May 16, 2022Newsletter

Russia Update: May 16, 2022


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led a delegation that included Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John Cornyn (R-TX) to Ukraine and Finland. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the U.S. to designate Russia as a “terrorist state.” Russia is seeking a prisoner exchange of sorts for the return of WNBA star Brittney Griner.

Finland and Sweden will apply to NATO. Officials from both are heading to Turkey to discuss its opposition to their bids, which centers on concerns about Kurdish terrorist activity in the two and restrictions on arms sales to Turkey.

Israel’s ambassador returned to Kyiv.

European leaders are reportedly worried that an absolute victory by Ukraine could create a new set of problems, including destabilization of Russia, and are quietly hoping for a “face-saving” resolution to the conflict.


The Treasury Department warned foreign banks against helping Russia evade sanctions.

The EU clarified how companies could import Russian gas without violating sanctions, though it stops short of addressing the requirement of payment in rubles. Italy’s Eni will open a ruble account.


McDonald’s and Renault announced they would sell off their Russian assets.

Portugal has seized a €10 million mansion belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The U.S. is alleging that a Russian oligarch acted as a “straw owner” of two yachts worth over $1 billion.

Ukraine Sitrep

Russia’s encirclement plans in eastern Ukraine continue to shrink. The UK estimates that Russia has lost 33% of its ground forces used in the invasion. The holdouts in the Mariupol steel factory have begun evacuating.

Moldova Sitrep

No news of note

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