Ukraine Latest: Putin Set for Key Speech After Nuclear Exercises

(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to make a major appearance at the annual Valdai discussion club Thursday, a day after overseeing scheduled nuclear exercises that tested a “massive” retaliatory strike.

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Ksenia Sobchak, the celebrity-journalist daughter of Putin’s political mentor fled Russia for Europe as police detained a close associate and raided her home as part of a criminal case for alleged extortion.

Russia has lost close to 250 helicopters in Ukraine since its invasion, and will not be able to replace the equipment it has lost, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his regular nightly address.

US officials have been forced to scale back a plan to impose a cap on Russian oil prices, following skepticism by investors and growing risk in financial markets brought on by crude volatility and central bank efforts to tame inflation, according to people familiar with the matter.

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

Key Developments

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  • Russia Crisis Heralds Turning Point for Global Energy, IEA Says

  • Biden Team Reworks Plan for Russia Oil-Price Cap as Markets Sour

  • What Is a ‘Dirty Bomb’ and Why Is Ukraine Worried?: QuickTake

On the Ground

Russian forces struck the Kyiv region and the southern city of Zaporizhzhia overnight, Ukrinform reported, citing local authorities. Ukraine’s “South” command said air defense downed a Russian Ka-52 helicopter and an Su-25 fighter jet in the Kherson region Thursday morning. Ukrainian troops downed 19 drones in the Odesa, Mykolaiv and Vinnytsia regions late Wednesday, when Russia launched more than 20 Shahed-136 UAVs in two hours, Ukraine’s Air Force said on Telegram. Russian assaults near seven settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were repelled over the past day, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military reported on Facebook.

(All times CET)

Ukraine’s Electricity-Grid Operators Still Struggling, IEA Says (9:05 a.m.)

Ukraine’s electricity-grid operators continue struggling to cover nationwide demand after two weeks of Russian strikes against power infrastructure. Generation trailed supply for a fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, according to the latest data published by the International Energy Agency.

President Zelenskiy has appealed to Ukrainians to save energy after convening a meeting with advisers to discuss infrastructure repairs made more difficult by the Russian attacks, according to the Telegram channel of grid operator Ukrenergo.

Russia Says Civilian Satellites Used By Ukraine May Be Targets: Tass (8:45 a.m.)

Russia may consider civilian satellites and other space infrastructure used by Ukraine and its allies in the war as “legitimate targets for retaliation,” a senior diplomat said, according to Tass.

Calling such equipment “quasi-civilian infrastructure,” Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy head of the arms control department at the Foreign Ministry, told a United Nations session that its use for military purposes is a “very dangerous trend.” He didn’t specify under what circumstances Russia might make such a strike.

Kyiv and its allies have used commercial satellites for intelligence information and communications to combat the Russian invasion.

Putin to Give Major Address to Annual Valdai Forum (08:15 a.m.)

Putin will deliver his speech after 4 p.m. Moscow time. He has increasingly ratcheted up his invasion of Ukraine, now dragging into its ninth month, since Kyiv scored a series of battlefield advances. After calling up at least 300,000 reservists, Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions it partly controls and introduced martial law in some areas.

Russia Lost Almost 250 helicopters in Ukraine, Zelenskiy Says (07:50 a.m.)

Russia will not be able to replace the equipment it has lost in Ukraine since its invasion, Zelenskiy said in his regular nightly address. “The total number of downed Russian helicopters is approaching to 250,” Zelenskiy said. “Russia will not be able to restore these losses”.

Zelenskiy said the fiercest battles are currently taking place in Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in the Donetsk region, as well as in other areas.

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