Ukraine Special Report:
April 9-April 15, 2022
Read all about Ukraine! British Airways turns away a family of Ukrainian refugees even though all their papers were in order. The European Union bans 21 Russian carriers due to "serious safety concerns." The Russians couldn't take Antonov Airport outside Kyiv--and that's one key reason the assault on the Ukrainian capital failed. As it skirts Russian airspace, Delta's Atlanta-Seoul nonstop now takes about 16 hours. Gasoline prices continue to decline from last month's highs. An automotive escape route from Russia to Europe opens in Norway's far north. And more.

Ukraine Update: Friday, April 15, 2022

Dubai continues to shine--if you can call it that--as a place where Russians can come without fear of sanctions. That has led Western businesses--banks, legal firms, those kind of upright citizens--to expand their Dubai operations. The Wall Street Journal has details. Here are today's other developments:
        On pointe   Russian ballet stars--and the entire Russian ballet firmament--are defecting to the West. That's a big deal when you realize that ballet has a special place in the Russian psyche. The New York Times has details.
        How do you solve a problem like Patriarch Kirill?   The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, continues to embarrass prelates everywhere with his strident defense of the dictator Vladimir Putin and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A small, iconoclastic Washington think tank leads the opposition to him in "polite" religious society. Politico has details.
        Another penny saved ...   The average price of gasoline in the United States today is 4.073 a gallon, says the AAA. That's down another penny from yesterday. In fact, gasoline has been dropping a penny a day all week.
        He's probably gonna need a bigger boat now ...   German authorities have seized the world's largest yacht by volume after learning that a Russian oligarch transferred ownership to his sister. (She also faces Western sanctions.) The super-yacht Dilbar measures 511 feet and weighs nearly 16,000 tons. The owner has been Alisher Usmanov, a kleptocrat and FOV (Friend of Vlad). NPR has details.
        Keep your enemies closer ...   Ukrainian authorities announced Thursday that they had seized more than 150 assets belonging to Viktor Medvedchuk, the former Ukrainian media mogul and an ally of Russian dictator Putin. The asset haul includes 26 cars, 32 apartments, 23 houses, 30 plots of land and a yacht. CNBC has details.

Ukraine Update: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Nearly 5 million Ukrainians have fled their country during the first 50 days of war. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 7.1 million more have been internally displaced. Here are today's other developments:
        BA being BA   Most of the world has opened its hearts and homes to Ukrainian refugees. And then there's British Airways, which turned away a Ukrainian family that had all their documents and were en route to England for the official refugee program. The Guardian has details.
        More brain drain   The brain drain of Russian tech workers fleeing the country is escalating. A Russian industry trade group says the number may already have reached 70,000. As many as 100,000 more are looking for an exit. The New York Times has details.
        More pain   The price of Brent crude oil, which most closely tracks the price of jet fuel, settled at $111.70 today. That's $3 higher than yesterday and nearly $15 higher than Monday.
        A penny saved ...   The average price of gasoline in the United States today is $4.074 a gallon, says the AAA. That's down another penny from yesterday.

Ukraine Update: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Russian Foreign Ministry now has sanctioned nearly 400 members of the U.S. House and Senate and 87 Canadian Senators. The ministry claims they are "mirror" sanctions for U.S. and Canadian actions against Russian Parliamentarians. Here are today's other developments:
        Russian roulette   A huge part of Germany's industry and energy sectors bet that cultivating business ties with Russia over the years was the right move. This idea persisted even after Russia invaded and occupied Crimea in 2014. Now the bet ain't looking so good. Politico Europe has details
        Choosing the wrong side   Adeo, the huge French retail group with large operations in both Ukraine and Russia, has made its choice. It has abandoned Ukraine, yet has kept its Russian outlets open. The Wall Street Journal has details.
        The pain   The price of Brent crude oil, which most closely tracks the price of jet fuel, settled at $108.78 today. That's $4 higher than yesterday and almost $10 higher than Monday.
        Look out below   The average price of gasoline in the United States today is $4.083 a gallon, says the AAA. That's down another penny from yesterday.

Ukraine Update: Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The 8.5% jump in inflation during March is shocking--but not out of line with rising costs around the world. German inflation in March was 7.3%. England's inflation rate was higher than 6% in February with March numbers pending. In Spain, the March inflation rate was 9.8%. Here are today's other developments:
        The Norwegian escape   With most flights and rail service between Russia and Europe halted, Russians trying to escape the country--or trying to return home--have flocked to an automobile corridor in the far north of Norway. Licensed transport services--and many unlicensed ones--are driving people between Murmansk in Russia and the Norwegian city of Kirkenes. The Norwegian newspaper VG has details. (Break out the Google Translate.)
        Au revoir   Societe Generale, a huge French insurer and bank, has finally decided to exit Russia. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Jumping up   The price of Brent crude oil, which most closely tracks the price of jet fuel, settled at $104.77 today. That's almost $6 higher than Monday.
        Still dropping   The average price of gasoline in the United States today is $4.098 a gallon, says the AAA. That's more than a penny lower than yesterday and more than 23 cents below its mid-March record high.
        Cheap as chips no more   Thousands of British fish-and-chips shops are now at risk of closure as the Russian invasion of Ukraine explodes prices. It's not so much fish, but sunflower oil for the fryers and fertilizer for potatoes that are making the traditionally cheap British meal prohibitively expensive. The New York Times has details.

