Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Ukraine Latest: Russia Strikes as Kyiv Seeks Advanced Weaponry

Ukraine’s military said Russia launched 55 cruise missiles, including at least two hypersonic weapons, in a new wave of attacks against energy infrastructure and other targets.

The barrage, which also included drones overnight, was unleashed after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed hope that donations of advanced weaponry including aircraft and long-range missiles would follow a pledge by the US and Germany to supply Ukraine with battle tanks.

As the government sought to solidify more military support, Ukraine’s monetary authorities said the economy will grow less than expected this year as they kept borrowing costs on hold.

Ambassador Bridget A. Brink

@USAmbKyiv

Another cruel attack, same strategic failure. Waves of Russian drones and missiles can’t stop Ukraine’s heroic defenders, its brave people or our determined, unified support.

Sent via Twitter Web App.

View original tweet.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

On the Ground

Two dozen Shahed drones were fired at Ukraine overnight, including 15 at the Kyiv region, and all were shot down, Ukrainian officials said. The General Staff said on Facebook that Kremlin troops had carried out 37 air strikes and 10 missile attacks over the past day, hitting civilian infrastructure in the cities of Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, among other targets. A move by Russia to engage in “limited spoiling attacks across most of the frontline,” including Vuhledar in the Donetsk region, is probably an attempt to “distract Ukrainian forces and set conditions to launch a decisive offensive operation” in the Luhansk region, the Institute for the Study of War said.

(All times CET)

EU Considers Capping Russian Diesel at $100 (3:40 p.m.)

The European Union is floating a plan to cap the price of premium Russian refined fuel exports like diesel at $100 per barrel, with a lower $45 cap for discounted products.

The bloc is set to ban imports of refined Russian products starting Feb. 5 as part of an effort to sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

EU Considers Capping Russian Diesel at $100 Ahead of Import Ban

Power Supply in Kyiv Stabilized, Emergency Cutoffs Remain in the South (3:11 p.m.)

An energy worker was killed and his colleagues injured during Thursday’s attack, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, chief of national grid operator Ukrenergo, said on Facebook. Russia didn’t “reach its main goal of causing a collapse in the energy system,” he added.

Kyiv and the surrounding area returned to a regime of scheduled power cutoffs from emergency outages, DTEK Energy said. Energy workers managed to “stabilize the situation”, though it remains difficult, Ukraine’s largest private energy company said.

Emergency blackouts are still in place in the Odesa region, though power is restored for critical infrastructure in the city of Odesa, according to DTEK.

More Than 880,000 Hectares of Ukrainian Land Riddled With Mines (2:29 p.m.)

More than 880,000 hectares (3,400 square miles) in the east and south of Ukraine need to be cleared of mines, Yevhen Yerin, a military spokesman, said on Telegram.

EU Sees Legal Grounds to Use Seized Russian Assets (1:42 p.m.)

European Union member states have been told the bloc has the legal authority to temporarily leverage at least €33.8 billion ($36.8 billion) of Russian central bank assets to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The EU has been exploring options to use frozen Russian assets following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but the proposal is controversial and discussions are at a very preliminary stage.

EU Sees Legal Grounds to Use Seized Russian Central Bank Assets

French Foreign Minister Visits Odesa (1:24 p.m.)

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna arrived in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa despite Russian attacks that caused power outages.

The United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, on Wednesday added the historic center of Odesa to its World Heritage List, recognizing “the outstanding universal value of this site and the duty to all humanity to protect it.”

Dmytro Kuleba

@DmytroKuleba

Bienvenue à Odesa, @MinColonna. Thanks for your brave visit. Looking forward to discussing France’s role in the international tank coalition, Grain From Ukraine, and Peace Formula. The Ukrainian-French partnership remains crucial to ending Russian aggression and restoring peace. twitter.com/mincolonna/sta…
Catherine Colonna

@MinColonna

À Odessa!

Pour marquer le soutien de la France à la souveraineté de l’, aujourd’hui comme hier.

http://twitter.com/MinColonna/statuses/1618555848607039488

Sent via Twitter for iPhone.

View original tweet.

Ukraine Holds Key Rate as Central Bank Pares Growth Outlook (1:01 p.m.)

