Ukraine latest: Zelenskiy visits Izyum, City reclaimed in push


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited Izyum, the biggest city recaptured last week during a counteroffensive in the country’s northeast that marked Kyiv’s most significant battlefield victory in months.

A car carrying the president collided with another vehicle on the way back to Kyiv and Zelenskiy did not suffer any serious injuries, a spokesman for the leader said in a social media post, adding the collision is under investigation.

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Union’s executive, pledged in her annual state of the union address to work to guarantee “seamless” access for Ukraine to the bloc’s massive single market to help its economy recover from the war. The US is preparing another package of aid to Ukraine after the government in Kyiv said it recaptured more than 2 300 square miles of occupied territory.

Key developments

  • IMF Appoints Ukraine Chief With Experience of War-Torn Iraq
  • Putin’s Options Narrow After Ukraine Delivers Battlefield Rout
  • Ukraine’s Leader Visits Largest City Seized Back From Russians
  • Russia’s Richest Person to Transfer Rosbank Shares to Foundation
  • Russia Quietly Adds Up ‘Direct Losses’ From Financial Sanctions
  • Xi Unlikely to Throw Putin a Lifeline as Ukraine Struggles Mount

On the ground

Ukraine was consolidating control over retaken territory, Zelenskiy said, following a push that shifted momentum in Kyiv’s favor. Fighting continued in the south, the Ukrainian military said. Russia again targeted civilian infrastructure, according to Ukraine’s General Staff, while local authorities said the cities of Mykolaiv and Nikopol were shelled overnight. Ukraine’s military destroyed several ammunition depots and is targeting Russian troops with artillery fire, military spokeswoman Nataliya Humeniuk told a briefing. The Russian navy has also increased the number of missile carriers in the Black Sea to five with the total number of Kalibr type cruise missiles to 36. Eight Russian cruise missiles hit the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, an official said.

(All times CET)

Zelenskiy in Car Crash (3:05 a.m.)

A passenger car collided with a vehicle carrying the president as his motorcade was returning to Kyiv from the Kharkiv region, Serhiy Nykyforov, a spokesman for Zelenskiy, said in a post on Facebook, without indicating what sort of injuries the president may have received.

“Doctors who accompany the president checked him, no serious injuries were detected,” Nykyforov wrote, adding “doctors accompanying the head of the state provided emergency aid to the driver of the car and transferred him to an ambulance.”

Pentagon to Replace Javelins Sent to Ukraine (1 a.m.)

The US Army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, Douglas Bush, said the service plans to have $1.2 billion in contracts in place by next September to replace Javelin anti-armor missiles that have been supplied to Ukraine.

As part of that effort, Raytheon Technologies Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp, the joint makers of the Javelin, received a $311 million contract on Tuesday. That was on top of a $309 million order in May, Bush said, adding “There’s more coming.”

More than 6,500 Javelin anti-armor systems have been committed to Ukraine from Defense Department stocks.

Ukraine Signs Accord on Debt Payment Suspension (8:13 p.m.)

Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko signed a memorandum of understanding on Ukraine’s debt payment suspension with the Group of Seven and the Paris Club, the Finance Ministry said on its website.

This follows the call by the Paris Club group — which includes the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Canada — to Ukraine’s creditors on July 20 to reach an agreement on debt service suspension until the end of 2023 with a possibility to extend it by another year.

Putin Talks Grain and Nuclear Plant With UN’s Leader (7:41 p.m.)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed how the agreement allowing grain shipments from Ukraine is being carried out, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

They agreed that priority for food supplies should go to the regions most in need, including Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, according to the statement.

They also discussed the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s visit to the Russian-seized facility.

Eight Russian Cruise Missiles Hit City in Central Ukraine (6:52 p.m.)

The city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine was hit by eight Russian cruise missiles, Ukrainian official Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram. The missiles were aimed at a waterworks and “the goal was obviously to cause an emergency,” Tymoshenko said.

Two missiles fell near the city of Zaporizhzhia in the southeast, Interfax reported, citing city council secretary Anatoliy Kukhtyev.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported the intensity of shelling in the Kharkiv region has declined significantly and Ukrainian forces spotted several Russian convoys with S-300 and Buk missiles moving from Lutuhyne near Luhansk toward the Russian border.

Putin Still Doesn’t See War as a Mistake, Scholz Says (6:23 p.m.)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin still hasn’t come to regret the invasion of Ukraine “Unfortunately, I cannot report that the insight has grown that this war is a mistake,” Scholz said of his phone conversation with Putin on Tuesday.

Speaking in Berlin, Scholz made clear he still has no intention of sending heavy tanks to Ukraine, even as he said German weapons have “made the difference, which has now visibly enabled Ukraine to defend its own country.”

Biden Plans to Nominate Lynne Tracy as Ambassador to Russia: CNN (5:14 p.m.) 

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Lynne Tracy, who currently serves as ambassador to Armenia, as the new US envoy to Russia, CNN reported, citing three people familiar with the plan. A State Department spokesperson declined to comment.

Russia Tallies Billions in Losses From Financial Sanctions (3:37 p.m.)

Russia’s financial sector suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in “direct losses” from the sweeping sanctions imposed by the US and its allies over the invasion of Ukraine, according to an internal Finance Ministry document.

The estimate, which includes significant hits to the stock market, bank capital as well as $300 billion in foreign-exchange reserves frozen by the restrictions, was included in a presentation for a top-level meeting of officials on responding to sanctions held last month. The Finance Ministry declined to comment.

Billions of Ruble Bonds Stuck as Clearstream Blocks Settlement (3:02 p.m.) 

Different approaches to Russia sanction rules taken by Europe’s major clearing houses means some international investors are now stuck with billions of dollars worth of ruble bonds while others are free to unwind.

Bondholders using Clearstream as their depository can’t settle ruble-denominated government bond trades, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. Investors estimate that Clearstream has more than $10 billion of sovereign ruble bonds under custody, they said. The other large depositary service provider Euroclear allows for settlement of ruble bonds already in the system, free of payment, the people said.

Ukraine Seeks to Continue Electricity Export Without Zaporizhzhia (2:04 p.m.)

Ukraine expects to continue exporting electricity to European countries over the winter season despite the conflict and the idling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, chief executive of state-run power company Ukrenergo.

“We’re talking about more than 600 megawatts of export capacity for Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova,” Kudrytskyi said. Ukrenergo plans to increase exports and is now preparing for winter season to ensure consumers have power.

Zelenskiy Raises Ukrainian Flag in Izyum (12:40 p.m.)

Zelenskiy participated in a flag-raising ceremony in Izyum, which had been a key staging point for Russian troops before they retreated in the face of a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive last week, according to a statement on the presidential website.

The Kharkiv region city of Izyum, which was occupied by Russia since March, is one of the most strategically significant areas retaken during the counteroffensive. The speed of the Russian retreat last week was evident in the amount of military vehicles and ammunition left behind.

The Russian military said on Saturday it pulled troops out of two areas in the Kharkiv region to regroup its forces in the Donetsk region.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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