Ukraine war live updates: Bakhmut comes under heavy shelling; 'no sign' Putin is preparing for peace, says NATO's Stoltenberg

This is CNBC's live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine. See below for the latest updates. 

Moscow said Monday that its forces had pushed forward a few kilometers along Ukraine's frontline, while Kyiv said its troops had repelled Russian attacks in various areas.

Much of the fighting was concentrated around the eastern city of Bakhmut, with 16 nearby settlements having been bombarded, according to Ukrainian military.

Ukraine is facing a renewed assault in its eastern region.
Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

It comes after the head of Russia's mercenary Wagner Group said Sunday it had taken the village of Krasna Hora, on the northern edge of Bakhmut.

U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War said geolocated footage showed Russian forces have captured at least part of the village. However, the claims have not yet been independently verified.

Meanwhile, Poland's president has said the decision over whether or not to supply Ukraine with fighter jets is "not easy." He gave no confirmation over the likely outcome of the discussions.

NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the request for aircrafts would be discussed Tuesday, when ministers meet in Brussels for a two-day defense summit. In further comments, he said there was "no sign" that President Putin is preparing for peace.

Debate continues over Ukraine's use of SpaceX's Starlink service

The Starlink photo is seen on a mobile device with Ukraine on a map in the background in this illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on 21 September, 2022.
STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Comments by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell last week reignited the debate around how the company's Starlink hardware and service should be used in the Ukrainian conflict – leading CEO Elon Musk and high-profile former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly to weigh in.

Kelly on Saturday called on Musk to "restore the full functionality of your Starlink satellites."

"Defense from a genocidal invasion is not an offensive capability. It's survival," argued Kelly, whose twin brother, Mark Kelly, is a Democratic U.S. senator from Arizona.

In a pair of replies on Sunday, Musk tweeted that "Starlink is the communication backbone of Ukraine," before saying that SpaceX "will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3."

"We have not exercised our right to turn them off," Musk noted in a separate tweet.

Russia likely to spy more on Norway's energy industry, say Norway security police

Norway's government said that based on the announced strike numbers, it had been feared that more than half of the country's daily gas exports would have been lost by the weekend.
Joe Klamar | Afp | Getty Images

Russia will seek to gather more intelligence about Norway's oil and gas infrastructure as part of an effort to put pressure on European energy supplies, the Nordic country's police security agency (PST) said in its annual threat assessment.

While Russia is "unlikely" to carry out acts of sabotage on Norwegian territory in 2023, this could change if Moscow's willingness to escalate the conflict with NATO and the West were to increase, PST said.

The assessment of threats against Norway is the first since the start of the war in Ukraine in February last year. Since then the NATO member has become Europe's largest gas supplier, following a drop in Russian gas flows.

"Norway's role as an energy supplier to Europe has assumed even greater security policy importance as a result of the war in Ukraine," PST said in its report.

Oslo has reinforced security at its oil and gas installations following the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, and is receiving help from NATO allies to protect them.

"We have seen the emergence of Russian ambitions to exert pressure on European energy security. PST therefore expects that in 2023, Russia will try to gather intelligence about most aspects of Norway's oil, gas and power sector," it said.

In October Norway, which shares a border with Russia in the Arctic, put its military on a raised level of alert in response to the war in Ukraine.

— Reuters

Putin isn't making good decisions, White House security advisor says

White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, November 28, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Russia's military, which originally thought Kyiv would fall within two days of its invasion almost a year ago, is still struggling with logistics and other problems that have plagued its unprovoked attack on Ukraine, according to the White House.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "is not making good decisions," National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters. "Clearly he hasn't made sound decisions, nor has his military with respect to their performance on the battlefield."

Kirby said the military is still grappling with logistics, personnel issues, troop cohesion, among other problems. "I could go on and on," Kirby said.

"It's borne out by the fact that, you know, he continues to change generals they way I change socks ... he's struggling," he added.

— Dawn Kopecki

Moldovan leader outlines Russian 'plan' to topple government

Moldovan President Maia Sandu shakes hands with European Council President Charles Michel during a meeting in Chisinau, Moldova May 4, 2022. 
Vladislav Culiomza | Reuters

Moldova's president outlined what she described as a plot by Moscow to overthrow her country's government using external saboteurs, put the nation "at the disposal of Russia" and derail its aspirations to one day join the European Union.

President Maia Sandu's briefing comes a week after neighboring Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country had intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova, claims that were later confirmed by Moldovan intelligence officials.

