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posted by Guy M Wong alias guywong on Wednesday 8th of June 2022 07:51:08 PM Russia-Ukraine live news: Russia’s economy ‘unraveling’ New analysis by trade group says Western sanctions are ‘wiping out’ more than a decade of economic growth in Russia. ■ Luhansk governor says Severodonetsk is largely under the control of Russian forces. ■ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims defenders in the city of Severodonetsk are inflicting major losses on Russian troops. ■ The UN says it is pursuing a deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine and unimpeded access to world markets for Russian food and fertilisers. ■ The Institute of International Finance estimates Russia’s economy will shrink by 15 percent this year. ■ Ukraine’s prosecutor general announces the country has now opened more than 16,000 investigations into possible war crimes committed by Russian troops. Russian and Turkey voice support for grains safe corridor Russia and Turkey have voiced support for a safe corridor in the Black Sea to allow Ukrainian grain exports, but Kyiv has rejected the proposal, saying it was not credible. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hosted his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Ankara on Wednesday for discussions focused on a US proposal to free Odesa and Ukraine’s other Black Sea ports. Putin previously pledged that Moscow wouldn’t use the safe corridors to launch an attack, but both Ukrainian and EU officials cast doubt on the pledge. Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia is ready to formalise the guarantee for Odesa. He promised that Moscow would not “abuse” its naval advantage if Ukraine removed mines from its ports and would “take all necessary steps to ensure that the ships can leave there freely.” Millions hurt as Ukraine war hikes prices A UN report has said the war in Ukraine is increasing the suffering of millions of people by escalating food and energy prices, coming on top of ills from a growing financial crisis, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The UN Global Crisis Response Group report said the war “has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation” and is undermining the UN goal of ending extreme poverty around the world by 2030. The group was appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to assess the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia launched at least 2100 missiles towards Ukraine: Visegrad Russia has launched at least 2,100 missiles against Ukraine since the start of the invasion, according to information collected by Visegrad. More than 600 of the missiles were launched from Belarus. Visegrad, a cultural and political alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, published a timeline video with a map of Ukraine showing where the missiles landed. Severodonetsk now largely under Russian control: Governor The eastern Ukraine city of Severodonetsk is now “largely” under Russian control after fierce fighting, while its twin city of Lysychansk is suffering enormous destruction, the region’s governor says. Moscow’s forces “control a large part of Severodonetsk. The industrial zone is still ours, there are no Russians there. The fighting is only going on in the streets inside the city”, Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said on Telegram. Severodonetsk, which had a pre-war population of 100,000, and the city of Lysychansk are wedged between Russian forces in Luhansk province. Severodonetsk defenders are inflicting big losses, Zelenskyy says Volodymyr Zelenskyy says defenders in the city of Severodonetsk are inflicting major losses on Russian troops during what he called a “fierce and difficult” battle. “In many respects, the fate of the Donbas is being decided there,” he said in an online address. Russian economy to shrink by 15 percent: Trade group Hard hit by sanctions, Russia’s economy will shrink by 15 percent this year and another 3 percent in 2023, wiping out 10 years of economic gains, the Institute of International Finance, a global banking trade group, said in an analysis. President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that unemployment and inflation are decreasing, backing up his frequent claims that Russia is succeeding despite Western sanctions. Still, the finance institute argued the sanctions, partly by encouraging foreign companies to abandon Russia, “are unraveling its economy, wiping out more than a decade of economic growth, and some of the most meaningful consequences have yet to be felt”. UN pursuing deal on Ukraine grain, Russian fertilisers The United Nations says it is pursuing a deal that would allow grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea and unimpeded access to world markets for Russian food and fertilisers. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told UN correspondents without the deal, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries face the threat of an unprecedented wave of hunger. “Ukraine’s food production and the food and fertiliser produced by Russia must be brought into world markets despite the war,” Guterres said. Nobel Laureate Shiller Sees ‘Good Chance’ of a US Recession ■ Downturn could result from a self-fulfilling prophecy, he says ■ Yale economist also warns of return of housing bubble fears Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller sees a “good chance” of a US recession that’s at least in part the result of a “self-fulfilling prophecy” as investors, companies and consumers grow increasingly worried about a downturn. “The fear can lead to the actuality,” said Yale University professor Shiller, author of the 2019 book “Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events.” Concern about a potential contraction has mounted recently as inflation accelerated and the Federal Reserve stepped up efforts to control it. A number of corporate chieftains have sounded the alarm and stock prices have slumped. And an increasing number of US households say the economy is headed in the wrong direction. That all could lead consumers and companies to turn more cautious, planting the seeds of a downturn. US consumer sentiment plunged to the lowest level in a decade last month. A preliminary reading for June is due out on Friday. Shiller puts the chances of a recession sometime over the next couple of years at a “much higher than normal” 50%. An important part of the developing narrative involves the Fed raising interest rates and setting out a strategy for doing more, Shiller said in a telephone interview. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues are widely expected to lift rates by a half percentage point when they meet next week. They’ll also issue an update of their projections for the economy and interest rates. ‘Makes Them Angry’ Shiller said the prospect of a higher path for rates could initially lead to a rush of home purchases, as buyers try to lock in mortgage rates before they rise further. But as the property market buckles, that could stir memories of the last time it happened, he said. “The idea that we’re in a housing bubble is not so much talked about yet,” the Nobel laureate said. “But it’s starting to come back.” Shiller also said that Americans are more likely to succumb to a self-fulfilling prophecy of a downturn right now because the country is collectively suffering “post-traumatic stress disorder” from the pandemic. More than 1 million Americans have lost their lives to Covid-19. The “very stark” polarization of society –- with opposing political camps increasingly seeing the other as evil -– also increases the risk of fear driving reality, according to Shiller. Political strategists in President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party have complained that the economic gloom is overdone given the strength of the job market, which some economists reckon is the tightest it’s ever been. But Shiller said that rising inflation has more of an impact on Americans’ psyche than the state of the labor market. “Inflation affects everyone,” he said. “Every time they go to the store they see inflation and it makes them angry.”

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