Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Ten million people

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

Russia’s invasion has driven 10 million people—almost one-quarter of Ukraine’s population—from their homes, according to the United Nations. While most have remained in the country, about 3.4 million have fled to other nations, such as Poland. In Mariupol, the Ukrainian port city Russia has largely destroyed, thousands of civilians have been killed in their homes and shelters, according to local officials, though the numbers could not be confirmed. Over the weekend, Russia demanded that the encircled city surrender. The Ukrainians refused.

The aftermath of a Russian airstrike on the Mariupol Drama Theater, with the words “children” painted on the pavement to warn off attackers. Hundreds of civilians may still be under the rubble. Hundreds more sheltering in a local art school that was also bombed are unaccounted for, according to Ukraine authorities. Source: axar Technologies via AP Photo

S&P Global Ratings is withdrawing its credit grades on Russian entities after the European Union’s decision last week to ban firms from providing ratings to companies established there. Some EU countries are pushing for a fifth round of sanctions that would including an embargo on buying Russian crude. The Kremlin, increasingly reliant on fossil fuel revenue, warned against such a ban, claiming it would “hit everyone.” President Joe Biden, who is traveling to Europe this week, warned on Monday that U.S. intelligence indicates Russia is weighing a cyberattack against America as a response to the “unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed.” He urged private businesses to enhance their defenses.

Volunteers fill sand bags at a beach in Odesa on March 18. While Russian ships have repeatedly gathered along Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, an amphibious landing may be difficult for Kremlin forces. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg

Meanwhile, Russian forces are pushing further south. The city of Odesa’s outskirts are reportedly coming under Kremlin fire, while in Kherson, a Ukrainian city already occupied by Russian troops, video has emerged of soldiers who appear to shoot into crowds of unarmed protestors.

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

Silicon Valley’s wealthiest Russian is carefully distancing himself from Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Yuri Milner built a $3.9 billion fortune thanks to early funding from Kremlin-connected sources. But he contends that’s all in the past.

Yuri Milner Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Fed Chair Jerome Powell renewed his hawkish message when it comes to future interest rate hikes, sending Treasury yields higher. The two-year Treasury rate surged almost 20 points to its highest level since 2019, while the three-year and 10-year yields jumped by the most since March 2020. Powell said the central bank will take “necessary steps” to get inflation under control. Stocks initially sold off as the chairman spoke on Monday, but came close to erasing earlier losses by session’s end. Here’s your markets wrap

The Fed needs a boring bank regulator, Narayana Kocherlakota writes in Bloomberg Opinion. Instead of another Sarah Bloom Raskin, Biden should nominate an apolitical Fed staffer, he said.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping bet that establishing a “no limits” friendship with Putin could prevent the U.S. from containing China. Now that agreement between autocrats threatens to potentially leave Beijing more isolated.

Xi Jinping. Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

A Boeing plane operated by China Eastern Airlines crashed Monday in the Chinese province of Guangxi. There were 132 people on board the 737-800 NG, which went down in a mountainous area near Wuzhou. China Eastern said it will ground all of its Boeing 737-800 jets starting Tuesday.

Hong Kong scrapped some travel curbs and laid out a road map for easing Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. The moves come as Chinese authorities opened the door to modifying so-called Covid zero policies to lessen their impact on business. Shanghai reported a record number of new infections after officials expanded a mass testing program. Here’s the latest on the pandemic.  

New York City’s apartment sales are sizzling, popular restaurants are booking up and Covid mandates are fading away. But beneath the buzz (and the threat of a new omicron wave), an economic pain persists in a city where twice as many people are unemployed compared to the seasonally adjusted U.S. average. At 7.6%, the city’s unemployment was among the worst of major cities. How did this happen?

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Southeast Asia’s Giant Tries to Ditch Covid-19

Indonesia is lifting all quarantine rules for fully-vaccinated visitors, ending two years of border closure. It’s following its neighbors in easing entry restrictions as Southeast Asia tries to move past the worst of the omicron wave. Jakarta will expand its quarantine-free travels to the rest of the country following a successful two-week trial of the program in Bali, Batam and Bintan islands, where infections have remained low. 

A traveler arrives at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia. Photographer: Putu Sayoga/Bloomberg

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