"The plan for the next period involves actions with the involvement of diversionists with military training, camouflaged in civilian clothes, who will undertake violent actions, attack some state buildings, and even take hostages," Sandu told reporters at a briefing.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, Moldova, a former Soviet republic of about 2.6 million people, has sought to forge closer ties with its Western partners. Last June, it was granted EU candidate status, the same day as Ukraine.

Sandu said the alleged Russian plot's purpose is "to overthrow the constitutional order, to change the legitimate power from (Moldova's capital) Chisinau to an illegitimate one," which she said "which would put our country at the disposal of Russia, in order to stop the European integration process."

She defiantly vowed: "The Kremlin's attempts to bring violence to our country will not succeed."

There was no immediate reaction from Russian officials to Sandu's claims.

— Associated Press

Berlusconi blames Ukraine war on Zelenskyy, chafes Meloni

Silvio Berlusconi, leader of right-wing party Forza Italia, waves as he arrives to vote on March 4, 2018 at a polling station in Milan.

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has blamed Ukraine's president for the nearly year-old Russian invasion, again placing himself at odds with Premier Giorgia Meloni's staunch support for Kyiv.

Berlusconi, whose party backs Meloni's right-wing coalition government, is a long-time friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said the war in Ukraine "would have never happened" had President Volodymyr Zelenskyy "ceased attacking the two autonomous republics of Donbass" — parts of the country that Russia has illegally annexed.

Berlusconi said he judged Zelenskyy's behavior "very, very negatively.'' He also criticized Meloni for meeting with Zelenskyy, telling reporters Sunday that he wouldn't have done the same had he been premier.

The comments drew a quick rebuttal Sunday from Meloni's office, which said that "the government's support for Ukraine is solid and unwavering.'' Her office said backing for Ukraine was clear in both government policy and parliament votes, which have included weapons deliveries to Ukrainian forces.

Zelenskyy advisor Oleg Nikolenko on Monday slammed Berlusconi's statements, saying that "by spreading Russian propaganda, he encourages Russia to continue its crimes against Ukraine, and then bears political and moral responsibility."

— Associated Press

NATO chief says Ukraine's ammunition use outstripping supply

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a closing press conference during the second of two days of defence ministers' meetings at NATO headquarters on October 13, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium.
Omar Havana | Getty Images

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that Ukraine is using up ammunition far faster than its allies can provide it and putting pressure on Western defense industries, just as Russia ramps up its military offensive.

"The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions and depleting allied stockpiles," Stoltenberg said. "The current rate of Ukraine's ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production. This puts our defense industries under strain."

According to some estimates, Ukraine is firing up to 6,000 to 7,000 artillery shells each day, around a third of the daily amount that Russia is using almost one year into the war.

Speaking on the eve of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg said the waiting time for the supply of "large-caliber ammunition has increased from 12 to 28 months," and that "orders placed today would only be delivered two-and-a-half years later."

— Associated Press

Ukraine plots post-war rebuilding effort with JPMorgan Chase as economic advisor

Ukraine's government signed an agreement with JPMorgan Chase to help advise the war-afflicted country on its economy and future rebuilding efforts.

Ukraine's Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding with a group of executives from the New York-based bank on Thursday aimed at rebuilding and developing the country, according to a statement from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

One year into its conflict with Russia, which invaded in February 2022, Ukraine's government is laying the groundwork to help rebuild the country. The invasion has cost thousands of civilian lives and set off Europe's largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. It also ignited a corporate exodus from Russia, and has helped galvanize support for Ukraine.

JPMorgan will tap its debt capital markets operations, payments, and commercial banking and infrastructure investing expertise to help the country stabilize its economy and credit rating, manage its funds, and advance its digital adoption, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.

— Hugh Son

Ukraine's Bakhmut comes under heavy shelling

A destroyed bridge on the road from Kostiantynivka to town of Bakhmut by Russian forces is seen as the strikes continue on the Donbass frontline, during Russia and Ukraine war in Bakhmut, Ukraine on February 10, 2023.
Marek M. Berezowski | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, in the east of the country, was hit by heavy artillery fire Monday as forces there braced for possible ground attacks.

Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, has become a major goal for President Putin and forms part of a renewed assault agenda on the east of the country. Ukrainian military officials said positions have been fortified — and only the military were being allowed into the area.

Damaged buildings are seen after Russian shelling as the strikes continue on the Donbass frontline, during Russia and Ukraine war in Bakhmut, Ukraine on February 10, 2023. (Photo by Marek M. Berezowski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Marek M. Berezowski | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

"The city, the city's suburbs, the entire perimeter, and essentially the entire Bakhmut direction and Kostyantynivka are under crazy, chaotic shelling," Volodymyr Nazarenko, deputy commander of Ukraine's Soboda battalion, said, according to a Reuters translation.

