Ukrainians cut off Russian gas at one hub and profit from the east.

ZAPORIZHZHIA, UKRAINE (AP) — Ukraine halted the flow of Russian natural gas through a hub that supplies European homes and stoves on Wednesday, while Kyiv forces claim to have gained some profit from fierce battles near a major northeastern city.

for 11 weeks, War It has been active not only on the battlefield of Ukrainian cities and cities, but also in the energy and financial markets, as western Ukrainian allies have sought to deprive Russia of the funds needed to finance the war through sanctions and energy embargoes.

The real impact of the gas shutoff on European homes on Wednesday was not immediately clear. A Ukrainian oil pipeline operator said it would divert supply to another hub, while analysts said transportation should not be affected.

However, Russian state-owned giant Gazprom showed a slight decline. It said it was sending 72 million cubic meters of gas to Europe via Ukraine, a decrease of 25% from the previous day.

Preliminary flow data suggested a higher rate of movement through the second station in the Ukrainian control area. Russian gas also flows into Europe through other pipelines.

It wasn’t even clear if Russia would take an immediate hit, as it has long-term contracts and other means of gas transportation.

Ukrainian soldiers inspect the site after a Russian air strike in Bakhmut, Ukraine on May 10, 2022.

AP photo/Evgeny Malloretka

However, the move could have symbolic significance, as Ukraine was the first to impede the westward flow. This comes as the European Union reduces its dependence on Russian energy, phases out coal and considers the same for oil. Gas presents a more complex problem given the amount used by Europe and the technical difficulties of sourcing it elsewhere.

On the battlefield, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had driven Russian troops out of four villages near Kharkiv.

after his army The capital was not captured at the beginning of the war.Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned his focus to the region, which has also been the industrial center of Ukraine and a battleground between Moscow-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops for many years.

Zelensky suggested that the military was gradually pushing the Russian army out of Kharkiv. Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleva on Tuesday raised his confidence and voiced the seemingly broadening of targets as his army appeared to be gathering strength in an early counterattack. that Offer to the Financial Times The newspaper reported that Ukraine could do more than force Russia back to the territory it had before the invasion began 11 weeks ago.

Kuleba’s statements seemed to reflect political ambitions rather than battlefield realities. Russian forces advanced and controlled more in Donbas than before the start of the war. However, by emphasizing how Ukraine interfered with the larger and more well-armed Russian army, it surprised many who expected the conflict to end much sooner.

Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said Ukraine was targeting Russian forces on Snake Island in the northwest of the Black Sea to thwart Russia’s attempts to expand its influence.

The Russian Defense Ministry tweeted that “Ukraine has successfully attacked Russian air defenses and successfully resupplied ships with Viraktar drones.” After the Russian navy retreated to Crimea, Russian supply ships were said to have received minimal protection. Loss of flagship of the Black Sea Fleet.

Satellite images analyzed by the Associated Press show fighting there.

However, the statement warned that “If Russia consolidates its position on[Snake]Island with strategic air defense and coastal defense cruise missiles, it can seize control of the northwestern part of the Black Sea.”

A natural gas pipeline operator in Ukraine said it would halt Russian transport through a hub in parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by separatists backed by Moscow due to interference from “occupiers”, including an apparent gas siphon. Last month, he complained about interference through this route.

Benchmark European gas futures saw the news on Tuesday and Wednesday, meaning consumers could face higher energy rates at a time when prices are already rising.

Russia has huge foreign currency reserves as the price of crude oil has risen sharply in recent months as travel and business around the world resumes due to the massive coronavirus pandemic, but higher prices will help Russia.

The hub in question handles about a third of Russian gas passing through Ukraine to Western Europe. Russian state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom estimates that figure to be around a quarter.

The move was the result of Western powers to increase economic pressure on Moscow and strengthen Ukraine’s defenders. The US House of Representatives approved a $40 billion Ukrainian aid package on Tuesday.

Ukrainian officials on Wednesday said a Russian rocket attack targeted the area around Zaporichia and destroyed unspecified infrastructure. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The city to the southeast was the refuge of many civilians fleeing the Russian siege in the devastated port city of Mariupol.

Since much of the battle is concentrated in the east, some analysts have suggested that Russia may be trying to weaken Kyiv’s forces by attacking the southern port of Odessa. A major gateway to the grain that feeds the world as well as major transit points Western Weapons. Russia Several missile strikes have targeted the city this week.Ukrainians said on Tuesday.

To protect Odessa, Kyiv may have to move its troops southwest and pull them away from Donbas’ eastern front. Donbass are fighting near Kharkiv to push Russian forces across the border.

A Russian aircraft fired two unguided missiles in the Sumi region northeast of Kharkiv on Tuesday, according to Ukraine’s border guards. The region’s governor said missiles hit several residential buildings, but no one was killed. Russian mortars hit the Cherniv region along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, but there were no reports of casualties.

Gambrell reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Contributions were contributed by Yesica Fisch from Bakhmut, David Keyton from Kyiv, Yuras Karmanau from Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov from Kharkiv, Lolita C. Baldor from Washington, Kelvin Chan from London and staff from around the world at AP.

Follow the AP report on the Ukrainian war.


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