April 1, 2022Newsletter

Russia Update: April 1, 2022


The next round of ceasefire talks will be held virtually tomorrow.

The White House’s Director of Communications, Kate Bedingfield, told reporters that she could not speak specifically to the U.S. position on providing security guarantees to Ukraine. The State Department reiterated its warning that American citizens should depart Russia and Ukraine so as not to become hostages.

Diplomatic jockeying with India continues. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a call with his Indian counterpart yesterday. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also called on India to stand up for freedom and democracy. Russia’s Foreign Minister just landed in India as Russia offers big discounts of as much as $35/barrel on its oil to India. The UK Foreign Minister will also visit today.

Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania are weighing closing their border with Belarus.


The Financial Times reports that Western nations are united in their opposition to linking ceasefire talks with a sanctions rollback.

The U.S. unveiled new sanctions that will target Russian technology companies, including Russia’s largest microchip manufacturer. It is also sanctioning an engineering firm that is helping evade sanctions, as well as its executives, network, and affiliates. The Treasury Department has been struggling with the balance of sanctioning Russian elites against the jobs that some of them create in the U.S. Thea Rozman Kendler, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, said that U.S. exports to Russia of items subject to sanctions has fallen by 99% in value terms. After receiving a briefing from Administration officials, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) said that the U.S. needs to focus on cryptocurrency as a sanctions evasion mechanism.

Australia announced it would be revoke most-favored nation status from Russia and Belarus and installing a 35% tariff on all imports, effective April 25.

The UK announced sanctions on 14 Russian entities and people, including state media organizations and its senior officials.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimates that Ukraine’s economy will shrink by a fifth this year.

Russia published a decree forcing “unfriendly countries” to pay for gas shipments in rubles starting tomorrow. Russia is banning the export of sunflower seeds and imposed a quota on sunoil.

Unnamed officials are warning that Russia is preparing cyberattacks on American energy and financial industries. The threat has Texas’ energy industry on high alert.

Ukraine Sitrep

The Pentagon says that major cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Mariupol, are still seeing airstrikes despite the talk of de-escalation. That said, it still assesses that 20% of Russian forces have moved away from Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian forces are preparing for attacks in the eastern part of the country. One of the UK’s top spy agency heads said in a speech that Russian soldiers have refused to carry out orders, sabotaged equipment, and accidentally shot down their own aircraft.

The UK announced that it and other allies would send air and coastal defense systems, longer-range artillery, and other military assistance to Ukraine.

The International Red Cross is preparing for a big convoy to evacuate thousands of civilians from Mariupol and bring in aid. Russian troops have left Chernobyl, with many apparently suffering from radiation sickness, and handed custody back to Ukraine. With that news, the IAEA will send a mission to assess the condition of the plant and area.

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