Home World Russia-Ukraine war live: world expects success ‘too quickly’, says Zelenskiy; US senators indicate Ukraine funding support

Russia-Ukraine war live: world expects success ‘too quickly’, says Zelenskiy; US senators indicate Ukraine funding support

by Hataf Finance
32 minutes read


Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Tom Ambrose and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned against expecting too much success too quickly in Ukraine’s campaign to reclaim occupied lands. Despite Kyiv’s gruelling months-long offensive, the vast frontline in Ukraine’s east and south has moved little in the past year. “We live in a world that gets used to success too quickly. When the full-scale invasion began, many people around the world did not believe that Ukraine would survive,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

More on this shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:

  • A senior UN official says Russian strikes are inflicting “unimaginable suffering” on the people of Ukraine and that more than 18 million Ukrainians – 40% of the population – need humanitarian assistance. Ramesh Rajasingham, the director of coordination in the UN humanitarian office, told the UN security council on Tuesday that thousands of civilians have been killed in strikes on homes, schools, fields and markets since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. The UN human rights office has formally verified 9,900 civilians killed, but he said “the actual number is certainly higher”.

  • The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, said Russia would be successful in Ukraine unless Washington’s support for Kyiv continued. “I can guarantee that without our support Putin will be successful,” Austin said during a Senate hearing on President Joe Biden’s request for $106bn to fund plans for Ukraine, Israel and American security.

  • Russia has reportedly imposed additional currency controls in an attempt to prop up the falling rouble, restricting western companies that sell their Russian assets from taking the proceeds in dollars and euros. International companies that want to exit Russia after its invasion of Ukraine have to sell their assets in roubles under new government restrictions, according to the Financial Times, which cited people familiar with the matter.

  • Three Russians were arrested in New York for evading US sanctions to ship electronic components for weapons used by Moscow in its war in Ukraine, authorities said. The trio are accused of evading sanctions to dispatch, over the course of a year, “over 300 shipments of restricted items, valued at approximately $10m, to the Russian battlefield”, Ivan Arvelo, special agent with the US Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement. The three defendants are yet to enter a plea.

  • Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said he was certain Sweden would join the defence alliance but declined to predict an exact time for when this would happen, Reuters reported.

  • Two Russian soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of killing a family of nine, including two young children, in their home in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha.

  • Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained an accomplice in the attempted killing of the former Ukrainian politician and pro-Russian politician and businessman Oleg Tsaryov, Russian state news agencies reported.

  • The UN human rights office has found “reasonable grounds” to conclude a missile strike that killed 59 people in a cafe in the Ukrainian village of Hroza was launched by Russia’s armed forces, the office said.

  • Police in France have detained the Russian tycoon Alexey Kuzmichev and raided two of his properties in connection with alleged tax evasion, money laundering and sanctions violations.

Key events

Opera singers in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv hope to return to the stage more than 20 months into Russia’s war by performing in the basement of their theatre to be safe from the threat of Russian air strikes.

Ukraine’s second city, which banned mass public events when Russia invaded in February 2022, is regularly targeted by missiles that can take as little as 45 seconds to land from the moment they are fired across the Russian border 30 km (20 miles) away.

The Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, which stopped performing on stage because of the risks, has kitted out its basement with a stage, a make-shift orchestra pit and rows of seats, Reuters reported.

It plans to ask city officials to allow them to perform regularly, as the basement essentially serves as a bomb shelter. It held a dress rehearsal in front of theatre staff, friends and family on Friday.

“We missed performing on stage,” said troupe member Olena Starikova.

“We sang at many places – garages, forests, schools, kindergartens, hospitals – but there’s nothing like the stage. Opera is a fairy tale. All of us, the ballet troupe, the opera troupe, we are all incredibly happy.”

Ukraine will introduce mandatory registration of food export companies in an aim to prevent abuses such as tax avoidance in the export of key agrarian goods, the government said in a resolution published on Wednesday.

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading food producers and exporters, but officials estimate that up to a third of goods for subsequent export are bought in cash and without paying the necessary taxes.

An additional problem is the illegal concealment or delay of foreign currency proceeds on accounts outside of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

According to the new procedure, only companies that are registered in the State Agrarian Register, are value added tax payers and have no tax debts or delays in the return of foreign currency proceeds may engage in exports.

“The purpose of the pilot project is to create conditions for preventing abuses and violations of the law during the export of goods,” the government said.

It said the move would also “ensure the protection of the rights of agricultural entities that carry out economic activities without violating the law”.

Russia launched a score of drones and a missile in an overnight attack that targeted military and critical infrastructure, Ukraine’s air force said, while regional officials said the Kremenchuk oil refinery was hit.

On the Telegram messaging app, the air force said 18 of the 20 Russian-launched kamikaze Shahed drones were destroyed before reaching their targets, as was the missile.

But a repeated target of earlier Russian attacks, the Kremenchuk oil refinery in the central region of Poltava, was struck, setting it ablaze, according to Filip Pronin, head of the region’s military administration.

