(Bloomberg) -- The US plans to sell Poland about $10 billion in arms, including Himars rocket launchers and ammunition for the highly accurate mobile platform, according to a Defense Department statement. 

Ukraine will receive another batch of German-made battle tanks, as Russia’s defense chief said Kremlin forces are “advancing successfully” in a battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.  

President Vladimir Putin’s government is pressuring the Bank of Russia to be more upbeat about the economic outlook and signal it’s ready to loosen monetary policy. Ahead of the bank’s first board meeting of the year, officials want it to send a clearer hint that interest rates may come down later in 2023, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

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Key Developments

  • US to Sell Himars, Ammunition to Poland in $10 Billion Deal
  • Ukraine to Get as Many as 178 Leopard 1 Tanks From EU Allies 
  • Russia’s Latest Information War Tactic: Spoofing Foreign Media
  • Putin’s Government Leans on Central Bank to Signal Looser Policy
  • Big Russia Presence in India Energy Summit Signals Stronger Ties

On the Ground

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said border troops shot down a Russian fighter jet covering the infantry’s advance over Bakhmut with a portable anti-aircraft missile system. Russia carried out six missile strikes and 24 air attacks over the past day, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Kremlin forces also unleashed 75 barrages from multiple-launch rocket systems, hitting civilian targets in the Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson regions, according to the statement. Ukrainian troops repelled assaults near 10 settlements in Donetsk and Luhansk, the General Staff said.

(All times CET)


Zelenskiy Meets New German Defense Minister Pistorius (12 a.m.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday met new Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who visited Ukraine in his first overseas trip in that post. Zelenskiy praised Germany for a long-expected decision to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine and allow third countries to do likewise.

“The recent decisions on the tank coalition and the initiative from our European friends in cooperation with our Ministry of Defense can really give us not advantages, yet parity on the battlefield,” the Ukrainian President’s Office said in a statement on its website citing Zelenskiy. “It is necessary to understand that it depends on time, on the quantity and modernity of the tank coalition’s equipment.”

US to Sell Himars, Ammunition to Poland (8:50 p.m.)

The US plans to sell Poland about $10 billion in weapons including 18 Himars rocket launchers and ammunition for the highly accurate mobile platform, the Pentagon announced Tuesday, shoring up a crucial NATO ally as Russia presses its war in neighboring Ukraine.

The package will also include the ATACMS long-range missile system and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, according to a Defense Department statement. Two people familiar with the matter said Congress had been notified of the proposed deal, under the Foreign Military Sales program.  Washington in December approved the sale of up to 116 Abrams tanks and related equipment to Poland, which is providing key equipment to Ukraine even as it looks to bolster its own military.

Ukraine to Get as Many as 178 Leopard 1 Tanks From EU Allies (5:51 p.m.) 

“Within the coming months, Ukraine will receive at least 100 Leopard 1 A5 battle tanks,” they said in the statement. Germany’s Defense Ministry said that the final number could reach 178.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, making an unannounced visit to Kyiv, was quoted by German public broadcaster ZDF as saying the deliveries would be made in stages, with “about 20, 25” to arrive by the European summer and more than 100 by early next year.

US Drone Maker’s Latvian Plant Catches Fire (5:50 p.m.)

A drone-making factory in Latvia belonging to Edge Autonomy caught fire at around 3 p.m. local time, near the capital Riga, the Leta newswire reported, citing the fire and rescue department. The cause of the fire wasn’t known, nor the extent of the damage, it said.

Edge Autonomy provides “innovative autonomous systems, advanced optics, and resilient energy solutions to the US Department of Defense, US Federal Civilian Agencies, allied governments, academic institutions, and commercial entities,” according to its website.

Russia’s Latest Information War Tactic: Spoofing Foreign Media (3:31 p.m.) 

The Russian government is supporting operations that impersonate international media outlets as part of its disinformation campaigns, which have become more sophisticated and active since its invasion of Ukraine, according to a European Union study. 

Print and TV media are the most frequent targets of Moscow’s impersonation, with magazines seeing their entire style copied by Russian actors to give legitimacy to the content, in particular when targeting Ukraine, said a report on foreign information manipulation published Tuesday by the EU’s External Action Service. 

Central Bank Pressed to Signal Looser Policy (11:55 a.m.)

Governor Elvira Nabiullina and her colleagues so far are unwilling to suggest any imminent easing because of risks of higher inflation, the people familiar said, and instead are likely to indicate that rates have little room to fall.  

But they are open to improving forecasts, with the government content if the central bank delivers a message that puts it on a track toward looser policy in the months ahead, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe the unusual conflict within the economic team. 

Russia Warns of ‘Unpredictable’ Consequences (11:50 a.m.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned the West that its beefed up military aid for Ukraine could lead to “unpredictable” consequences, according to the Tass state news service.

The US and its allies are supplying Kyiv with “heavy offensive weapons” and openly calling for the capture of Russian territory, Shoigu said according to Tass. “These steps are dragging NATO countries into the conflict and could bring the escalation to an unpredictable level.” The US and European nations have agreed to supply battle tanks and longer-range missiles to Ukraine in a bid to help it decisively roll back Russian forces occupying its territory this year.

Storms Force Russian Warships Into Port (11:15 a.m.)

Heavy storms on the Black Sea have forced Russia to return some of its warships armed with cruise missiles to their bases, according to Natalia Humenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military.

Two Russian navy vessels that are not armed with missiles remain on duty on the Black Sea, while the Kremlin’s navy is not present on the Azov Sea because of the weather conditions, Humenyuk said.

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