Biden speech transcript, Metsola’s support, new deputy defense ministers appointed
Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Friday, February 24th, 2023.
On this day, one year ago, the Russian Federation commenced a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine stands. Слава Україні!
- During U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv on Feb. 20, the United States and Ukraine have reached an agreement on the supply of long-range missiles.
A source in the Zelenskyy administration revealed to NV that Biden and Zelenskyy had reportedly discussed strategies to expedite an end to the ongoing war unleashed by Russia, with a goal of reaching a resolution this year. As part of the effort, Biden reportedly gave his preliminary consent to the supply of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with missiles capable of striking targets up to 220 kilometers away.
- Biden visited Kyiv on an unannounced visit on Feb. 20, met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and honored the country's fallen soldiers.
NV provides the full transcript of Joe Biden’s speech at a press conference in Kyiv.
- A Georgian parliamentary delegation refused an invitation to visit Kyiv on the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
According to a member of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Zarkua, “When high-ranking officials of Ukraine call on our state to open a second front, when the imprisoned Saakashvili (former Georgian President) is called a political prisoner, while he has many serious charges, – I think this leaves no room for diplomatic relations,” referring to calls made by Ukraine to transfer Saakashvili, who holds Ukrainian citizenship, to Ukraine.
- Following the recent dismissal of several high-ranking officials in the wake of food procurement corruption scandal, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers has appointed two new deputy defense ministers.
Vitaliy Deynega, the founder of Come Back Alive, which is one of Ukraine's leading military-focused charities, and Andriy Shevchenko, a former MP and ambassador to Canada, were selected for the positions. Deynega was appointed Deputy Minister for Digital Development, Digital Transformations, and Digitalization, while Shevchenko became Deputy Minister for European Integration.
- The State Property Fund of Ukraine plans to sell three major industrial businesses in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, which produce aluminum, titanium, and silicon products.
The government is looking to sell Kremniypolimer, Zaporizhzhya Titanium-Magnesium Factory, and the Zaporizhzhya Aluminum Factory. All three enterprises would be sound investments for potential buyers, since they are the only producers of sponge titanium and primary aluminum in Europe, while Kremniypolimer is the only source of silicon products in Ukraine, the government stated.
- The Black Sea grain deal, which allows Ukrainian agricultural produce to be exported to Africa and Asia despite Russia’s naval presence, expires on March 20, 2023.
“When the current grain agreement expires on March 20, we expect that a consensus decision will be made with partners to extend it,” said First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Taras Vysotsky. “Negotiations are ongoing.” According to Vysotsky, Ukraine exported more than 30 million tons of grain in the 2022-2023 season, with about the same amount of grain still being stored in the country.
- Russia’s order for gas transit through Ukraine on Feb. 22 has increased again, setting another record high since the beginning of January and approaching the current technical maximum of pumping.
The Gas Transmission System (GTS) Operator of Ukraine accepted an application from Russian gas monopolist Gazprom for the transit of 42.2 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas on Feb. 22. Transit on Feb. 21 was 40.3 mcm.
- Over January 2023, Ukraine’s trade turnover amounted to $7.9 billion, which is 35% less than in January 2022.
During January of this year, $4.8 billion worth of goods were imported to Ukraine, and $3.1 billion were exported. At the same time, taxable imports amounted to $4.0 billion – around 80% of all incoming goods. The tax burden per 1 kilogram of taxable imports in January 2023 amounted to $0.44/kg, which is 60% more than in January 2022.
- A company from the city of Děčín, Czechia, produces and sends to Ukraine inflatable HIMARS and M270 multiple launch rocket systems to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine confuse invading Russian forces.
A video was shared on Czech television on Feb. 22, about the production of cheap decoys for Russian missiles, shows inflatable M270/M142 MLRS systems. The footage does not show inflatable HIMARS systems, but they are mentioned in the voice-over of the video.
- The Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has hacked several Russian radio stations broadcasting in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.
The hack enabled the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, to deliver an address to the residents of the occupied peninsula. “Citizens of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov is addressing you,” he said. “To all patriots: The time to act has come. Wait for us, we’re coming. Glory to Ukraine.”
- Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention or NACP has declared French corporation Auchan Holding an international sponsor of war.
The corporation was added to the list as it had refused to stop financing the terrorist state since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and continues to operate in Russia.
- A court has seized the property of Viktor Medvedchuk's wife Oksana Marchenko, who is suspected of financing Russian occupation groups.
The total value of the seized assets exceeds UAH 5.6 billion ($152 million), the SBU said. The security service said the court's decision concerns stakes of 14% in two regional power distribution companies and more than 4% in a third, which Marchenko owns through five offshore companies.
- Ukrainian postal operator Nova Poshta (New Post) will open branches in Germany and Romania in Q2 2023.
The Berlin branch will open in April, company co-founder Volodymyr Popereshnyuk said. “The first city is Berlin, then Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, and a dozen more,” Popereshnyuk wrote.
- Don’t miss: Ukraine is Europe
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola reaffirms Europe’s support for Ukraine, and its embrace of Ukraine’s European future, in an exclusive oped for The New Voice of Ukraine.
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