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Ukraine latest: U.S. tells its citizens to depart Russia immediately

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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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:

Monday, Feb. 13 (Tokyo time)

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 travelling 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 licence, easing the country’s dependence on supplies of arms from Western allies, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

The Telegraph said British defence industry executives had travelled to Kyiv to discuss plans to set up joint ventures to manufacture weapons and vehicles locally.


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov attend a meeting with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Feb. 7. 

  © Reuters

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


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends the European leaders summit.

  © Reuters

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, Zelenskiy hears from European Council chief Charles Michel that the road to EU membership would be long and hard.


A man leaves PMC Wagner Center, which is a project implemented by the businessman and founder of the Wagner private military group, in Saint Petersburg, Russia in November 2022.

  © Reuters

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.


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 Starlink satellites lifts off from Cape Canaveral in the U.S. in April 2022.

  © Reuters

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.

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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


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi, third from right, attends an IAEA flag-raising ceremony as he visits the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on Jan. 18. 

  © Reuters

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.


A Ukrainian serviceman stands in a destroyed school at a frontline in the Donetsk region. Ukrainian forces are on guard for major attack by Russian troops.

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.


The G-7, EU and Australia have set price caps for Russian diesel and other petroleum products to keep markets supplied and limit Moscow’s revenues when an EU embargo kicks in.

  © Reuters

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.


A U.S. soldier fires a Javelin anti-tank missile during a training exercise.

  © Reuters

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.

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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.


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a summit in Kyiv, ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.(Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters)

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.


Ukrainian soldiers man a military vehicle carrying an anti-aircraft gun in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on Feb. 1.

  © Reuters

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


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country’s ties with China are “of a much higher and broader nature” than those of a formal military alliance.

  © Reuters

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.”


People work at the site of a residential building destroyed by a Russian missile strike in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 1. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters)

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.


Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Jan. 31 interview with CNN that he would be willing to consider serving as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

  © Reuters

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.

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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.”


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg sits in the cockpit of a Mitsubishi F-2 jet fighter at Iruma Air Base in Saitama prefecture, Japan on Jan. 31.

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.


A U.S. soldier carries a 155-mm round during a training exercise. Ukraine has called for more ammunition to fight the Russian invasion.

  © Reuters

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


A Russian Su-35S aircraft and a Tu-95ms bomber fly over Moscow, in May 2022: Russia’s deputy foreign minister warned it was “possible” the New START nuclear treaty could lapse in 2026.

  © Reuters

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.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, greets South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul on Jan. 29.

  © Reuters

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.”


A local resident stands next to his car destroyed by a Russian missile strike amid an attack in the Donetsk region.

  © Reuters

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.”

Sunday, Jan. 29

3:30 a.m. Ukraine and its Western allies are engaged in “fast-track” talks on the possibility of equipping Kyiv with long-range missiles and military aircraft, a top Ukrainian presidential aide says.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says Western supporters “understand how the war is developing” and the need to supply planes that can cover ground forces, including the new tanks pledged this month.

However, in remarks to online video channel Freedom, Podolyak says some Western partners maintain a “conservative” attitude to arms deliveries, “due to fear of changes in the international architecture.”


A Russian Pantsir anti-aircraft missile system seen in the Luhansk region, controlled by Russia.

  © Reuters

1:15 a.m. German arms maker Rheinmetall is preparing a major boost to the output of tank and artillery munitions to meet demand in Ukraine and the West, and may start producing HIMARS multiple rocket launchers in Germany, CEO Armin Papperger tells Reuters.

Rheinmetall makes a range of defense products but is probably most famous for manufacturing the 120-mm gun of the Leopard 2 tank.

Papperger and other German defense industry leaders are expected to meet new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius for the first time in the coming days. Pistorius aims to start talks on how to hasten weapons procurement and boost ammunitions supplies in the long term after almost a year of arms donations to Ukraine has depleted the German military’s stocks.

For earlier updates, click here.

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