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Ukraine Latest: Russia Ramps Up Combat With Widespread Bombing

·4 min read

(Bloomberg) --

Most Read from Bloomberg

Russia’s defense minister instructed military units in Ukraine to “further intensify” combat activity at a time the arrival of advanced Western weapons is boosting Kyiv’s counterattack capabilities. Russian airstrikes continued in north, south and central areas, often far from the front lines and focused on civilian targets. Multiple fatalities were reported.

The US State Department said it supports selling a total of $1.45 billion in weapons to NATO allies Estonia and Norway. Ukraine’s defense minister earlier said the first M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System arrived in the country and would bolster the country’s ability to hit long-range targets.

Russia plans to reject requests from foreign banks to sell their units in the country while sanctioned Russian banks are unable to sell their business abroad. And President Vladimir Putin ousted his top defense-industry official as Russia digs in for a long war.

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

Key Developments

  • Russian Assets Barely Touched Across EU With $14 Billion Seized

  • Naftogaz CEO Says Ukraine Pushed It to Delay Bond Payments

  • Russia Visited Iran to View Drone Capabilities, US Official Says

On the Ground

Almost five months into the war, Moscow’s forces have repeatedly hit civilian targets in the past week. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a spokesman for Ukraine’s ministry of defense, said 70% of Russia’s strikes hit residential areas. An agricultural enterprise in the Cherkasy region was hit by missiles Saturday fired from Caspian Sea, Governor Ihor Taburets said on Telegram. Russia also fired at the port city of Odesa, at Nikopol, south of Dnipro, and at Chuhiuv, near Kharkiv, in Ukraine’s north, killing three. Kyiv’s defense has been successful in repulsing Russian attacks in eastern region of Luhansk, which has been “instrumental in reducing Russia’s momentum” on the ground, the UK Defense Ministry said.

(All times CET)

Canada Tells Putin’s Technocrats They’re Liable for War Crimes (11 p.m.)

Canada warned a Russian delegation participating in a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in recent days that it views President Vladimir Putin’s economic advisers as personally responsible for aiding war crimes.

“Russia’s economic technocrats, who work to fund Putin’s war machine, are personally complicit in Russia’s war crimes, just as Putin’s generals are,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said she told the group.

Zelenskiy Vows to Retake Territory (10:33 p.m.)

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine will gradually liberate the occupied areas of the country, the Ukrinform news portal reported.

“It is obvious that any missiles and artillery of Russia will not succeed in breaking our unity and knocking us off our path,” Zelenskiy said in an address on the anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of sovereignty from the then Soviet Union in 1990, according to Ukrinform.

EU’s Borrell Urges Patience on Sanctions (4:20 p.m.)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it “may take a long time” for sanctions on Russia to have an impact

“Even if sanctions do not change the Russian trajectory in the short-term, that does not mean they are useless, for they do affect sheer amount of resources it has to wage its war,” Borrell said in a blog post on the six packages of EU sanctions against Moscow.

Russia’s Shoigu Orders Combat Activity Intensfied (10:42 a.m.)

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian military units to intensify their action across Ukraine, Interfax reported, a sign Moscow intends to step up its campaign.

Shoigu told Russian army generals in Ukraine “to further increase activity in all operational areas.” The rationale offered was to stop Kyiv launching “rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in Donbas,” according to Interfax.

The ministry released a video of Shoigu, in fatigues, making just his second visit to the conflict zone. It was unclear when or where the visit took place.

Russian Assets Barely Touched Across EU (10 a.m.)

Germany, France, Ireland and three other European Union nations account for almost all of 13.9 billion euros in Russian assets that have been frozen in the 27-nation EU since the invasion of Ukraine, according to the bloc’s justice chief.

Read more: Russian Assets Barely Touched Across EU With $14 Billion Seized

Russia Viewed Iran’s Drone Capabilities, US Says (8:14 a.m.)

Satellite images show a Russian delegation visiting Iran to view weapons-capable drones that could be purchased for use in the war in Ukraine, a senior US official said Saturday.

The disclosure by the US is intended to bolster the assertion by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan -- made without details of the underlying intelligence -- that Russia was seeking to purchase hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles to help its campaign in Ukraine.

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