- 27 Dec 22
Today, December 27, has seen an escalation of tensions in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with air raid alerts across the Ukraine and Russia now penalising countries imposing a price cap on the country.
Russia's Vladimir Putin has responded to the western price cap, signing a decree which bans the supply of oil and oil products to nations participating in this cap from February 1 for five months.
The Group of Seven major powers - an intergovernmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the European Union and Australia previously agreed to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil, which came into effect on December 5, as punishment for Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The Kremlin’s decree has stated the ban on crude oil for those participating in the price cap will run from February 1 until July 1.
The date for the oil products ban has yet to be determined by the Russian government.
Reuters has reported that the decree includes a clause allowing Putin to overrule the ban in special cases.
Previous to this announcement from the Kremlin, other key developments over the day have included:
- Ukrainian forces have come closer to recapturing Kreminna in Luhansk province, the key-Russian controlled city. Regional governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, has said fighters in part of the Russian-controlled city command retreated to Rubizhne as a result of Ukrainian military pressure.
- The east and south of the country see continuous heavy fighting with no sign of peace talks coming soon. The recapturing of Kreminna and Svatove could allow for Kyiv to launch an attack on Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk - two cities under Russian control since the summer. Battlefield developments have yet to be confirmed.
- Russian troops continue their plan to capture Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
- Air raid alerts were issued across Ukraine, including Kyiv, earlier today. However, there were no immediate reports of attacks.
- Ukrainian strikes on the Russian Engels airbase have led to the invaders moving many of their warplanes to other locations. Three Russian servicemen were killed after a Ukrainian drone attack on Engels on Monday, according to Russia's defence ministry.
- Ukraine hopes to hold a peace summit by the end of February, preferably with the UN general secretary, António Guterres, mediating at the UN. Dmytro Kuleba has said that Russia would only be invited if it faced a war crimes tribunal beforehand.
- Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has said Ukraine-controlled Kyiv must accept Moscow’s demands of “demilitarisation and denazification” or be defeated on the battlefield. The minister's statement shows Russia has no intention of resigning its goals of regime change in Ukraine, despite claims that Vladimir Putin was ready for talks to end the war.
- The bodies of 42 Ukrainian men who died during fighting have been returned to Ukraine. The commissioner for missing persons, Oleh Kotenko, has said that work on bringing back the bodies of Ukraine’s fighters “does not stop for a day."
- Meetings between Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, took place twice in the past 24 hours to “finalise many issues”, Belta news agency reported. These meetings took place in St Petersburg yesterday evening.
- Kherson city, although liberated by Ukrainian forces in November, still faces the horrors of the Russian occupation. Hundreds of Ukrainian children from Kherson and Kharkiv regions have been stuck in Russian summer camps from weeks to months in some cases.
- Finally, a Russian sausage tycoon who reportedly criticised the war in Ukraine has passed away. Pavel Antov allegedly fell from the third-floor window of a luxury hotel in India, with his body discovered just two days after his friend and another local Russian politician, Vladimir Bidenov, was found dead in the same hotel after an apparent heart attack.
The war in Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded the country.