(Bloomberg) — US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Biden administration and its allies are working to isolate Russia at the global body, and called for an overhaul of the Security Council to blunt Moscow’s impact. She spoke in an interview at Bloomberg’s Washington headquarters.
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US and European officials met Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv to discuss a range of issues including transparency for reconstruction, as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government intensifies a crackdown on corruption.
The US will supply Ukraine with longer-range artillery and ammunition as part of a new $2 billion package of military assistance, a person familiar with the matter said.
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On the Ground
Ukraine expects fiercer fighting in February and March, said Andriy Yusov, representative for the Defense Ministry’s intelligence service. He said Russian troops continued to make territorial gains but with higher losses than those suffered by Ukraine. Russia carried out five air attacks and six missile strikes as well as more than 65 salvos from multiple rocket launchers over the past day, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Ukrainian troops repelled assaults near eight settlements in the Donetsk region, the General Staff said.
(All times CET)
US Envoy Vows to Isolate Russia at UN, Condemns Wagner Group (7 pm)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Biden administration is working to isolate President Vladimir Putin’s government at the global body but acknowledged the challenge inherent in Russia holding a veto-wielding seat on the Security Council.
Thomas-Greenfield singled out the Wagner Group, the private mercenary army that has fought for Putin’s forces in Ukraine, over its actions in Ukraine and on the African continent. She said the US would look for new ways to counter the group’s impact in Ukraine and Africa, where it is providing security to several governments.
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US Official Says Nations Don’t Want to Depend on Russian Arms (6:45 pm)
The US is being approached by countries that want to diversify away from Russian weapons in part because of their poor performance in Ukraine, Jessica Lewis, assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs, said.
“We’re actually having countries come to us and saying, ‘Hey, we’re looking to diversify because of thebUkraine war, not just because of Russia’s actions but also because we’re seeing, you know, challenges with how the Russian equipment is operating,” Lewis told reporters, without naming such nations.
She added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had sparked a “tectonic shift in our security assistance,” with the US and dozens of allies moving at “unprecedented” speed to ship increasingly sophisticated weapons to help Ukraine’s frontline fighters.
Ukraine Invites French Weapon Makers to Test Arms in War (6:00 pm)
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov met with top officials from the Directorate General of Armaments and chiefs of weapon producers in France and invited them to test their products in war conditions, he said on Facebook.
Reznikov also held consultations on creating stockpiles of munitions for the Crotale short-range air-defense system in Ukraine and also signed a memorandum with Thales to supply two GM-200 radars which can be used to track missiles and aircraft.
EU Set to Train as Many as 30,000 Ukrainian Soldiers (3:45 pm)
The European Union is set to announce at its meeting with Ukraine Thursday that it will double its target of training Ukrainian troops under its new military mission, now aiming to run drills and teach as many as 30,000 soldiers this year, according to EU officials.
The mission, which began late last year, takes place in Poland and Germany with various EU countries involved in providing Ukrainian soldiers with specialized training, including demining.
Druzhba Oil Flows Normal After Pumping Station Shelled (2:20 pm)
Druzhba pipeline, which delivers oil to some eastern European nations, “is operating normally” after the shelling of the Novozybkovo pumping station, near Russia’s border with Belarus and Ukraine, said Igor Dyomin, spokesperson at Russia’s oil-pipeline operator. No injuries were reported from the shelling on Monday evening and damage is being repaired, he added.
Novozybkovo station is used during peak loads on the Druzhba pipeline and on a one-off basis. The station was last turned on in 2022, and that was just for a few hours, according to Dyomin.
Biden Likely to Visit Central Europe in February, Poland Says (12:55 pm)
US President Joe Biden is likely to visit central Europe this month, Polish President Andrzej Duda says at a news conference in Riga, Latvia, alongside President Egils Levits.
Authorities Stage Raids in Anti-Graft Crackdown (12:47 pm)
Ukrainian authorities carried out raids, including on the home of businessman Igor Kolomoisky, and announced probes into officials in a stepped up push to fight corruption and abuse of power.
The former head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s procurement department is under investigation over purchases of poor-quality vests for the military, the Security Service of Ukraine and Prosecutor General’s Office say on Telegram, without identifying the official.
The Kyiv city tax authority chief’s home and office were also searched amid a probe into alleged abuses, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation said on its website.
Turkey Would Treat Separate Finnish NATO Bid More Favorably (10:46 am)
NATO must decide whether to separate Finland’s membership application from Sweden’s as talks with the latter have ground to a halt, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Estonia.
“It’s not up to Turkey to separate the two membership processes,” Cavusoglu said. “It’s up to these two countries, but mainly NATO. If they separate the bids, Turkey would look more favorably to Finland’s bid.”
Turkey said it would not ratify Sweden’s bid unless it meets a demand to crackdown on supporters of Kurdish militants and other illegal groups.
Japan Eyes G-7 Video Summit 1 Year Into War (10:33 am)
Japan is making arrangements to hold a video summit meeting among leaders of the Group of Seven nations on Feb. 24, one year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion, the Kyodo news service reported, citing unidentified officials.
Ukraine to Analyze HRW Report on Mines (10:19 am)
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said it would analyze a Human Rights Watch report on the alleged use of rocket-fired antipersonnel mines in the Kharkiv region when Russian forces occupied the area. The ministry said Ukraine, which is a signatory to The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, adheres in full to its international obligations on mines, and called on HRW to step up pressure on Russia to end its war in Ukraine.
Russian forces have used antipersonnel mines in multiple areas across Ukraine, including booby traps, since its invasion, HRW said in the report. Ukraine has accused Russia of using spreading mines with the use of rockets over large parts of the Kharkiv region.
Spain to Provide Leopards, El País Says (8:39 am)
Spain plans to supply between four and six Leopard tanks to Ukraine, El País said, citing people in the government it did not identify.
The final number will depend on the contribution of other countries, as well as on the overall condition of the 53 tanks Spain stored 10 years ago, whose revamp is currently being discussed with the military industry.
Putin’s War Keeps Russian Industry Humming (8:19 am)
Surging military production is helping to keep Russian industry going strong, offsetting much of the damage done by international sanctions and other fallout from the invasion of Ukraine.
Industrial output ended 2022 down only 0.7%, according to a consensus of forecasts compiled by Bloomberg ahead of the release of official figures later Wednesday. According to Bloomberg Economics, there was practically no decline as manufacturing helped make up for declines in other sectors.
NATO Praises Japan’s Plan to Boost Defense (3:23 am)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was glad Japan had set out on a path that would take it to a place where its defense spending would represent about 2% of its economy.
Speaking at an event in Tokyo during a visit to Japan, Stoltenberg said Ukraine needs continued support for as long as it takes.
Longer-Range Artillery Part of $2 Billion in US Aid (2:40 am)
The US will provide Ukraine with longer-range artillery and ammunition as part of a new $2 billion package of military assistance, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday night.
The package is being finalized as Ukraine prepares for a new Russian offensive and tries to not only hold onto recaptured territory but to seize fresh advantages on the battlefield.
The new aid will consist largely of artillery and rounds and not include advanced weapons like long-range missiles, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans had not been announced.
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