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Russia’s onslaught breached the suburbs of Kyiv on Friday as armoured columns battled towards Ukraine’s two biggest cities in Europe’s largest military offensive since the second world war.
Kyiv residents woke to loud explosions shortly after 4am and reports of Russian armoured vehicles advancing into the northern Kyiv district of Obolon, bringing street fighting to the 3mn-strong capital.
Western officials said that stronger than expected Ukrainian resistance on Thursday slowed Russia’s two key objectives of encircling Kyiv and capturing Kharkiv in the north-east, Ukraine’s second-biggest city.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an early morning address to his country as his army warned Russian troops were “moving at speed” towards central Kyiv followed by a column of military trucks. Zelensky claimed that “enemy saboteur groups” were already in Kyiv and that Russia was planning to assassinate him.
Stay up to date with the latest from our live blog. We’re also making important Ukraine coverage free to read to keep everyone informed as events unfold. Please share with your friends, family and colleagues.
Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. To keep up to date with all that’s happening in Ukraine, sign up here to receive my colleague Valentina Pop’s essential newsletter, Europe Express — Wai Kwen
Five more stories in the news
1. Manufacturers lobby to weaken UN global plastics treaty proposal The draft resolution was aimed at tackling pollution through the entire plastics supply chain, from chemical production to disposal. Some companies want the draft agreement narrowed to cover the waste problem rather than production.
2. Wind power companies bid more than $3bn for oceans off New York The largest US offshore wind lease sale has attracted record bids as renewable energy developers compete for prime locations to install turbines.
3. Beyond Meat takes a beating as plant-based sector reports slowing sales The industry leader reported a quarterly loss of $80.4mn, more than triple the level of a year before. Rival Maple Leaf Foods said that consumers viewed plant-based meat as an “expensive novelty”.
4. Elon Musk says brother ‘had no idea’ about Twitter poll The Tesla chief denied passing information that could have hurt the electric carmaker’s stock price to his brother, after a report that they were the subjects of an insider trading investigation by the US securities regulator.
5. Morgan Stanley reveals twin probes into block transactions The Wall Street bank disclosed yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been examining its block trading business since 2019, and the Department of Justice recently joined with its own investigation.
Bank of America’s co-head of global capital markets in Asia-Pacific is leaving Hong Kong as harsh pandemic restrictions prompt an exodus of executives.
Moderna said it expected the pandemic to end this year but forecast that a seasonal booster shot would be needed in the autumn.
The days ahead
Nato summit The transatlantic alliance will hold an emergency meeting of its members’ 30 leaders to discuss what its head described as Russia’s “deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion” of Ukraine. EU diplomats are also working to enshrine sanctions, including freezing some transactions with Russian banks, into law.
Economic data Germany and France are set to release gross domestic product data for the fourth quarter. US consumer spending is forecast to rebound in January as household spending picks up. (FT, WSJ)
Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter Warren Buffett will publish his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders tomorrow as the company reports.
Join Financial Times journalists and leading experts today at 1pm GMT for an unmissable virtual briefing, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: what next? Register free here.
What else we’re reading
Why do some great ideas fail to scale? Early initiatives deliver a sensational result, only to fade at a larger scale — a phenomenon called the “voltage drop”. Tim Harford explains why this happens?
Opinion: Paul Farmer’s crusade on global healthcare has left a powerful legacy The American physician taught important lessons about the dangers of living in an interconnected world, writes Gillian Tett.
Is there a new supercycle in metals and minerals? For years, BHP focused on investing in safe and stable countries. But faced with the challenge of supplying the metals and minerals that will be needed in the shift to the low-carbon economy, the world’s biggest mining company is starting to take on more risk.
Capital markets union is crucial to a sovereign EU Without it, the bloc will not be able to secure its ambitions for digitisation and the green transition, writes Theodor Weimer, chief executive of Deutsche Börse.
What Meta’s VR advert tells us about the metaverse The virtual world of the Super Bowl video is a radical vision of the future, but also quite a chilling one, writes Jemima Kelly.
Rich People’s Problems: superyacht envy Thanks to online auction sites you can find yourself bidding on a boat you’ve never seen. But the result could sink your finances.
Actor Matthew Broderick’s guide to Broadway
“The theatre is about togetherness and we all appreciate how important that is now.”
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