"Every road is being shelled by artillery in a chaotic way," he continued. "The city is a fortress, every position and every street there, almost every building, is a fortress."

— Karen Gilchrist

NATO's Stoltenberg: 'No sign' Putin is preparing for peace amid fresh assault

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference during a meeting of the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, joined by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Sweden and Ukraine, as well as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, at the Palace of the Parliament of Romania in Bucharest, on November 30, 2022.
Andrei Pungovschi | AFP | Getty Images

NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday there was "no sign" that President Putin is preparing for peace, warning instead that a new major offensive has already begun.

"We see no sign whatsoever that [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin is preparing for peace," Stoltenberg told reporters.

"What we see is President Putin and Russia still wanting to control Ukraine," he said. "We see how they are sending more troops, more weapons, more capabilities."

Stoltenberg also noted that NATO ministers are expected to discuss Ukraine's request for fighter jets when they meet Tuesday.

"There is now a discussion going on also on the question of aircrafts and I expect that also to be addressed tomorrow at the meeting in Brussels," he said.

He stressed that NATO countries supplying fighter jets to Ukraine would not make NATO part of the conflict.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia can take Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa, says Chechnya's Kadyrov

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in the Chechen capital Grozny, Russia May 9, 2022. 
Chingis Kondarov | Reuters

The leader of the Russian region of Chechnya said that Russia would achieve its goals in Ukraine by the end of the year.

In an interview aired on state television Monday, Ramzan Kadyrov said Russia had the forces to take the capital Kyiv and that it needed to capture Ukraine's second city Kharkiv and its main port, Odesa.

"I believe that, by the end of the year, we will 100% complete the task set for us today," Kadyrov said.

Kadyrov, whose forces have played a key role in the war and who has forged an informal alliance with the Wagner militia group, also said it would be wrong to negotiate with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"If we sit down at the negotiating table with Zelenskyy, yes, I think that's wrong."

— Karen Gilchrist

U.S. tells citizens to leave Russia 'immediately'

A man wearing military uniform with a Z letter, a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine, makes a selfie photo at Red Square in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in central Moscow on February 13, 2023.
Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images

The United States has told its citizens to leave Russia "immediately" to avoid risking arbitrary arrest or harassment by Russian law enforcement.

"U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately," the U.S. embassy in Moscow said. "Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions."

The Kremlin said it was not the first time U.S. citizens had been asked to leave Russia. The last such public warning was in September after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization.

The U.S. embassy also urged its citizens against traveling to Russia, noting that security services there have arrested U.S. citizens on "spurious charges" and convicted them in "secret trials or without presenting credible evidence."

"Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity."

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia to sell 80% of oil to 'friendly' countries in 2023

Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation attends a session on "Global Oil and Gas Market: Then and Now" in the framework of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2022 (SPIEF 2022).
Maksim Konstantinov | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Russia is planning to sell over 80% of its oil exports to what it calls "friendly" countries in 2023, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.

Referring to countries that have not sanctioned Moscow, Novak said that such markets, which include China and India, would also receive 75% of Russia's refined oil products while it continues to look for new markets.

It comes as Russian gas exports fell 25.1% to 184.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2022 — well short of the 673.8 bcm of gas it produced.

Refinitiv data showed Monday that Russia's seabourne oil product exports fell around 10% from Feb 1-12 compared to the same period in January due in part to the EU's new embargo and price cap, which took effect from Feb 5.

— Karen Gilchrist

JPMorgan signs deal with Zelenskyy: Reports

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks during the Institute of International Finance (IIF) annual membership meeting in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.
Ting Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan signed a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a new investment fund, according to Fox Business.

The bank met with Zelenskyy and his senior staff in Ukraine last week to discuss the creation of a fund seeded with $20 billion to $30 billion in private capital, Fox said attributing the news to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Additional ideas discussed were the creation of a bank administered by Wall Street firms that would make investments in oil refineries, roads, bridges and other infrastructure destroyed by the war.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia claims gains along Ukraine's frontline

Moscow said Monday that its forces had pushed forward a few kilometers along Ukraine's frontline, while Kyiv said its troops had repelled Russian attacks in various areas.

Much of the fighting was concentrated around the eastern city of Bakhmut, with 16 nearby settlements having been bombarded, according to Ukrainian military.

Russia's Defence Ministry said Russian troops had managed to advance 2 km (1.2 miles) to the west in four days. However, it did not say which part of the long frontline, encompassing several Ukrainian regions in the south and east, had moved.

"The Russian servicemen broke the enemy's resistance and advanced several kilometres deeper into its echeloned defence," it said.

