(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden asserted in an interview that Vladimir Putin has “already lost Ukraine.”

Group of Seven member states are discussing whether to sanction companies in China, Iran and North Korea they believe are providing Russia with parts and technology that have military purposes, according to people familiar with the matter.

The British government is assessing the long-term possibility of sending combat aircraft to Ukraine to help in the war against Russia as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a visit to the UK. 

Addressing lawmakers in London, Zelenskiy praised the UK for supporting his nation in its fight against Russia since the first day of the invasion. Later, he arrived in Paris for a nighttime meeting at the Elysee Palace with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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Key Developments

  • Biden’s Top Russia Adviser Leaving as Ukraine Conflict Drags On
  • Putin Likely Greenlit Missiles Used to Down MH17 Jet, Says Probe
  • G-7 Mulls Sanctioning Chinese Firms for Aiding Russia’s Military
  • Russia Survived a Year of Sanctions by Investing as Never Before
  • Russia Will Fail to ‘Break’ Ukraine, Estonia’s Spy Chief Says

On the Ground

Russia struck the center of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine with at least six S-300 missiles, regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram overnight. An industrial facility and the city’s central park were hit, Interfax-Ukraine reported, citing Mayor Ihor Terekhov. Over the past day, Ukrainian forces repelled attacks near 22 settlements in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Russian troops are continuing their offensive on several axes in the east, including near the towns of Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, Vuhledar and Kreminna.

(All times CET)

Biden Says US Aid Is Open-Ended, for Now (1:25 a.m.)

President Joe Biden said that US assistance to Zelenskiy’s government was open-ended for now, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “already lost Ukraine.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour Wednesday night, Biden added that he was proud that “I’ve been able to unite NATO completely” since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began nearly a year ago. 

“There is no way Putin is going to be able to - he’s already lost Ukraine,” Biden said in the interview, which took place a day after his second State of the Union Address. In that speech, he called Putin’s invasion “a test for the ages, a test for America, a test for the world.”

Zelenskiy Uses European Tour to Request More Weapons (11: 12 p.m.)

Zelenskiy, toward the end of a day that took him to the UK and France, met with Scholz and Macron in Paris on Wednesday night, using the meeting to request more weapons, including long-range missiles and fighter planes.

Scholz and Macron both reiterated their support for Ukraine until it wins the war. “For as long as Russia attacks, it will be necessary that we continue, adjust and modulate the military support needed for the preservation of Ukraine and its future,” Macron told reporters in Paris, standing alongside the other two leaders.

Scholz also said Germany would continue to support Ukraine financially and militarily for as long as needed. “President Macron and I will assure President Zelenskiy of this once again during our talks this evening,” Scholz said. “I am heading to the EU summit in Brussels with a very clear message: Ukraine belongs in the European family.”

G-7 Mulls Sanctioning Chinese Firms Aiding Russia’s Military (9:24 p.m.)

Group of Seven member states are discussing whether to sanction companies in China, Iran and North Korea they believe are providing Russia with parts and technology that have military purposes, according to people familiar with the matter.

The aim is to coordinate a package of measures by Feb. 24, the one-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing sensitive matters. 

The discussions are still in the formative stage, and actions taken by each G-7 state might not be the same, one of the people said. The companies that might be included are also still being decided, the people said. Spokespeople for the White House National Security Council declined to comment. 

Read the full story here.

France Urges EU Sanctions on Russian Mercenary Group (8:57 p.m.)

France is pushing the European Union to sanction the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner Group as part of its next package of restrictive measures, according to people familiar with the matter.

The penalties would include listings of individuals and entities that would add to existing sanctions from the Wagner Group’s role in other conflicts, one of the people said. The US has designated it as a transnational criminal organization.

Wagner is estimated to control about 50,000 troops in Ukraine and is also present in countries in central Africa and the Sahel. The EU intends to agree on a new package of sanctions before the end of the month.

Zelenskiy Expected to Attend EU Summit (5:51 p.m.)

The Ukrainian leader is expected to be in Brussels Thursday to attend a summit of European Union leaders, according to people with familiar with the matter. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will have a bilateral meeting with Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the event. 

Naftogaz Chief Discusses Energy Investment with JPMorgan Delegation (5:31 p.m.)

Oleksiy Chernyshov, the chief of national energy company NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy, met a JPMorgan Chase & Co. delegation to discuss investment in the Ukrainian energy sector. 

Naftogaz proposed that the US bank consider cooperation and projects to increase the extraction and transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as projects in renewable energy, Chernyshov said on Facebook.

Portuguese Premier Suggests Tanks May Be Provided in March (5:17 p.m.)

Portugal is carrying out a maintenance plan for Leopard 2 tanks under which the country may be able to provide Ukraine with three such vehicles in March, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in parliament on Wednesday.

UK Assessing Possibility of Sending Jets to Ukraine (4:12 p.m.)

The UK is assessing the possibility of sending combat aircraft to Ukraine and aims to begin training Ukrainian pilots in the spring. Britain isn’t looking to send Typhoon jets in the immediate future, but rather sees the possibility of doing so as a long-term solution, Max Blain, spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, told reporters. 

Zelenskiy had earlier in the day urged Britain to provide planes, telling parliamentarians, “We have freedom. Give us wings to protect it.”

Zelenskiy, Scholz to Meet Macron in Paris (3:28 p.m.)

Zelenskiy and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Paris later on Wednesday to meet with President Emmanuel Macron, according to a statement from the French president’s office.

Zelenskiy Hails UK Support in London (2:25 p.m.)

Addressing lawmakers in English, Zelenskiy praised the UK for backing Ukraine from the very start of the war. 

“London has stood with Kyiv since day one,” he said, insisting that Russia was destined to lose.

“The United Kingdom is marching with us toward the most important victory of our lifetime. After we win together, any aggressor, it doesn’t matter, big or small, will know what awaits him if he attacks international order.”


Read More: Zelenskiy Hails UK Support in London Ahead of Russian Offensive

Russia Won’t ‘Break’ Ukraine, Estonia’s Spy Chief Says (1:50 p.m.)

Estonia’s top intelligence official predicted a grinding conflict in Ukraine, with the war to be decided “on the battlefield,” though he expressed optimism that Kyiv will prevail against Russian forces.

Kaupo Rosin, director general of Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, spoke after the agency issued an annual report assessing that Putin remains convinced time is on his side in the war. As NATO member states ramp up weapons deliveries with battle tanks – and potentially air power – the Kremlin will struggle to fulfill its war aims, he said.

Sunak Hopes to See First ICC Indictments Over Ukraine War Soon (1:25 p.m.)

UK Prime Minister Sunak said he expects the International Criminal Court will announce its first indictments relating to Russia’s war in Ukraine soon. Sunak told the House of Commons at Wednesday lunchtime that he discussed Britain’s work with the ICC with Zelenskiy during their meeting this morning, and that he hoped to see the ICC’s first indictments shortly.


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