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War Reaches One-Year Mark With No End in Sight

(Bloomberg) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reached the one-year mark with no clear end in sight. As the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution calling on Moscow to end its war, China and Brazil offered dueling peace plans, neither of which is likely to gain traction.

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The US plans to announce “sweeping sanctions against key sectors that generate revenue” for Russia, including the banking, defense, and technology industry. More military aid is also on tap. EU diplomats will continue to work Friday in an effort to finalize a sanctions package.

Russia’s War in Ukraine: Key Events and How It’s Unfolding

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said arming Ukraine for its defense against Russia is not “prolonging” the conflict and that President Vladimir Putin has an end to the war “in his hands.” Spain will study Ukraine’s request for fighter jets.

Russia’s War in Ukraine: Key Events and How It’s Unfolding

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How Does Ukraine Continue to Beat Back Russia?

Key Developments

  • China’s Cease-Fire Proposal for Ukraine Gets Quick Dismissal

  • China Probably Approved Dual-Use Items to Russia, Blinken Says

  • Lula Intensifies Brazil’s Diplomatic Push for Peace in Ukraine

  • One Year On: Russia’s War Casts Long Shadow

  • Russians’ Support for Putin’s War Hardens as His Crackdown Grows

  • Biden’s $300 Billion Sanctions Shock Is Failing to Stop Russia

On the Ground

Russia’s main efforts are now focused on offensive operations on Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Shakhtarsk axes. In the past day, Ukraine repelled about 100 attacks. Kremlin troops launched 10 missiles and 31 air strikes, and conducted more than 40 multiple launch rocket systems attacks, resulting in casualties among civilians in Kharkiv and Kherson regions. Ukraine’s air force conducted 17 strikes on Russian troops and four on anti-aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian missile and artillery troops attacked three concentrations of Russian troops, an ammunition depot, a fuel and lubricant warehouse, and another unspecified critical military target.

(All times CET)

UK PM Will Push for Longer-Range Weapons (9:11 am)

Rishi Sunak will use Friday’s G-7 leaders call to make the case for longer-range weapons to be sent to Ukraine, rejecting the “incremental approach” taken over the past year.

“For Ukraine to win this war – and to accelerate that day – they must gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. That is what it will take to shift Putin’s mindset. This must be our priority now,” Sunak said in remarks emailed by Downing Street. “We need to move faster on artillery, armor, and air defense.”

UK Offers to Backfill Jet Stocks: Wallace (9 am)

The UK has offered to give its fighter jets to eastern European allies to help backfill their stocks if they choose to give Soviet-era jets to Ukraine, said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. Britain won’t send its own typhoon jets to Ukraine in the short-term though, he said.

“If a country wants to give a Russian or a Soviet model like a MiG-29, and there are some countries in NATO that have them, then Britain will do its very best to either backfill with our own jets or provide some form of air policing to cover their loss of capability,” he told Sky News.

China’s Cease-Fire Proposal for Ukraine Gets Quick Dismissal (8:40 am)

Beijing’s 12-point proposal for ending the war that appears to offer some reprieve to Moscow has little chance of winning broad support. Several of the measures outlined in a position paper issued Friday would, if carried out, offer clear benefits to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including a proposal to immediately end all sanctions not endorsed by the UN Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said China’s proposal should have ended after the first bullet point, which calls for “respecting the sovereignty of all countries.”

Biden’s $300 Billion Sanctions Shock Is Failing to Stop Russia (8:30 am)

The move in the early days of the war to freeze some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets held abroad saw Russia’s currency tank, prices soar, and people lining up at banks to pull out whatever cash they could, leaving some US officials briefly worried that they’d gone too far

With a year’s hindsight, it is clear that the economic punishment imposed on Russia by the US and allies did not overshoot. As Daniel Flatley writes, sanctions have inflicted damage but they haven’t induced Putin to stop the war — raising wider questions about a tool that’s become increasingly central to US foreign policy.

Biden’s $300 Billion Sanctions Shock Is Failing to Stop Russia

Zelenskiy Vows Victory, Lauds Ukraine’s Spirit (8:10 am)

Ukraine will do its utmost to celebrate victory over Russia this year, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said as the war in his country crossed the one-year mark.

“This was a year of invincibility. This was a February of invincibility. Its main result is that we have withstood Russia’s invasion, we haven’t been defeated,” Zelenskiy said in a statement on Friday. “And we will do our best to get victory this year.”

Zelenskiy praised the spirit of every Ukrainian as well as the efficiency of Ukrainian and foreign weapons, and thanked Western allies for their help.

Arming Ukraine ‘Not Prolonging War’: Scholz (8 am)

Germany leader pushed back against an accusation by nations including China that supplying Ukraine with weapons is fanning the hostilities triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion one year ago.

“The opposite is true,” Scholz said in a video address to mark the war’s one-year mark.

“The sooner Russia’s president realizes that he will not achieve his imperialist goal, the greater the chance of an early end to the war,” he said. “Putin has it in his hands. He can end this war.”

Polish Premier in Kyiv on War’s One-Year Mark (7 am)

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will visit Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine on the day Russia’s invasion reaches the one-year mark, the Wpolityce.pl website reports, without citing anyone.

Brazil’s President Pushes Mediation Proposal (2:30 am)

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is intensifying a campaign to mediate an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine as he seeks to reinsert Brazil on the global political stage. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin was quoted by Russia’s Tass news agency as saying Moscow was studying Lula’s proposal.

Lula’s plan is to create a group of countries, possibly including India, China and Indonesia, to mediate peace talks. China, Turkey and numerous other nations have also sought to mediate negotiations during the course of the conflict.

China Calls for Cease-Fire, Issues 12-Point Plan (12:25 am)

China called for a cease-fire in Ukraine in a bid to portray itself as a neutral party that can help end Russia’s yearlong invasion. The 12-point plan issued by the Foreign Ministry in Beijing called for ending hostilities and resuming peace talks.

“All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually de-escalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive cease-fire,” the ministry said.

UN Approves Appeal to Russia Calling for War’s End (10:40 pm)

The UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution on Thursday calling on Russia to end its war in Ukraine, with 141 countries voting in support of the measure. Seven nations, including Syria, North Korea and Belarus, voted against the measure, and 32, including China, India, South Africa and Iran, abstained.

Josep Borrell, the European Union foreign policy chief, called the vote a clear message from the international community, which “has called for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in Ukraine.”

US Pledges Sanctions to Target Russia, Its Enablers (7:53 pm)

In addition to targeting Russia’s banking, defense and technology industries, US sanctions to be announced Friday will hit actors in other countries that are attempting to help Russia backfill or evade sanctions, the White House said.

The US and allies also plan to announce a new economic and security assistance package for Ukraine intended to aid defense efforts and provide basic government services such as electricity and heat.

The US also plans to announce a new assistance package of about $2 billion for Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter.

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