US To Block Russian Oil As Millions Flee Putin’s Invasion

March 8, 2022

It’s thirteen days since Putin invaded Ukraine, meeting a level of resistance that’s shocked the world while isolating Russia and its people from much of the global economy.

The consequences — and battles — are continuing to play out. President Biden announced on Tuesday that the U.S. will ban imports of Russian oil and liquefied natural gas; the EU floated a plan to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.

It’s a strike at the hydrocarbon core of Russia’s economy, but one that is limited by its nature. The Europeans remain reliant on Russian oil and gas for energy, and Russia on them for foreign currency.

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In Ukraine, Russian forces appear to have slowed their advance while keeping it steady. A large column of armored vehicles remains stalled outside Kyiv, as Ukrainian defenders fight vicious battles in the capital’s suburbs. Russian troops have repeatedly opened fire on residential areas and on evacuating civilians, creating a humanitarian catastrophe that’s led to as many as two million Ukrainians to flee.

Through all of this, the fog of war makes it very difficult to discern the real course of the war. Russian officials have given piecemeal accounts of the country’s war dead; a New York Times report from Monday suggested that one Ukrainian unit in the south had kept on fighting even after being decimated by Russian air strikes.

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