Ukraine’s central bank held the key interest rate at 25% and reiterated its intention to keep it there at least until the second quarter of 2024.

Policy makers also published updated economic forecasts that cut the 2023 outlook for growth to 0.3%, from 4% previously. Inflation is now expected to moderate to 18.7% this year, before slowing to 6.7% in 2025.

Thursday’s Barrage Included Hypersonic, Cruise Missiles (12:37 p.m.)

Ukraine shot down 47 Russian cruise missiles out of 55 launched from jets and from ships in the Black Sea, said Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Apart from the missiles that were shot down, three Kh-59 missiles “did not reach their targets,” Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram, without giving details. Thursday’s barrage included two Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, Ukrainian air defense said.

“Russia’s aim remains the same — psychological pressure on Ukrainians and ruining critical infrastructure,” Zaluzhnyi said. “But we won’t be broken.”

German Tanks Could Arrive in Late March (12 p.m.)

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the first of the Leopard 2 battle tanks the German government has promised Ukraine could be delivered at the end of March or at the start of April, earlier than the “within three months” he suggested when the decision to supply them was announced.

In a statement to reporters during a troop visit in eastern Germany, Pistorius pushed back against a suggestion that the decision to supply the tanks had come too late.

“It is not a decision just to order something on the Web or send something to anybody, it is a matter of war,” he said. “We made our decision and here we are, and I think everyone should be satisfied with that decision because we do what is necessary.”

Wizz Air Says War Complicates European Airspace (10:37 a.m.)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent closing of large swatch of airspace is complicating travel in the rest of Europe this summer, forcing carriers such as Wizz Air Holdings Plc to add in more buffer time between turnarounds on their flights and potentially adding costs to low-cost airline operations.

Read more: Russia-Ukraine Conflict Complicates European Airspace, Wizz Says

German Tanks Decision ‘Nothing to Cheer About’ (10 a.m.)

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said the decision to supply Ukraine with Leopard battle tanks was “necessary and urgent” but nothing to cheer about.

“We are paying an economic, macroeconomic and, in a certain sense, a social price, but not paying this price would be dramatically worse,” Habeck said in a statement to the lower house of parliament in Berlin.

“If we are not willing to pay this price, that is to support Ukraine with sanctions, with military equipment, with a transformation of energy infrastructure, then we will be guilty of letting Putin win this war on his terms, and that must not happen,” he added.

Mayor Reports ‘Explosion in Kyiv,’ One Killed (9:30 a.m.)

Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an “explosion in Kyiv” Thursday morning without providing more detail. Eyewitnesses reported at least one loud explosion in Ukraine’s capital. Klitschko said one person was killed and two injured after a missile hit a non-residential building in the Holosiyivskyi district in Kyiv’s southwest.

The Vinnytsia region in central Ukraine and Odesa on the Black Sea reported missile strikes, in the later case to what was termed critical energy infrastructure.

Russian Oil Exports to India May Hit New Highs (9:10 a.m.)

India’s oil processors are open to buying even more Russian crude if the price is right, said refinery executives, potentially providing a bigger outlet for Moscow almost a year after its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's Asian Customers | Four-week moving average of crude shipments from all Russian ports

Read more: Russian Oil Exports to India May Hit New Highs as Interest Grows 

Ukraine Wants More Slovak Howitzers (9:28 a.m.)

Kyiv is interested in ordering another 14 Zuzana 2 howitzers from Slovakia, the Slovak defense ministry confirmed for Bloomberg in a statement.

“We are expecting the signing of the agreement, I hope that we can agree,” Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad told Ukrainska Pravda on Wednesday.

Slovakia delivered eight Zuzana 2 howitzers to Ukraine in 2022. The new weaponry will be paid for by NATO allies Denmark, Norway, and Germany.

US Firm International Paper Sells Russian Stake for $484 Million (8:48 a.m.)

International Paper Co. agreed to sell its stake in a Russian venture for $484 million, joining an exodus of western businesses from the country following the war in Ukraine.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based supplier of renewable fiber-based products said it will dispose a 50% holding in Ilim SA to its Russian partners, including billionaire Zakhar Smushkin, according to a statement. The deal still needs regulatory approvals in Russia.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz