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The war that began with Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is approaching a grim one-year milestone, with mounting military and civilian deaths.
As Russia steps up attacks around Bakhmut, Western nations have raised their military support for Ukraine to the highest level yet, with commitments to send main battle tanks.
Read our in-depth coverage. For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.
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Russian war sanctions show why U.S. must rethink its strategies
Note: Nikkei Asia decided in March 2022 to suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code. Entries include material from wire services and other sources.
Here are the latest developments:
Tuesday, Feb. 21 (Tokyo time)
11:30 a.m. China is "deeply worried" about the escalation of the Ukraine conflict and the possibility of the situation spiraling out of control, China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang says. Beijing, which last year struck a "no limits" partnership with Moscow, has refrained from condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The United States has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia, which Beijing says it is not doing. "We urge certain countries to immediately stop fueling the fire," Qin said during a speech.
7:30 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden landed in the Polish capital, Warsaw, on Monday evening, Polish television footage shows, after making a surprise visit to Ukraine. Earlier in the day Biden walked around Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, on an unannounced visit, promising to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, on a trip timed to upstage the Kremlin ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion.
1:00 a.m. Russia's economy contracted 2.1% last year, the federal statistics service said on Monday, compared with a 5.6% year-on-year rise in 2021, hurt by the fallout from Moscow's decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine last February. Rosstat's first gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for 2022 was a marked improvement on forecasts made soon after the conflict began. The economy ministry at one point predicted that Russia's economy would shrink more than 12% last year, exceeding the falls in output seen after the Soviet Union collapsed and during the 1998 financial crisis.
12:30 a.m. President Joe Biden's surprise visit to Kyiv was "meticulously planned over a period of months, involving several officers in the White House," Jon Finer, the U.S. principal deputy national security adviser, says during a press call.
Planning for operational security was conducted by only a few people each from the White House, Pentagon, National Security Council and other groups. "The president was fully briefed on each stage of the plan and any potential contingencies, and then made the final 'go' or 'no go' decision after a huddle in the Oval Office and by phone with some key members of his national security cabinet on Friday," Finer says.
"We did notify the Russians that President Biden would be traveling to Kyiv," says Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser. "We did so some hours before his departure for de-confliction purposes."
Biden had the opportunity for extended talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Sullivan says.
"They talked about Ukraine's needs in terms of energy, infrastructure, economic support, humanitarian needs," he says. "And they also talked about the political side of this, including the upcoming U.N. General Assembly session on Ukraine."
Monday, Feb. 20
7:26 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden says during an unannounced visit to Kyiv that Washington will provide Ukraine with a new military aid package worth $500 million. Biden says the package details will be announced on Tuesday and that Washington will also provide more ammunition for high mobility artillery rocket systems in Ukraine's possession. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has written on Telegram that Biden's visit is an "extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians" and has posted a photo of the two leaders shaking hands.
7:10 p.m. China tells the United States to keep out of its relationship with Russia, just as Beijing's top diplomat prepares for a visit to Moscow, and possibly a meeting with Vladimir Putin, to discuss ideas for peace in Ukraine. China is preparing to outline its position on a possible "political settlement" to the Ukraine war just as Washington and Beijing spar over the shooting down of spy balloons over the United States and amid U.S. claims China may supply weapons to Moscow.
7:04 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Monday, days before the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Read more.
1:00 p.m. Russia has charged 680 Ukrainian officials, including 118 members of the armed forces and defense ministry, with breaking laws governing the conduct of war, including the use of weapons against civilians, TASS news agency reports. According to the report, which quoted Russia's chief public investigator, the Ukrainian officials were charged with the "use of prohibited means and methods of warfare," referring to Article 356 of the Russian criminal code. Of the 680, 138 have been charged in absentia.
9:00 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview published on Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron was wasting his time considering any sort of dialogue with Russia. Zelenskyy, interviewed by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, was responding to a suggestion by Macron that Russia should be "defeated but not crushed" and that the conflict in Ukraine would have to be settled by negotiations. The two presidents spoke by telephone on Sunday. "It will be a useless dialogue. In fact, Macron is wasting his time. I have come to the conclusion that we are not able to change the Russian attitude," Zelenskyy told the Italian daily.
1:00 a.m. The Ukraine war will have cost the German economy around 160 billion euros ($171 billion) -- or some 4% of its gross domestic output -- in lost value creation by the end of the year, the head of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) says. That means GDP per capita in Europe's largest economy will be 2,000 euros lower than it would otherwise have been, DIHK chief Peter Adrian told the "Rheinische Post." Industry makes up a higher share of the economy in Germany than in many other countries, and the sector is for the most part energy-intensive, meaning German companies have been especially hard hit by a surge in energy prices, which last year hit record highs in Europe.
Sunday, Feb. 19
6:00 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday warned top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi of consequences should China provide material support to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying in an interview after the two met that Washington was concerned Beijing was considering supplying weapons to Moscow. The top diplomats of the two superpowers met at an undisclosed location on the sidelines of a global security conference in Munich, just hours after Wang scolded Washington as "hysterical" in a running dispute over the U.S. downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon.
2:55 a.m. The European Union plans to discuss ways to collectively allow member countries to buy weapons for Ukraine, with EU foreign ministers expected to hold talks on the joint procurement of 155-millimeter artillery shells, badly needed by Kyiv, at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.
"It is now the time, really, to speed up the production, and to scale up the production of standardized products that Ukraine needs desperately," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tells the Munich Security Conference.
2 a.m. The Netherlands announces it will close its consulate in Saint Petersberg, Russia, and orders the Russian Embassy in The Hague to downsize. "Russia keeps trying to secretly get intelligence agents into the Netherlands under cover of diplomacy. We cannot and shall not allow that," Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra says. "At the same time Russia refuses to give visas to Dutch diplomats who would work at the consulate in St Petersburg or the embassy in Moscow."
The Dutch government says it will limit the number of diplomats at the Russian Embassy in The Hague to match the number of those at the Dutch Embassy in Moscow.
1:15 a.m. South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin blames Russia's invasion of Ukraine for emboldening the regime in North Korea. Park tells a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference that the global attention the war has received has led Pyongyang to make more "provocative" acts, including a missile launch on Saturday.
Saturday, Feb. 18
11:30 p.m. With the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine less than a week away, Group of Seven foreign ministers chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa condemn Moscow's actions and vow "their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine for as long as it takes."
In a statement on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the ministers say they "remained committed to maintaining and intensifying sanctions on Russia to constrain its war effort and on those states providing material support for Russia's illegal war against Ukraine."
"They expected third states not to evade and undermine these measures, and called on third parties to cease assistance to the Russian military and its affiliated forces, or face severe costs," the statement says.
11:00 p.m. The chief of the United Nations World Food Program warns that failure to renew a U.N.-backed initiative that has enabled Ukraine to export grain from ports blockaded by Russia would be catastrophic to millions in Africa. Negotiations to extend the agreement will start next week.
"With all the crises we are facing around the world with climate change, droughts, flash floods, we can't afford the Black Sea Grain initiative to fall through at all," David Beasley tells Reuters.
9:30 p.m. The Biden administration formally concludes Russia has committed "crimes against humanity" during its nearly year-long invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris says.
"In the case of Russia's actions in Ukraine we have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: these are crimes against humanity," Harris says at the Munich Security Conference.
"And I say to all those who have perpetrated these crimes, and to their superiors who are complicit in these crimes, you will be held to account."
3:00 a.m. U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith says she does not see the alliance "letting our foot off the gas" on support for Ukraine, even as military aid depletes American and European ammunition stockpiles.
"We will look at a series of initiatives to try and address the shortfalls, both on the Ukrainian side and on the part of NATO allies," Smith tells Nikkei. Read more.
Friday, Feb. 17
11:00 p.m. The Munich Security Conference has begun in Germany, bringing together leaders and other officials from around 100 countries for an agenda overshadowed by the war in Ukraine.
This year's conference is the first since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last February and comes amid signs that Moscow is launching another major offensive.
"For the first time in our history, a nuclear power is waging an imperialist war of aggression here on European soil," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tells the conference.
French President Emmanuel Macron strikes a similar tone. The conflict "is not only a war of the Europeans," he says. "It's a war that concerns the world as a whole, because there is no justification at all for this aggression" by Moscow. He decries the idea that "neocolonialism and imperialism" are legitimate in world affairs.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for more military support. "There is no alternative to Ukrainian victory," he says in a video address.
Emerging markets from across the globe have been invited to join the talks, but it remains unclear to what extent they will join the Western-led effort to isolate Russia. South Africa was scheduled to begin a joint naval exercise with Russia and China the same day.
China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, is scheduled to attend the conference, along with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. But it is unclear whether they will meet for talks. Russia has not been invited.
3:30 p.m. India appears to be pulling off a diplomatic high-wire act between Washington and Moscow as Commerce Ministry data shows imports from Russia have surged nearly 400% so far this fiscal year, fueled by purchases of discounted crude oil.
Russia was India's No. 4 "merchandise import source nation" in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year through March, after China, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. The total value of Russian imports came to $37.31 billion, up from $7.71 billion in the same period of the previous year, the latest trade figures reveal. Read more.
5:30 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday asked artists and filmmakers to unequivocally declare their support for his country. During a live video address at the opening of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, Zelenskyy referred to the Berlin Wall, which divided the German capital into a capitalist West and a Communist East from 1961 to 1989, and said that Russia is now figuratively building a new wall in his country -- "a wall between freedom and slavery." He later added that the art world cannot remain indifferent because in silence, "the loudspeakers of evil sound stronger and more convincingly."
Thursday, Feb. 16
11:30 p.m. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko plans to visit China early next month after being invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia's Tass news agency reports.
Speaking to reporters, Lukashenko also criticizes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for ruining Ukraine and refusing to negotiate a cease-fire with Russia. Moscow should negotiate with Ukrainian military personnel, not with politicians, he says.
Lukashenko says Belarus is also cultivating relations with Iran and India as part of a diversification strategy.
"We don't yet know where the next conflict might break out," the state-run BelTA quotes him as telling reporters. "Who guarantees today that the policy the United States is pursuing now will not pit it against China? This will be a disaster."
"No country was able to rein in China," he adds.
7:00 p.m. The U.S. Marines will consider expanding the use of loitering munitions, or self-detonating drones, in the Indo-Pacific region, Marine Corps Commandant David Berger tells Nikkei, indicating these weapons could be deployed against Chinese warships at sea in a Taiwan crisis.
The unmanned systems remain airborne for some time, identify a target and then slam into it, exploding on impact.
The weapons pack less destructive power than missiles but are easy to deploy. The Ukrainian military is using U.S.-made Switchblade drones to carry out self-detonation attacks against Russian forces. Read more.
12:05 p.m. The United States should try to prove it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines connecting Russia to Western Europe, the Tass news agency cites the Russian embassy to the U.S. as saying on Thursday. Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines last September "an act of international terrorism" and will not allow it to be swept under the rug, the embassy said in a statement. U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote on Substack that an attack on the Russian-operated pipelines under the Baltic Sea was carried out last September at the direction of U.S. President Joe Biden. The White House has dismissed the report as "utterly false and complete fiction."
9:56 a.m. NATO is considering issuing a joint statement for its next summit together with four observer nations from the Asia-Pacific region, Nikkei has learned, in a move that would serve as a show of solidarity against Russia and China. A NATO official and a senior European diplomat told Nikkei that NATO members are discussing the idea for the joint statement, which would include Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. NATO invited leaders from the four nations as partners for the first time during last year's summit in June. A second NATO official told reporters on Wednesday that Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg plans to invite the same quartet to this year's summit, scheduled for July in Vilnius, Lithuania.
4:00 a.m. Ukraine says Russia is using balloons as "fake targets" to distract its air defenses.
"They will exploit this when the weather is in their favor," the Financial Times quotes Colonel Yuriy Ignat, spokesperson for Ukraine's air force command, as saying. "The weather was blowing our way today."
Kyiv says it shot down about six enemy objects over the capital region on Wednesday. Russia has not claimed responsibility for launching balloons over Ukraine.
Moldovan and Romanian authorities have also responded to reports of balloon-like unidentified objects in their airspace but have been unable to confirm them, the FT reports.
Wednesday, Feb. 15
5:02 p.m. Britain is training Ukrainian soldiers to fight in a more "Western way" and use less ammunition than the traditional Soviet way of fighting, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said. "Ukraine uses huge amounts of ammunition to defend itself, partly that's why we're training them to fight in a Western way," he told Times Radio. "The Russian or the Soviet way of fighting is very ammunition heavy, massive artillery barrages, and that's never how we have organized ourselves to fight in NATO," he said.
2:29 p.m. Ukraine urged allies to speed up the pace of military aid as NATO defense ministers prepared to meet for a second day on Wednesday, while Russia bombarded the eastern front line in what appeared to be the early salvos of a fresh offensive. Much of Russia's artillery fire was focused on Bakhmut, whose capture would provide a steppingstone for Russia to advance on two bigger cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in Donetsk.
2:09 p.m. Support among the American public for providing Ukraine weaponry and direct economic assistance has softened as the Russian invasion nears a grim one-year milestone, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Forty-eight percent say they favor the U.S. providing weapons to Ukraine, with 29% opposed and 22% saying they're neither in favor nor opposed. In May 2022, less than three months into the war, 60% of U.S. adults said they were in favor of sending Ukraine weapons.
12:17 a.m. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday that he expected Ukraine to conduct an offensive against Russia in spring. "Ukraine wants to create momentum ... We expect to see them conduct an offensive sometime in the spring," he told reporters after meeting with NATO defense ministers in Brussels. He also said that Russia is introducing a number of new troops to the battlefield but that many are ill-trained and ill-equipped. Asked whether Ukraine's allies on Tuesday discussed the issue of sending fighter jets to help the country in its war effort, Austin said, "I don't have any announcement to make today."
Tuesday, Feb. 14
11:46 p.m. The European Union will on Wednesday launch an ad hoc group to investigate how billions of dollars in frozen Russian funds, including central bank reserves, can be used for reconstruction work in Ukraine, the Swedish government said on Tuesday. "The mandate is to contribute to mapping which funds have been frozen in the European Union ... and secondly how to legally proceed to access those funds," Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told a news conference in Stockholm.
8:50 a.m. Two Dutch F-35 fighters intercepted a formation of three Russian military aircraft over Poland and escorted them out, the Netherlands' defense ministry says. "The then unknown aircraft approached the Polish NATO area of responsibility from Kaliningrad," according to Reuters' translation of the ministry's statement. Kaliningrad is a Russian Baltic coast enclave located between NATO and European Union members Poland and Lithuania. "After identification, it turned out to be three aircraft: a Russian IL-20M Coot-A that was escorted by two Su-27 Flankers. The Dutch F-35s escorted the formation from a distance and handed over the escort to NATO partners."
1:30 a.m. Ukraine is using up ammunition faster than allies can supply it, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says.
The war "is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition and depleting allied stockpiles," Stoltenberg says ahead of the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels this week. "The current rate of Ukraine's ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production. This puts our defense industries under strain." He says targets for munitions stockpiles will be increased.
