Artillery price

Biden to call on allies; The United States sends an artillery shell

(Bloomberg) – U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a video call Thursday with allies, including leaders of the Group of Seven, the NATO military alliance and the European Union. The talks will focus on next steps to support Ukraine against Russian invasion.

The Pentagon sent Ukraine its most accurate artillery shell, the GPS-guided Excalibur, according to budget documents. A replenishment plan for the US stockpile of Excaliburs acknowledges for the first time that the Pentagon provided the shell to Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country’s army had taken over some towns in the northeast region of Kharkiv, without giving details.

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Key developments

  • Biden to host Thursday call with allies on support for Ukraine

  • The most accurate US artillery shell is quietly added to Ukraine aid

  • All eyes on Ukraine gas link as Russia squeezes Europe

  • Putin’s attack on Ukraine grain deal stokes fears of food inflation

  • Sanctions strengthen Russian billionaires in Putin’s embrace

On the ground

Russian forces carried out continuous air and missile strikes, damaging infrastructure in eastern and southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian General Staff reported. Russia again hit the northern city of Kharkiv with rockets overnight, Interfax-Ukraine said, citing local authorities. The Institute for War Studies said Ukrainian forces are likely exploiting the deployment of Russian forces away from the Izyum-Kharkiv region to retake territory and threaten Russian land lines of communication there.

(every hour CET)

Germany pledges to help businesses affected by Putin’s energy crisis (10:02 a.m.)

Germany will support businesses hit by the energy crisis, expanding a pandemic-era aid package to help businesses hit by soaring costs.

Europe’s largest economy is at the center of the continent’s energy crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin cuts supplies in retaliation for war-related sanctions in Ukraine. After the ruling coalition agreed on measures to support consumers, Germany will make funds available to struggling businesses.

Hundreds of Portuguese NATO documents found on the dark web: Diario (10 a.m.)

The General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces, the country’s highest military body, was the target of a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of classified NATO documents that were sent to the southern nation. Europe, Diario de Noticias reported, citing unnamed sources.

Hundreds of these documents, classified as secret and confidential, were found for sale on the dark web, according to the Portuguese daily. The Portuguese government was notified of the violation by the US Embassy in Lisbon in August, according to the newspaper.

Putin’s criticism of Ukraine grain deal raises food price concerns (9:15 a.m.)

Putin’s attack on a grain deal with Ukraine and soaring wheat prices have highlighted the fragility of the global crop trade, raising the specter of higher food prices to come.

The grain shipping corridor from Ukraine is not helping poorer countries as the majority of supplies go to Europe, Putin said on Wednesday. He added that it could be useful to discuss road restrictions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, putting the future of the deal in jeopardy.

Zelenskiy praises the army for taking over several towns in the Kharkiv region (8:15 a.m.)

The Ukrainian army has taken over some towns in the northeast region of Kharkiv, according to Zelenskiy. “Now is not the time to name the settlements to which the Ukrainian flag belongs,” he said in his usual late-night video address. “Every success of our military in one direction or another changes the general situation on the entire front line in favor of Ukraine.”

Zelenskiy also promised to spend more than a trillion hryvnia ($27 billion) on security and defense needs next year and to cut all non-critical government spending, including that of state-owned enterprises. The Ukrainian government is due to submit the draft 2023 budget to parliament by September 15.

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