Ukraine Update: Monday, April 11, 2022

News reports justifiably praise the determination and patriotism of the Ukrainian people as they fight off the Russian invaders. But there are "draft dodgers," men who flee the country despite the edict that all able-bodied Ukrainian men of fighting age stay to defend the homeland. The New York Times has details. Here are today's other developments:
        No airport, no conquest   The Russian assault on Kyiv failed--and one reason was the invaders' inability to take Antonov Airport outside the capital. The Los Angeles Times has details.
        21 skidoo   The European Union has blacklisted 21 Russian carriers, including Aeroflot, over "serious safety concerns." It's more symbolic than substantive, of course, since Russian carriers have already been banned from EU airspace. CNN has details.
        Still falling   The price of Brent crude oil, which most closely tracks the price of jet fuel, settled at $98.48 today, about $10 below last Monday.
        Inching downward   The average price of gasoline in the United States today is $4.114, says the AAA. That's a not-insubstantial 20 cents below the record-high reached on March 11.

Ukraine Update: Weekend, April 9-10, 2022

The World Bank predicts that the Ukraine economy will collapse by 45% this year, worse than the 10-35% slide projected last month by the International Monetary Fund. Russia will see an 11.2% decline in GDP, the World Bank adds. Here are this weekend's other developments:
        Now longer than ever   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ties itself into knots talking about how Delta's Atlanta-Seoul nonstops now skirt Russian airspace and take longer to fly. But what they did not tell you? The actual time. According to FlightAware.com, Delta Flight 27 now routinely takes 16 hours or longer.
        He's good with the moneychangers in the temple, too   How is the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church handling Russia's invasion of Ukraine? He's a big fan. Because, you know, Jesus loved war ... Reuters has details.
        Germany's Fifth Column   Slow as it has been, Germany has largely opposed Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But there is a sizable Russian-speaking minority in the country and a few hundred of them took to the street this weekend. Agence France-Presse has details.

Daily Ukraine Updates for April 2-April 8:

Read all about Ukraine! Global crude oil and U.S. gasoline prices fall, but jet-fuel prices hit an 8-year high. Some Ukrainian refugees will be housed on a cruise ship. U.S. officials work to halt sales of spare parts to Russian airlines. Cuba is grinding to a halt because it cannot source spare parts for its Russian-made Lada cars and trucks. Russia's IT workers--and Army-aged young people--are leaving the country as fast as they can. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Ukraine Updates for March 26-April 1:

Read all about Ukraine! Cathay Pacific's New York-Hong Kong flights now are the longest nonstops in the world since they have to fly around Russian airspace. United and Air Canada drop routes to Eastern Europe as Russia's invasion of Ukraine dampens flyer interest in nearby destinations. Finnair won't fly seven routes to Japan and Korea this summer because it can't overfly Russian airspace. Emirates claims we need it to keep flying to Russia. Ukraine says Russian attacks destroyed 15 of its airports. Aeroflot builds international hub in Sochi with Russian Superjet regional aircraft to avoid seizure of planes that belong to Western lessors. Meanwhile, the lessors say they won't do business with Russia again. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Ukraine Updates for March 19-25:

Read all about Ukraine! Ukraine International Airlines says it is grounded until April 15, but the carrier is willing to lease crews and aircraft to other airlines. Finland cuts the EU's last passenger rail link with Russia. Burger King's Russian franchisee refuses to close its restaurants in Russia. Renault and Nestle wind down Russian operations under intense global pressure. Will Russia aim for Poland next? Paul Manafort, Trump's convicted and pardoned 2016 campaign chief, caught trying to use a revoked passport to fly to Dubai. Russia says 78 commercial jets have been seized by Western lenders. And more. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Ukraine Updates for March 12-18:

Read all about it! U.S. gasoline prices reach record highs, then fall a bit. Uber and Lyft add surcharges to all rides. Air Astana drops Russia routes because it cannot secure flight insurance. Korean Air bails on Russian routes, too. No Western hotel chain has closed or deflagged a property in Russia. Brent crude, which closely tracks the price of jet fuel, plunges from last week's highs. Russian tourists are trapped at Thai beach resorts because they cannot find flights home. Finnair explains how Airbus A350s fly over the North Pole to avoid Russian airspace. Russia seizes hundreds of leased commercial jets that should have been returned to Western lessors. Canada and Britain ban RT from the airwaves. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Ukraine Updates for March 5-11:

Read all about it! Transatlantic bookings dropped 13% after Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia grounds most of its international flights to keep leased aircraft from being repossessed by the Western leasing firms. United Airlines drops two India routes. A scheme to help Ukrainians by renting their Airbnbs runs into the realities of home-sharing sites. Western carriers reroute flights and drop others to avoid Russian airspace, but runs are now hours longer. Western hotel chains have yet to sever their ties with Russian franchisees. Emirates blames high oil prices for its revival of fuel surcharges. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Ukraine Updates for Feb. 28-March 4:

Read all about it! The United States and Europe close airspace to Russian aircraft, but an Aeroflot jet eludes Canada's ban. Finnair is in financial turmoil as it loses Russian business and Asian traffic. Russia bans flights from dozens of countries. United, Air France, KLM and SAS drop Asia flights because they can't overfly Russian territory. JAL and ANA drop Europe flights because they can't overfly Russia. Oil firms, retailers and sports groups bailing on Russia. Boeing and Airbus won't service aircraft operated by Russian carriers. And more. Click here for the week's updates.