By some estimates, Ukraine is firing up to 6,000 to 7,000 artillery shells each day, around a third of the daily amount that Russia is using nearly a year into the war, The Associated Press reports.
Monday, Feb. 13
8:00 p.m. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy touts Ukraine's "first phone call in the history of bilateral relations with the President of the Philippines" after a conversation with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Zelenskyy says he thanked Marcos for supporting Ukraine's sovereignty as they discussed deepening cooperation between their countries.
Marcos last month supported Zelenskyy's proposed 10-point settlement of Russia's war in Ukraine, the Manila Times reported.
4:00 p.m. More companies are deploying satellite "constellations" for internet services, such as OneWeb and SpaceX's Starlink, and governments are strengthening their military capabilities in space against the backdrop of war in Ukraine and tensions over Taiwan.
Russia, meanwhile, withdrew the use of its Soyuz vehicles from the international launch market last year following its invasion of Ukraine.
"We're receiving twice as many inquiries about our service as [before Russia pulled out]," says Iwao Igarashi at Mitsubishi Heavy, the lead contractor for Japan's H3 rocket program. Read more about Japan's launch market ambitions.
3:30 p.m. The U.S. has told its citizens to leave Russia immediately due to the war in Ukraine and the risk of arbitrary arrest or harassment by Russian law enforcement agencies. "U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately," the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said. "Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions," it said. "Do not travel to Russia." The U.S. has repeatedly warned its citizens to leave Russia. The last such public warning was in September after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization.
11:00 a.m. The state Tass news agency reports that Russia's defense ministry is building a water pipeline system to connect the country's Rostov region bordering Ukraine with the Donbas region inside Ukraine. Moscow last year claimed the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which make up the broader Donbas region in Ukraine, as "republics of Russia." The project, to be completed in the next few months, will have the capacity to carry 300,000 cubic meters of water per day and will include two 200-kilometer lines. The region depends on large-scale water pipelines that have been damaged by nearly a year of fighting and which require electricity that is often interrupted.
2:00 a.m. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach denied that the organization was on the wrong side of history by helping Russians and Belarusians qualify for the 2024 Paris Summer Games. Bach and the IOC have faced a widespread backlash from Ukraine and other nations since setting out a path last month for some athletes from Russia and Belarus to return to international competition despite the war being waged by their countries. "History will show who is doing more for peace," Bach said. "The ones who try to keep lines open, to communicate, or the ones who want to isolate or divide."
Sunday, Feb. 12
7:36 p.m. British arms and military vehicles could be manufactured in Ukraine under license, easing the country's dependence on supplies of arms from Western allies, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
The Telegraph said British defense industry executives had traveled to Kyiv to discuss plans to set up joint ventures to manufacture weapons and vehicles locally.
2:05 p.m. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov discussed "priorities," including air defense and artillery, for upcoming meetings of Kyiv's allies in Brussels, both sides said late on Saturday.
Austin and Reznikov discussed the importance of delivering promised capabilities as quickly as possible, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, said in a statement.
After the call, Reznikov tweeted that "the United States is unwavering in its support of Ukraine," adding that the two also discussed the situation on the front line.
4:00 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issues a decree sacking a senior security figure and says separately his drive to clean up the government will continue.
Authorities have dismissed dozens of officials in recent weeks and opened probes as part of a widespread drive against wrongdoing. The European Union says addressing corruption is a requirement for Ukraine joining the 27-member bloc.
Ruslan Dziuba is dismissed as deputy commander of the National Guard, according to a brief decree issued by the presidential office. It did not give any reasons for the move.
Saturday, Feb. 11
10:30 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Feb. 20 to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House says. John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said Biden will make clear that additional security assistance and aid will be coming from the U.S. "The president will make it very clear that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," Kirby said.
4:29 a.m. A group of 35 countries including the United States, Germany and Australia will demand that Russian and Belarusian athletes are banned from the 2024 Olympics, the Lithuanian sports minister said on Friday, deepening the uncertainty over the Paris Games. Read more.
Friday, Feb. 10
1:20 p.m. Russian forces launched a series of overnight strikes that have knocked out power supplies in parts of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city, local officials say. There was no word on casualties. "The occupiers hit critical infrastructure. There were about 10 explosions," Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram. "In some regions, there are power cuts. Emergency services are on site." Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the 4 a.m. strikes could disrupt power, heating and water supplies.
4:40 a.m. Poland will close a key border crossing with Belarus until further notice, the Polish interior minister says, as relations between Warsaw and Minsk sink to new lows. The tense ties between Poland and Belarus were further strained on Wednesday when a journalist of Polish origin was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Belarusian court in a trial Warsaw says was politically motivated. "Due to the important interest of state security, I decided to suspend until further notice from 1200 on Feb. 10 this year traffic at the Polish-Belarusian border crossing in Bobrowniki," Mariusz Kaminski wrote on Twitter.
Thursday, Feb. 9
11:10 p.m. Several European Union leaders are ready to provide aircraft to Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says in his first in-person meeting with all 27 national leaders of the EU, which Ukraine wants to join.
Zelenskyy is scant on details, including who could provide jets while adding some deals were being finalized and others could not be made public.
EU countries have supplied large amounts of arms to Ukraine over the past year and have become increasingly comfortable with sending heavy weaponry such as battle tanks. But they have yet to publicly commit to sending fighter jets and longer-range rockets, citing worries about a potential escalation of the conflict onto Russian territory.
"Free Europe cannot be imagined without free Ukraine," Zelenskyy tells EU leaders. Despite the cheers and standing ovations he receives during his Brussels visit, Zelenskyy hears from European Council chief Charles Michel that the road to EU membership would be long and hard.
3:30 p.m. Russia's Wagner mercenary group has stopped recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine, Wagner's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin says. "The recruitment of prisoners by the Wagner private military company has completely stopped," Prigozhin said in a response to a request for comment from a Russian media outlet published on social media. "We are fulfilling all our obligations to those who work for us now," he said. Wagner began recruiting prisoners in Russia's sprawling penal system in summer 2022, with Prigozhin -- a catering entrepreneur who served nine years in prison during the Soviet Union -- offering convicts a pardon if they survived six months in Ukraine.
9:30 a.m. SpaceX has taken steps to prevent Ukraine's military from using the company's Starlink satellite internet service for controlling drones in the region during the country's war with Russia, SpaceX's president says. SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service, which has provided Ukraine's military with broadband communications in its defense against Russia's military, was "never, never meant to be weaponized," Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said during a conference in Washington. "However, Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement," she said.
1:00 a.m. Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a plea for fighter jets during the Ukrainian leader's U.K. visit.
"I appeal to you and the world: combat aircraft for Ukraine. Wings for freedom," Zelenskyy says, speaking to both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.
In the lead-up to his appeal, he expresses pride in Ukrainian pilots. "In Ukraine today, every air force pilot is a king," the president says, dressed in the same olive drab he wore when he spoke before the U.S. Congress.
He presents a helmet he describes as belonging to a Ukrainian air force ace to Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons.
He thanks the U.K., particularly former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for its steadfast support. "London has stood with Kyiv since day one," Zelenskyy says.
Zelenskyy arrived in the U.K. on a Royal Air Force plane. He was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who promised London would provide training to Ukrainian fighter pilots.
Wednesday, Feb. 8
11:30 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in the U.K. The British prime minister's office tweets a video of Zelenskyy's welcome.
6:43 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Britain on Wednesday, his first trip to the U.K. since Russia's invasion began nearly a year ago. The British government says Zelenskyy will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, address parliament and meet with U.K. military chiefs. Buckingham Palace said Zelenskyy will also meet with King Charles during his visit.
The U.K. is one of the biggest military backers of Ukraine and has sent the country more than 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) in weapons and equipment. The visit comes as Sunak announced that Britain will train Ukrainian pilots on "NATO-standard fighter jets." Ukraine has urged its allies to send jets, though the U.K. says it is not practical to provide the Ukrainian military with British warplanes.
3:45 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin "may seem aloof, but he's actually quite down-to-earth," former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe writes in a posthumous memoir that goes on sale in Japan on Wednesday.
Abe, who was assassinated last July, met with Putin 27 times while in office as the Japanese leader sought to clinch a deal on Russian-held islands that Japan wants back. Read Abe's take on other world leaders here.
Tuesday, Feb. 7
11:50 p.m. Myanmar's military leader Min Aung Hlaing has met with a Russian delegation led by the director general of state-run nuclear power company Rosatom.
The meeting "frankly exchanged views on the effective use of nuclear energy in health and agricultural sectors including electricity production and further cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy," the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reports.
The meeting took place Monday, according to the newspaper.
Rosatom's Alexey Likhachev was accompanied by the Russian ambassador to Myanmar, Nikolay Listopadov, and other officials.
Myanmar's Ministry of Electric Power and Rosatom outlined a joint feasibility study on small modular nuclear reactors in a memorandum of understanding signed late November. Read more.
11:27 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for an end to the spread of "rumors or any other pseudo-information" that could undermine unity in the war against Russia. His remark to parliament appears intended to end speculation over whether Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov will be removed.
David Arakhamia, a senior lawmaker and ally of the president, said on Sunday that Reznikov would be replaced after a corruption scandal at the ministry. A day later, Arakhamia said no personnel changes would occur this week, after Zelenskyy kept silent on Reznikov's future and other politicians defended the minister's record.
4:40 p.m. The ruble fell to a nearly one-month low of over 71 to the dollar in early trading on Tuesday before staging a marginal recovery as Russia almost tripled its daily foreign currency sales, a day after Moscow posted a yawning budget deficit for January. At 0717 GMT, the ruble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 70.84, earlier touching 71.2475, its weakest since Jan. 9. It gained 0.4% to trade at 76.01 versus the euro and had firmed 0.1% against the yuan to 10.41.
1:30 a.m. Slumping energy revenues and soaring expenditures pushed Russia's federal budget to a deficit of 1.76 trillion rubles ($24.78 billion) in January as sanctions and the cost of the military campaign in Ukraine choke the economy's prospects. Citing preliminary data, the Finance Ministry said on Monday that oil and gas revenues were 46.4% lower at 426 billion rubles than a year earlier due to lower oil prices and gas exports.
Other revenues were 28% lower at 981 billion rubles due to lower value-added tax and income tax revenue. Overall, revenues for the month were down 35.1% but spending was 58.7% higher, at 3.12 trillion rubles, already more than 10% of the full-year spending plan.
Monday, Feb. 6
6:00 p.m. Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Monday that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, will visit Moscow this week, state media reports. The meeting will focus on the creation of a safety zone around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, he said, adding that Moscow was counting on a deep and professional discussion. The IAEA -- the United Nations' nuclear watchdog -- has expressed concerns over the plant, which has repeatedly come under shelling since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.
9:30 a.m. Ukraine is to replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov with the chief of its military spy agency, a close ally of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday. Reznikov would be transferred to another ministerial job and replaced by Kyrylo Budanov, head of the GUR military intelligence agency, said David Arakhamia, a senior lawmaker and chief of Servant of the People parliamentary bloc. "War dictates changes in personnel policy," Arakhamia said on the Telegram messaging app.
3:35 a.m. Russia's attack on Ukraine that began nearly a year ago has brought roughly 2,000 evacuees to Japan, spurring local governments and private citizens to take a central role in giving them assistance.
But some observers see concern about the plight of refugees starting to wane.
"It seems like Japanese people have gotten used to the war," says Yuliya Suzuki, a Ukrainian who has lived in Japan since before the conflict.
"The war isn't over," she says. "I want people to keep paying attention." Read more.
3:00 a.m. Ukraine anticipates an imminent large-scale attack by Russian forces looking to capture the rest of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, the Financial Times and other outlets report.
The attack could occur around the Feb. 24 anniversary of Moscow's invasion, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov tells reporters in Kyiv, adding that "we expect possible offensives from the Russians ... they like symbolism."
Such an attack would come before Western tanks and other equipment can be deployed to bolster Kyiv's capabilities. But Reznikov says his country has "amassed resources and reserves which we can deploy and with which we can push back."
Saturday, Feb. 4
10:00 a.m. The Group of Seven rich nations, the European Union and Australia have set price caps for Russian diesel and other refined petroleum products to keep markets supplied while limiting Moscow's revenues when an EU embargo kicks in. The EU measure, which takes effect on Feb. 5, follows an earlier EU embargo on Russian seaborne crude, for which the bloc, the G-7 and Australia set a crude price cap at $60 per barrel, starting Dec. 5.
6:39 a.m. Canada imposes sanctions on 38 individuals and 16 entities it said were "complicit in peddling Russian disinformation and propaganda," prompting a quick promise of retaliation from Moscow, reports Reuters.
The targeted individuals and entities include Russian state-owned media group MIA Rossiya Segodnya and singer Nikolai Baskov, who performed in a pro-war concert in Moscow, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
3:50 a.m. The latest rounds of U.S. military aid to Ukraine include more Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery ammunition and long-range rockets for U.S.-supplied HIMARS launchers.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced a $425 million package of arms and equipment for Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense will commit an additional $1.75 billion in support for the war-torn nation under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
On the sanctions front, the U.S. has imposed asset freezes and transaction bans on eight senior executives of Iranian drone maker Paravar Pars.
"Iran is supplying UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] for Russia's combat operations to target critical infrastructure in Ukraine," Brian Nelson, U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. "The United States will continue to aggressively target all elements of Iran's UAV program."
3:15 a.m. European Union member states have agreed on the levels of price caps on diesel and other Russian refined oil products.
The caps, which take effect Sunday, are set at $100 a barrel for diesel and other high-end products and $45 a barrel for low-end products, which include fuel oil, the Financial Times reports.
Friday, Feb. 3
6:00 p.m. Air raid alerts sounded in Kyiv and across Ukraine on Friday as a summit of European Union and Ukrainian leaders was due to begin in the country's capital. European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were in Kyiv for the summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion.
9:30 a.m. After months of agonizing, the U.S. has agreed to send longer-range bombs to Ukraine as it prepares to launch a spring offensive to retake territory Russia captured last year, U.S. officials say, confirming that the new weapons will have roughly double the range of any other offensive weapon provided by America. The U.S. will provide ground-launched small-diameter bombs as part of a $2.17 billion aid package it is expected to announce Friday, several U.S. officials said. The package also for the first time includes equipment to connect all the different air defense systems Western allies have rushed to the battlefield and integrate them into Ukraine's own air defenses, to help it better defend against Russia's missile attacks.
4:00 a.m. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Russian President Vladimir Putin have painted contrasting pictures of the war in Ukraine -- one as a fight for freedom against Russian aggression, the other as resistance against Western threats.
"Today, we have come to the heart of Europe," von der Leyen says on a visit to Kyiv, her fourth since last February's invasion. "Because Ukraine has become the center of our continent -- the place where our values are upheld, where our freedom is defended, where the future of Europe is written."
She is scheduled to hold a summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday along with European Council chief Charles Michel, during which they will discuss Ukraine's bid for EU membership.
Meanwhile, at an event marking the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, Putin says Russia is "again being threatened by German Leopard tanks."
