Ukraine Latest: Russia Says It Downed Missile Over South Crimea

Ukraine Latest: Russia Says It Downed Missile Over South Crimea

Russia has formally charged detained Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich with espionage, an accusation the White House and the newspaper denied again on Saturday.

Article content

(Bloomberg) — Russia has formally charged detained Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich with espionage, an accusation the White House and the newspaper denied again on Saturday.

Advertisement 2

Story continues below

Article content

A Ukrainian missile was shot down near Feodosia in southeastern Crimea on Saturday, according to Russian media reports that cited local officials. 

Article content

Russia’s energy ministry said the nation reduced its oil output by about 700,000 barrels a day last month, according to a person familiar with the figures. The figure is inconsistent with data on the nation’s March seaborne exports and supplies to domestic refineries, though, adding to uncertainty over how much oil Russia is actually pumping.  

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments 

  • Russia Formally Charges US Journalist With Spying, Tass Says 
  • Xi’s Support for Ukraine Peace Falls Short of Macron’s Ambitions
  • Russia Shrinks Budget Deficit a Little as Spending Growth Slows
  • Ukraine Rating Downgraded by S&P on Debt Restructuring Plan 
  • Russia Says It Cut Oil Output by 700,000 Barrels a Day in March
See also  Utility board defies Nova Scotia government, allows 14 per cent power rate hike

Advertisement 3

Story continues below

Article content

(All times CET)

No Damage Reported as Russia Shoots Down Missile Over Crimea (11:30 a.m.)

Russian air-defense forces shot a missile launched from Ukraine over the region of Feodosia in eastern Crimea on Saturday, Interfax reported, citing Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Russian-occupied region. 

Debris fell on a settlement that wasn’t immediately identified, with no casualties or damage reported, the Tass news agency said, citing regional authorities.

Feodosia lies on Crimea’s southern coast, between Sevastopol and Kerch, end-point of the bridge that connects Crimea to the Russian mainland. Ukrainian officials haven’t commented on what would be a long-range hit for Kyiv’s forces. 

Estonian PM, Big Backer of Ukraine, Clinches New Coalition Deal (9:50 a.m.)

Article content

Advertisement 4

Story continues below

Article content

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas secured a deal for a new ruling coalition following her victory in last month’s elections, extending her tenure as one of Europe’s most ardent backers of Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Under her leadership, Estonia has stood out as the biggest contributor of weapons aid to Ukraine on a per-capita basis. Alongside Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, the country has pushed hard for tough sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Uncertainty on Russian Oil Output After It Cites Reduction for March (8 a.m.)

Russia’s energy ministry said the nation reduced its oil output by about 700,000 barrels a day in March, according to a person familiar with the figures. The figure is inconsistent with data on the nation’s March seaborne exports and supplies to domestic refineries, adding to the uncertainty over how much oil Russia is actually pumping at the moment. 

Advertisement 5

Story continues below

Article content

The Kremlin pledged to curb crude-only output by 500,000 barrels a day between March and December in retaliation for Western trade restrictions and a price cap imposed by the Group of Seven industrialized nations. The reduction was 40% higher, according to the Energy Ministry data. 

Read more: Russia Says It Cut Oil Output by 700,000 Barrels a Day in March 

Ukraine Energy Systems Made It Through Russia’s Barrage, UK Says (7:30 a.m.)

Moscow’s efforts to severely degrade Ukraine’s energy systems over the winter “highly likely failed,” and the large-scale attacks on energy infrastructure seen since October have become rare over the past month, the UK defense ministry said. 

While Ukraine’s network operating companies continue to source replacement transformers and other parts, “transporting and installing these components is a major logistical challenge, especially high voltage transformers which weigh at least 100 tonnes,” the ministry said in a Twitter thread. 

Advertisement 6

Story continues below

Article content

Ukraine’s energy ministry said late Friday that the nation will resume electricity exports to Europe. 

Zelenskiy Says Ukraine Working on ‘Potent’ Sanctions List (7:30 a.m.)

Ukraine’s government is working on “a new potent list of sanctions” to block “people who work for aggression,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Friday in his nightly address, without offering details. Several rounds of sanctions have been announced in the past few months. 