Ukraine's military said that over the past day, its forces had repelled a number of attacks near Bakhmut, within the Donetsk region, as well as assaults in the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

— Karen Gilchrist

Belarus to host three CSTO military drills this year

Belarus will this year host three drills of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-dominated alliance of former Soviet states, according to state-run Belta news agency.

The agency on Monday quoted the secretary general of the organization as saying the exercises would be code-named Cooperation, Echelon and Search.

— Karen Gilchrist

What to expect from Russia’s new offensive in Ukraine

A renewed Russian offensive in the east of Ukraine is underway. And while the scope of Russia's plans remains uncertain, whatever happens, it comes at a tricky time for Kyiv.

Moscow is thought to be focused on creating a land corridor to Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsular that it annexed in 2014, by targeting Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kherson in the south.

"The main objective has to be to have fully occupied the territory of the four provinces annexed by Russia with great fanfare last year," Jamie Shea, a former NATO official and international defense and security expert at think tank Chatham House, told CNBC.

Ukrainian servicemen walk on the road toward their base near the front line in the Donetsk region on Feb. 4, 2023.
Yasuyoshi Chiba | Afp | Getty Images

"Russia is controlling about 50% of the territory of those four provinces so clearly, that has to be the objective because anything less than that — to annex them and not fully control them — would be a humiliation for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," he noted.

Shea, who was deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges at NATO until 2018, said he did not expect a big bang start to the offensive. Instead, he expects Russia to "grind out these slow advances," a tactic it has been employing in the Donbas in recent months.

"The Russians are going to make sure they've got overwhelming superiority, advance a couple of kilometers, capture a village, and keep going with that step-by-step kind of progress," Shea said.

— Karen Gilchrist

China's top diplomat to visit Russia

China's top diplomat Wang Yi will visit Russia later this month during a tour of several European countries, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

China's top diplomat Wang Yi will visit Russia later this month during a tour of several European countries, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.

Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, will be in Germany for the Munich Security Conference this weekend, the ministry said.

Following that, he will visit France, Italy and Hungary, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russian rouble steady near nine-month lows

The Russian rouble gained a steady footing in early deals in Moscow on Monday, hovering close to a nine-month low against the U.S. dollar following volatile trade for the under-pressure currency last week.

In early deals, the rouble was flat against the dollar at 73.35 and had gained 0.1% against the euro to trade at 78.39.

Analysts have said the rouble will remain under pressure until exporters begin converting their foreign currency earnings into roubles to meet local tax liabilities due later this month.
Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

At the end of last week the rouble slid through 73 versus the dollar for the first time since last April. It came as Russia's central bank on Friday held interest rates at 7.5%, but indicated that it was readying to hike rates in the coming months.

Analysts have said the rouble will remain under pressure until exporters begin converting their foreign currency earnings into roubles to meet local tax liabilities due later this month.

— Karen Gilchrist

Wagner Group claims village of Krasna Hora

The head of Russia's mercenary Wagner Group said Sunday it had taken the village of Krasna Hora, on the northern edge of the embattled city of Bakhmut in Ukraine's Donetsk region.

Yevgeny Prigozhin published a short video seemingly showing Wagner fighters next to the entrance sign to the village. 

He also said it could take two years for Moscow to control all of the two eastern Ukrainian regions, whose capture it has stated as a key goal of the war.

U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War said geolocated footage showed Russian forces have captured at least part of the village, according to its latest intelligence report.

However, Wagner's claims have not yet been independently verified.

— Karen Gilchrist

Poland's president says fighter jets decision 'not easy'

Poland's president has said the decision on whether or not to supply Ukraine with fighter jets is "not easy."
Gints Ivuskans | Afp | Getty Images

Poland's President Andrzej Duda said the decision over whether or not to send fighter jets to Ukraine was "not easy to take."

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Duda said responding to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's request for F-16 aircraft is a "very serious decision," but gave no further indication of whether it would happen.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russian spy service claims U.S. is grooming militants for attack

Russia's foreign spy service said Monday that it had intelligence that the U.S. military was grooming Islamist militants to attack targets in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, whose head is an ally of President Vladimir Putin, claimed that 60 such militants from groups affiliated with Islamic State and al-Qaeda had been recruited and were being trained at an American base in Syria.

"They will be tasked with preparing and carrying out terrorist attacks against diplomats, civil servants, law enforcement officers and personnel of the armed forces," the SVR said.

It added that special attention was being paid to recruiting immigrants from the Russian North Caucasus and Central Asia.

The agency did not publish the intelligence behind its assertion and the claims could not be immediately verified.

Karen Gilchrist

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