Vladimir Putin has declared martial law in four occupied regions and given security forces sweeping powers in a sign the Russian president is struggling to regain the military initiative nearly eight months into the invasion of Ukraine.
The move, which includes broad restrictions on travel including vehicle checks and “economic mobilisation” in much of western and southern Russia, is Putin’s latest escalation as his army continues to cede ground to Ukraine.
Demanding the “entire system of state administration” contribute to the war effort, Putin yesterday authorised Russia’s governors to maintain public order, ensure supplies for the armed forces and to protect critical infrastructure. The measures, which are one step below martial law, cover eight regions bordering Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
Putin also set up a “co-ordination council” led by Russia’s cabinet to streamline support for the invasion forces. Prime minister Mikhail Mishustin said the council would focus on military equipment and supplies as well as construction and transport logistics.
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Five more stories in the news
1. Australian ex-pilots reportedly approached to train China’s military Australia’s defence force has launched an investigation into allegations that a number of its former air force pilots were offered lucrative packages to teach Chinese pilots how to fly western attack aircraft. Australian pilots were among those approached by a South African flight school to train Chinese pilots to operate warplanes.
2. Truss’s home secretary quits UK home secretary Suella Braverman was forced to quit after she admitted a security breach. Braverman insisted she had committed only “a technical breach of the rules” and her resignation letter contained a broadside against prime minister Liz Truss and hinted at the bitterness behind her departure. Amid the chaos, Truss’s administration is living from hour to hour.
3. Hong Kong launches scheme to stem professional exodus Hong Kong announced a HK$30bn (US$3.8bn) plan to attract international investors and businesses back to the city, after strict pandemic policies and a security crackdown sparked an exodus of residents. John Lee, the city’s new chief executive, said 140,000 people had left in the past two years.
4. Kakao’s co-chief resigns over messenger app outage Namkoong Whon has resigned from Kakao after an hours-long outage of the company’s mobile services sparked a public backlash against South Korea’s primary messaging app provider. His resignation came after President Yoon Suk-yeol said that South Korea’s antitrust watchdog would examine Kakao’s market dominance.
5. Biden orders officials to prepare for more emergency oil releases President Joe Biden has ordered officials to prepare for more releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve as he approved the sale of 15mn barrels of oil in December and established a plan to replenish the dwindling emergency stockpile.
The day ahead
Malaysia’s Election Commission meets A special meeting will be convened today to discuss the upcoming general election. A press conference is expected following the meeting. (Channel News Asia)
European Council meeting Economic troubles will be high on the agenda when EU heads of state meet today in Brussels.
EU Court of Justice revisits blocked Telefónica-Three deal Advocate general at the EU Court of Justice Juliane Kokott will deliver her opinion on whether Brussels made the right decision in blocking the proposed merger of the UK businesses of Telefónica’s O2 and CK Hutchison’s Three in 2016. The decision could unleash a wave of activity across the sector.
Earnings Companies reporting results today include American Airlines, AT&T, Nokia, Pernod Ricard, Philip Morris, Schroders, Union Pacific and Vivendi. See our full list here.
What else we’re reading and listening to
Did China miss its chance to fix its economy? As President Xi Jinping prepares to stay on for an unprecedented third term as leader, he faces a big problem: China’s slowing economy. On this episode of Behind the Money, the FT’s China correspondent Edward White explains whether it’s too late for Xi to put the country on a path to strong growth again.
Go deeper: Xi’s expected reaffirmation at this week’s National Congress of the Chinese Communist party is a watershed moment politically, militarily and economically for the world’s emerging superpower.
Retail investor vigilantes hunt for crypto’s most wanted man A group of nearly 4,400 crypto investors are working to track down Do Kwon, who is wanted in South Korea on charges of financial fraud following the collapse of his terraUSD and luna coins in May. The international manhunt for the 31-year-old Stanford-educated entrepreneur has intensified as retail investors try to recover from the devastating losses.
Will the energy crisis crush European industry? Saint-Gobain, the French building materials group, has ordered extra-warm coats and gloves for warehouse staff as it prepares to turn down the heat this winter to save money on its energy bill. While European industrial companies are putting a brave face on it, there is already evidence that major companies are reducing production because of the energy shortage.
Containing China is Biden’s explicit goal Unless a company’s product is, say, luxury goods or agricultural commodities, Biden’s technological decoupling from China will hit their bottom line, writes Edward Luce. It is not clear that corporate America, or its foreign counterparts, have fully digested what is about to hit them.
Pakistan needs billions to recover from floods Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the FT that his country will ask international lenders for billions of dollars worth of new loans to rebuild the country after calamitous floods uprooted 33mn people and pushed its cash-strapped economy even closer to insolvency. The country needs “huge sums of money” for “mega undertakings”, he said.
“There is a gap — and a very serious gap — which is widening by the day between our demands and what we have received,” Sharif said.
On a search for the perfect suit, Annachiara Biondi discovers that finding a professional-looking ensemble that is both comfortable and within budget involves some trial and error. For more fashion and style news sign up for our FT Weekend newsletter.