May 19, 2022Newsletter

Russia Update: May 19, 2022


The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, spoke with his Russian counterpart. The Senate unanimously confirmed Bridget Brink as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

The leaders of Finland and Sweden visited the White House. As Turkey blocks the countries’ accession to NATO, Politico took a closer look at exactly what Turkey wants in return.

Chinese hackers reportedly tried to steal Russian defense data a month into the invasion.


The G7 is divided on how best to limit Russia’s oil profits. The U.S., Canada, and Ukraine want Europe to impose a price cap or tariff on Russian energy imports. Italy sounds open to such an idea, but others, including Germany, are skeptical such a move would work. The U.S. would propose to back the price cap with secondary sanctions that would punish buyers that do not comply.

The White House said that China’s efforts to replenish its reserves with Russian oil doesn’t violate sanctions.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed that the U.S. would “likely” let the temporary exemption on Russian bond payments to expire.

The Senate passed the Ukraine aid package 86-11.

The UK froze assets of three Russian airlines, preventing them from selling valuable landing slots at British airports, including London’s Heathrow Airport, that are estimated to be worth $62 million.


The G7 also devoted attention to the rebuilding of Ukraine post-war. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the U.S. does not have legal authority to seize assets from the Russian Central Bank. The EU is examining ways to use the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to fund Ukrainian reconstruction. Ukraine said it has seized $1 billion in Russian and Belarusian assets.

Kazakhstan is scaling back iron ore supplies to Russia over fears of running afoul of sanctions. A number of vice presidents at Rosneft have resigned due to EU sanctions forbidding European citizens or Russians living in the EU from working there.

Baker Hughes terminated all existing Russian oil contracts as of May 15. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder was stripped of perks by Germany’s parliament due to his continued close ties with Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine Sitrep

The G7 is working on a $15 billion aid plan to keep Ukraine’s government operating.

The Pentagon announced $100 million in Ukraine military aid, including howitzers, tactical vehicles, counter-artillery radars, and field equipment and spare parts. This is the last of the military aid authorization from the previous Ukraine aid package, but that amount will soon rise again when President Joe Biden signs the new package into law. The Pentagon is also weighing providing Ukraine with advanced anti-ship missiles.

The New York Times has obtained additional footage of potential war crimes in Bucha. A Ukrainian medic smuggled footage from Mariupol out of the city before she was captured by Russia.

Moldova Sitrep

No news of note

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