Crude oil prices were on the rise on Thursday morning as Russia engaged in a “special military operation” in Ukraine. The price of Brent crude oil is now well over $100 per barrel for the first time since July 2014.
The price of Brent crude reached $104.99 per barrel – up $8.15 (+8.42%) on the day. The price of WTI crude oil had reached $100 before falling back to 99.52 up $7.42 per barrel (+8.06%) as Russian forces made their way into Ukraine in a show of force not seen in Europe since WWII in a multi-pronged attack.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” against Ukraine early on Thursday morning after recognizing the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk earlier in the week. This drew the ire of the West, and sanctions, including on the company building Nord Stream 2, were announced on Wednesday.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Putin had “launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Putin has said Russia is merely protecting the citizens of eastern Ukraine after the United States ignored Russia’s request to keep Ukraine from entering NATO.
There are reports of missiles falling on Ukrainian cities, with explosions near Kyiv, and Ukraine is reporting that columns of troops are flooding into eastern Ukraine. Russia has also landed by sea in Odesa and Mariupol.
Ukraine has said that military command centers have been hit. Putin said his goal was not to occupy Ukraine.
Ukraine has declared martial law, with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy calling on Ukrainians to defend the country on the cities’ streets, and offering to arm any citizens willing to join the fight.
Reports of casualties have not yet been confirmed.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com