.”
- A Ukrainian military unit in Zhytomyr, a small city 140-150 km west of Kiev, was struck by Russian missiles. Looks like a training center was hit?
- Mass surrender of 60 Ukrainian troops at a command post near Kiev. Half of them were senior officers.
- The consolidation of Kherson and the region in general continues, with Russian TV and radio being set up, rubles being more widely used, and new military-civilian administration. Is annexation in its future or is this temporary?
- A Ukrainian aircraft returned from Turkey with more UAVs for Ukraine. It landed in Poland and presumably the equipment will be taken across the border in trucks. Obviously, if we know about it, then Russia knows about it.
- Russia reports shooting down three Ukrainian aircraft over the village of Vishnevoe, and also one tactical missile was shot down over Vasilievka. Once again, the Russia vs Ukraine place names is confusing me, as there are similarly named places in both Russia (both fairly close to the border) and Ukraine (the former only a couple km southwest of Kiev, though I don’t know if I’d necessarily call it a “village” - it’s called a city in google maps but it’s also not very big; the latter west of Odessa, near the border with Moldova/Tranistria)
- Russian military is saying today they hit six command posts, three MLRS installations, one anti-aircraft system, nine warehouses full of weapons and ammo, two with fuel, and 92 strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, nationalist battalions and the area of concentration of military equipment.
- Western experts are concluding that the defense of the Ukrainian military in the east will get much more difficult and they expect Ukrainians to have to retreat pretty significantly based on their expectations - the first line of retreat would be well outside of the LPR’s territory and give like half of the remaining territory of the DPR back; the second line would be a line connecting Kharkiv and Dnipro, which would be massive and all of DPR would be in pro-Russian control; and the third would be a line from Sumy through Poltava, ending at the river further south, which is like, the Doomsday scenario, as Russia would then clearly control the majority of eastern Ukraine.
- This retreat may not go very well if they’re being strafed by Russian aircraft and hit by missiles the whole time.
- On the topic of DPR, Russia announces that they’re now trying to capture Novobakhmutivka, a settlement 30-40km north of Donetsk (city). Which would be pretty significant advancement on this very slow moving front, due to all the trenches and fortification after 8 years of war there. And also Novomikhailovka, which I can’t find.
- Residents of the city of Popasna (being attacked by the LPR, in the Luhansk oblast), where the fighting is taking place, are evacuated in armored vehicles in small groups, people say that the humanitarian situation is critical.
- Apparently one of the Russian military telegram channels received a message from a subscriber that Ukrainians were accumulating men and ammo in a certain location and advised them to check it out, and then a little later on it got bombed. I’m reminded of that 4chan post earlier on.