Zelenskiy repeated his vow for Ukraine to recapture the Crimean peninsula illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.   

See also  Blinken Says Biden to Visit Israel on Wednesday

On Friday, a Ukrainian foreign ministry official pushed back  on a a recent suggestion from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that Kyiv should cede Crimea as a way to end the war. 

Advertisement 7

Story continues below

Article content

Xi’s Support for Ukraine Peace Falls Short of Macron’s Ambitions (7 a.m.)

Paris and Beijing agreed to support any effort to restore peace in Ukraine on the basis of international law in a joint statement on Saturday that fell short of French President Emmanuel Macron’s hopes for his three-day China visit.

Macron had hoped, however, to persuade Chinese leader Xi Jinping to use his influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help end the war. Yet Xi refrained from mentioning Russia or Putin in public remarks during the visit, and China’s commitment didn’t go beyond its existing 12-point proposal to end the conflict.

As for a much-awaited call between Xi and Ukraine’s president also doesn’t appear to be any closer to happening. 

Advertisement 8

Story continues below

Article content

Wall Street Journal, White House Deny Spying Allegations (10:40 p.m.)

The Wall Street Journal and the White House on Saturday again denied accusations by Russia that detained correspondent Evan Gershkovich is a spy. Russian media reported on Saturday the US citizen has been formally charged with espionage. 

“We’ve seen media reports indicating Evan has been charged. As we’ve said from the beginning, these charges are categorically false and unjustified, and we continue to demand Evan’s immediate release,” the Journal said in a statement. The White House called the charges “baseless.”

Ukraine Resumes Electricity Exports to Europe (10 p.m.)

Ukraine will resume electricity exports to Europe as it has a surplus, the country’s Energy Ministry said.

Advertisement 9

Story continues below

Article content

“The most difficult winter is over,” Energy Minister German Galushchenko, who signed a document allowing the export, said Friday in a statement. “Next step is to open electricity export which will allow for attracting additional financing for needed restoration and repair of damaged energy infrastructure.”

Ukraine can export 400 megawatts under an agreement with ENTSO-E, the European grid operators network. Russia started to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones in September, causing electricity cutoffs across the country. It prompted Ukraine to suspend electricity exports from October.

Russian News Agencies Say WSJ’s Gershkovich Has Been Charged (6 p.m.)

Russia has formally charged Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich with espionage, Russian state media reported, citing people familiar with the case. 

Advertisement 10

Story continues below

Article content

The reported charges by Russia’s Federal Security Service, come more than a week after the US citizen was detained during a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg in Russia’s Ural Mountains region. A spying conviction could carry a sentence in Russia of up to 20 years in prison.

Read more: Russia Formally Charges US Journalist With Spying, Tass Says 

Russia Budget Deficit Down as Spending Growth Slows (3 p.m.)

Russia’s huge budget deficit shrank as spending slowed in March, even as the war in Ukraine continued to hammer the government’s revenue.

The fiscal shortfall decreased to 2.4 trillion rubles ($29.4 billion) at the end of March from 2.58 trillion in the first two months of the year, data published Friday by the Finance Ministry showed. Spending growth slowed to 4.2% in March after surging by about 50% in February as a result of accelerated expenditures early in the year, the ministry said. 

See also  Demand for FX derivatives jumps as central banks prep rate rises- CME Group

Advertisement 11

Story continues below

Article content

The deficit compares to a surplus of 1.1 trillion rubles in the first quarter of 2022, an indication of the impact on the budget of the invasion ordered by President Vladimir Putin in February last year.

Zelenskiy Discussed Leak Prevention With Top Commanders (2:42 p.m.)

Volodymyr Zelenskiy held a regular meeting with key commanders and top officials Friday, with “measures to prevent the leakage of information regarding the plans of the defense forces of Ukraine” among the items discussed, according to a statement on the presidential website. 

The talks followed a New York Times report that the Pentagon is investigating the leak of classified war documents detailing US and NATO plans for building up the Ukrainian military ahead of a counteroffensive. The plans, in a partly altered state, have appeared on Twitter and Telegram. 

Friday’s meeting also included a report from Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, about the general military situation as well as an assessment from military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov about Russia’s possible actions in near future.  

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *