(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.

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. 

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

Key Developments

  • US Envoy Vows to Isolate Russia at the UN, Condemns Wagner Group
  • Putin’s War Machine Helps Keep Russian Industry Humming
  • Russian Art Buying Probed by US in Search of Sanction Cheats
  • Germany Plans to Spend Up to €17 Billion on Anti-Missile Shield
  • Georgia Wants Russia to Leave Its Land in a Ukraine Peace Deal

On the Ground 

The city of Kramatorsk was hit by a Russian ballistic missile, Zelenskiy tweeted on Wednesday evening. “Some people are still under the rubble. No goal other than terror,” he said. At least two people were killed, Ukrainian authorities said on Telegram. Ukraine expects fiercer fighting in February and March, according to 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.

(All times CET)

Russian Offensive Intensifies Before Anniversary, Zelenskiy Says (12 a.m.) 

The situation has become tougher for Ukraine’s forces in the nation’s east because Russia wants something to show its people as the first anniversary of the war approaches, Zelenskiy said in his regular nightly address on Wednesday. 

Even as the Russian offensive intensifies,  Zelenskiy added “we should all be especially united, especially focused on state interests and, as a result, especially stable.”

Referring to raids carried out earlier Wednesday as part of a corruption investigation, he said “we will not allow anyone to weaken our state.” He thanked all law enforcement officers “who demonstrated the power of the law and the state today.”

Biden Administration Says It Freezes Assets of Father-Son Arms Dealers (7:39 p.m.)

The Biden administration froze the US-based assets of people and companies linked to what it said was a father-and-son network of arms dealers that conspired to evade sanctions on Russia’s defense sector.

The group, led by Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov, “engaged in projects connected to Russian defense capabilities” including by supplying high-tech devices after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Treasury Department said. It said the network used shell companies and individuals in Singapore, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Israel to move money while “attempting to maintain a lawful appearance.”

“We are determined to crack down on Russian sanctions evasion,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet. “We will continue to take actions that weaken Russia’s ability to wage war against Ukraine.”

US Envoy Vows to Isolate Russia at UN, Condemns Wagner Group (7 p.m.)

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’s providing security to several governments.

Read the full story here.

US Official Says Nations Don’t Want to Depend on Russian Arms (6:45 p.m.)

The US is being approached by countries who 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 p.m.)

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov met with top officials from 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 p.m.)

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 intending 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 German with various EU countries involved in providing Ukrainian soldiers with specialized training, including de-mining.

Druzhba Oil Flows Normal After Pumping Station Shelled (2:20 p.m.)

Druzhba pipeline, which deliveries 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, spokesman at Russia’s oil-pipeline operator. No injuries reported from the shelling on Monday evening and damage is being repaired, he added.

Novozybkovo station is used during peak loads on Druzhba pipeline and on a one-off basis. The station was last turned 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 p.m.)

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 p.m.)

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.


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