"We have been forced to resist the collective West's aggression again and again," he also says.
2:30 a.m. Ukrainian troops will begin training on German-made Leopard 2 tanks next week under a European Union-funded program, the Financial Times reports, citing two people familiar with preparations.
The training is expected to last about six weeks, the FT reports.
Thursday, Feb. 2
6:20 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow's relations with China had no limits and, despite not being a formal military alliance. In an interview on state TV, Lavrov also said Russia would emerge from the current situation stronger and better able to defend itself.
6:15 p.m. Top European Union officials arrived in Kyiv on Thursday for talks with Ukrainian officials as rescue crews dug through the rubble of an apartment building in eastern Ukraine struck by a Russian missile that killed at least three people and wounded about 20 others. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was due to meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell before what officials described as a summit on Friday. Borrell tweeted that the visit aimed "to convey EU's strongest message of support to all Ukrainians defending their country."
8:50 a.m. A Russian missile destroyed an apartment building and damaged seven more in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Wednesday night, killing at least three people and injuring 20, regional police say. Local authorities initially said Russia had fired a rocket, but the police later said an Iskander-K tactical missile had struck at 9:45 p.m. "At least eight apartment buildings were damaged. One of them was completely destroyed," police said in a Facebook post. "People may remain under the rubble."
8:10 a.m. Myanmar's military government is "very worried" about international pressure, which is why "they reach out to the Russians so much," says Kyaw Moe Tun, the country's defiant ambassador to the United Nations, in an interview with Nikkei.
"The international community [needs] to forget about the carrot-and-stick approach. Just the stick approach is the only approach that will work," he says. Read more.
2:00 a.m. The latest U.S. sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine target an international network including a man described by the State Department as a "gray arms dealer" who helps Moscow evade sanctions.
Igor Zimenkov is one of 22 people and entities sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
People in the Zimenkov network "have engaged in projects connected to Russian defense capabilities, including supplying a Russian company with high-technology devices after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine," OFAC says in a news release.
Singapore-based Asia Trading & Construction, which OFAC describes as a "Zimenkov network shell company," was also sanctioned for selling helicopters to a Latin American government on behalf of already sanctioned Russian military-industrial company Rostec.
Wednesday, Feb. 1
9:10 p.m. Any attempt by China to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait will cause "severe consequences" for regional and global security, NATO's secretary-general tells Nikkei in an interview in Tokyo.
Jens Stoltenberg says the bloc is concerned about China's threatening rhetoric and "coercive behavior" in the Taiwan Strait.
"There is no justification for China's threats against Taiwan. And it will be in no one's interest to have a conflict around Taiwan," he says.
With the Ukraine war heading toward a second year, NATO "needs to be prepared for the long haul" because it sees no sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin "is preparing for peace," Stoltenberg says. Read more.
7:58 p.m. A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said talks were underway on securing longer-range missiles and attack aircraft from foreign partners to help repel Russian forces. "Each war stage requires certain weapons. Amassing RF's (Russia's) reserves in the occupied territories require specifics from (Ukraine) & partners," political adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. "So: 1. There is already a tank coalition (logistics, training, supply). 2. There are already talks on longer-range missiles & attack aircraft supply."
6:15 p.m. Prominent Russian journalist Alexander Nevzorov was sentenced in absentia to eight years in jail by a Moscow court on Wednesday after being found guilty of spreading 'fake news' about the Russian army, state media reported. Investigators opened a case against Nevzorov last year for posts on social media in which he accused Russia's armed forces of deliberately shelling a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, an assertion Moscow said was false. Nevzorov's wife wrote on Instagram in March that she and her husband were in Israel.
3:58 p.m. Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International, one of the European banks most exposed to Russia, earned more than half its profit last year from Russia, a market it is considering exiting after the invasion of Ukraine. That is a larger share than in 2021, when Russia contributed almost a third to the group's net profit. The division has been helped by a stronger ruble. Profit from Russia was 2.058 billion euros ($2.24 billion), while profit at the group was 3.797 billion euros, figures published by the bank on Wednesday showed.
12:44 p.m. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would be willing to consider serving as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine if asked by both warring countries and the U.S. "If asked by all relevant parties, I'll certainly consider it, but I'm not pushing myself in," Netanyahu told CNN in an interview. He added it would have to be the "right time and the right circumstances." Israel's close ally the U.S. would also need to ask because "you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen," he said.
7:17 a.m. Ukraine hopes to secure widespread international support for banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Paris Olympics in 2024 due to Moscow's invasion, the country's sports minister said on Tuesday. Vadym Huttsait, 51, a former Olympic fencing champion, told Reuters the idea of allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals was unacceptable. "It is impossible for us at a time when the full-scale war is going on, when our athletes, our soldiers are defending our homeland," he said in his Kyiv office, beside a wall with portraits of athletes killed in the war.
1:35 a.m. Gold buying by central banks reached its highest level in 55 years as the freezing of Russia's dollar assets spurred countries to seek alternatives less vulnerable to economic sanctions.