“[The fire] has been extinguished. The situation is under control,” he said on Telegram, adding that there were no reports yet of casualties as officials sought to gather more details of the destruction.

It was not immediately clear how the refinery was hit.

The refinery, which Pronin said was not operating, has been attacked repeatedly since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine 20 months ago.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

US senators from both sides of politics indicate support for Ukraine funding

US senators from both parties indicated support for funding for Ukraine, voicing doubts on Tuesday about a House Republican plan to split US president Joe Biden’s request for a $106bn aid package.

The package combines funding for Israel and Ukraine, but also includes money to boost competition with China in the Indo-Pacific, as well as security along the US border with Mexico.

On Monday, in the first major legislative action under new Speaker Mike Johnson, a standalone supplemental spending bill was unveiled for Israel only. That bill seeks to provide $14.3bn in aid to Israel by cutting Internal Revenue Service funding – and does not provide aid to Ukraine.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said the Republican bill would be dead on arrival in the upper chamber, even if it passed the House. “The bottom line is it’s not a serious proposal,” Schumer told reporters. Biden threatened to veto the bill if it were to pass.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said “We need to treat all four of these areas, all four of them, Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the border,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, met with the new speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday, after testifying in the Senate. Blinken told reporters: “It was a very good meeting. I appreciate the opportunity. I’ll leave our conversation at that.”

Ukraine president warns against expecting too much success too quickly

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “The modern world is set up in such a way that it becomes accustomed to success too quickly. When the full-scale aggression began, many in the world did not think Ukraine would endure,” in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

Zelenskiy has previously rejected criticism, mainly from western sources, that the counteroffensive against Russia was proceeding too slowly, saying the war was not akin to a Hollywood movie set.

Ukraine’s military said Russian forces were gearing up for fresh attacks in different sections of the front, but there has been little movement along the 1,000km frontline in recent months.

Ukraine’s president applauded Ukrainian offensive moves that have restricted the operations of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, but he said no one should expect rapid success stories in repelling Russia’s 20-month-old invasion.

Zelenskiy also said a meeting with senior commanders had looked at sectors engulfed by the fiercest fighting, including the key areas of Avdiivka and Kupiansk where Russia has been on the offensive in recent weeks.

Vitaliy Barabash, the head of the military administration in Avdiivka, said the shattered eastern city was bracing for another wave of the attacks it had been withstanding since mid-October.

Russian accounts of the fighting said Moscow’s forces had conducted successful attacks near the town of Bakhmut – an area largely destroyed and captured by Russian forces in May. Reuters could not verify accounts of fighting from either side.

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Tom Ambrose and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned against expecting too much success too quickly in Ukraine’s campaign to reclaim occupied lands. Despite Kyiv’s gruelling months-long offensive, the vast frontline in Ukraine’s east and south has moved little in the past year. “We live in a world that gets used to success too quickly. When the full-scale invasion began, many people around the world did not believe that Ukraine would survive,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

More on this shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:

  • A senior UN official says Russian strikes are inflicting “unimaginable suffering” on the people of Ukraine and that more than 18 million Ukrainians – 40% of the population – need humanitarian assistance. Ramesh Rajasingham, the director of coordination in the UN humanitarian office, told the UN security council on Tuesday that thousands of civilians have been killed in strikes on homes, schools, fields and markets since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. The UN human rights office has formally verified 9,900 civilians killed, but he said “the actual number is certainly higher”.

  • The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, said Russia would be successful in Ukraine unless Washington’s support for Kyiv continued. “I can guarantee that without our support Putin will be successful,” Austin said during a Senate hearing on President Joe Biden’s request for $106bn to fund plans for Ukraine, Israel and American security.

  • Russia has reportedly imposed additional currency controls in an attempt to prop up the falling rouble, restricting western companies that sell their Russian assets from taking the proceeds in dollars and euros. International companies that want to exit Russia after its invasion of Ukraine have to sell their assets in roubles under new government restrictions, according to the Financial Times, which cited people familiar with the matter.

  • Three Russians were arrested in New York for evading US sanctions to ship electronic components for weapons used by Moscow in its war in Ukraine, authorities said. The trio are accused of evading sanctions to dispatch, over the course of a year, “over 300 shipments of restricted items, valued at approximately $10m, to the Russian battlefield”, Ivan Arvelo, special agent with the US Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement. The three defendants are yet to enter a plea.

  • Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said he was certain Sweden would join the defence alliance but declined to predict an exact time for when this would happen, Reuters reported.

  • Two Russian soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of killing a family of nine, including two young children, in their home in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha.

  • Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained an accomplice in the attempted killing of the former Ukrainian politician and pro-Russian politician and businessman Oleg Tsaryov, Russian state news agencies reported.

  • The UN human rights office has found “reasonable grounds” to conclude a missile strike that killed 59 people in a cafe in the Ukrainian village of Hroza was launched by Russia’s armed forces, the office said.

  • Police in France have detained the Russian tycoon Alexey Kuzmichev and raided two of his properties in connection with alleged tax evasion, money laundering and sanctions violations.



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