Last year's buying spree is believed to have been sparked by sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow's clash with the West "drove home the point that assets from the 'Western' economic sphere, like dollars, are risky to hold," said financial and precious metals analyst Koichiro Kamei. Read more.
Tuesday, Jan. 31
10:19 p.m. France signals openness to sending fighter jets to Ukraine, the Financial Times reports. "By definition, nothing is excluded," President Emmanuel Macron tells reporters in The Hague on Monday, adding that he has not received a request for jets from Ukraine.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov is visiting Paris on Tuesday for meetings with his French counterpart and Macron.
The U.S. and Germany recently decided to send main battle tanks to Kyiv, but President Joe Biden has ruled out sending F-16 jets.
7:01 p.m. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Turkey of "sitting on the fence" over the Ukraine war, saying that his country's longtime nemesis needs to step up as a NATO member with the conflict now heading into a second year.
In an exclusive interview with Nikkei in Tokyo, Mitsotakis hit out at Ankara for not imposing sanctions on Moscow and refusing to ratify Sweden's and Finland's accession to the military alliance.
"The Turkish position within NATO has frustrated lots and lots of NATO members, and this has nothing to do with the peculiarities of the Greek-Turkish bilateral agenda," he said. "It is greatly profiting from the fact that it has a special economic relationship [with Russia]. If you belong to an alliance, which is also an alliance of values, you cannot sit on the fence."
12:30 p.m. NATO will continue to strengthen its partnership with Japan amid the ongoing Ukraine war, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says during a visit to Japan, where he will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
"The war in Ukraine matters for all of us, and therefore we're also very grateful for the support that Japan is providing, using also the planes and the cargo capabilities," Stoltenberg said during a brief speech after surveying the Japanese Self-Defense Force's Iruma Air Base. His trip, which included a stop in South Korea, is aimed at bolstering ties with Western allies in Asia in the face of the war and rising competition with China.
8:00 a.m. A wealthy Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin, Vladislav Klyushin, made tens of millions of dollars through trading on companies' secret financial information obtained by hackers, a U.S. prosecutor said Monday at the start of his trial.
Klyushin and his associates made nearly $90 million through trading stocks based on yet-to-be-announced information about hundreds of publicly traded companies stolen by hackers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank told a federal jury in Boston.
4:00 a.m. Ministers from Australia and France have pledged to work together to support Ukraine's firepower.
The two countries will jointly supply 155-millimeter ammunition in a collaboration that "leverages the complementarities of respective defense industries and meets Ukraine's urgent need" for the artillery rounds, Australian and French foreign and defense ministers said in a statement following talks in Paris.
French arms supplier Nexter will manufacture the ammo using Australian gunpowder. French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu is quoted as saying production will be several thousand rounds.
Ukraine has been calling for additional shipments of the widely used shells. German arms maker Rheinmetall told Reuters last week that the company was ready to significantly boost its output of 155-mm rounds.
The Australian and French ministers "reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of Russia's illegal, immoral and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and called once more for Russia's immediate withdrawal," the statement says.
Monday, Jan. 30
4:30 p.m. Russia's deputy foreign minister said in an interview published on Monday that it was "quite possible" the New START nuclear arms control treaty with the United States would end after 2026. "This is quite a possible scenario," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA news agency in an interview. U.S.-Russia talks on resuming inspections under the New START treaty, which expires in February 2026, were called off at the last minute in November 2022. Neither side has agreed on a time frame for new talks.
12:30 p.m. With the United States having decided to supply tanks to Ukraine, it makes no sense for Russia to talk to Kyiv or its Western "puppet masters," the RIA news agency quoted Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday. Ryabkov said no one in the West has come up with any serious initiatives on resolving the Ukrainian crisis.
11:15 a.m. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urges South Korea to increase military support to Ukraine, citing other countries such as Germany that have changed their policy of not providing weapons to countries in conflict after Russia's invasion. South Korea has signed major deals providing hundreds of tanks, aircraft and other weapons to NATO member Poland since the war began, but South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has said that his country's law against providing arms to countries in conflicts makes providing weapons to Ukraine difficult. In meetings with senior South Korean officials in Seoul on Monday, Stoltenberg said, "If we don't want autocracy and tyranny to win, then [the Ukrainians] need weapons, that's the reality."
9:00 a.m. A missile hit an apartment building on Sunday in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, killing one person, injuring at least three and causing widespread damage, Oleh Synehubov, the regional governor, says. A Reuters photo from the scene showed fire engulfing part of a residential building in the country's second most-populous city. Synehubov said the strike took place in the city's central Kyiv district. "Three people were slightly injured. Unfortunately, an elderly woman was killed," Synehubov wrote on Telegram. "Her husband was nearby when the strike occurred and by a miracle suffered no serious injuries."
4:04 a.m. Conditions are "very tough" in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, and faster weapons supplies and new types of arms are needed to withstand Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.
"The situation is very tough," Zelenskyy says in his nightly video address. "Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other areas in the Donetsk region are under constant Russian attacks. There are constant attempts to break through our defense."
"Russia hopes to drag out the war, to exhaust our forces," he said. "So we have to make time our weapon. We must speed up the events, speed up the supply and opening of new necessary weaponry options for Ukraine."
For earlier updates, click here.