All eyes on Mariupol, a moving report on a 12-year-old's move to Ireland, and a distasteful comparison to Brexit.
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UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
A lot of the focus right now is on the city of Mariupol, in Ukraine's south east.
Russia gave Ukrainians a deadline to surrender the port city, in return for safe passage out of the city. Ukraine rejected the ultimatum.
A BBC News report suggested roughly 300,000 people "are believed to be trapped there with supplies running out and aid blocked from entering".
A Ukrainian journalist noted 80% of Mariupol's infrastructure has been damaged, "40% of which cannot be rebuilt". BBC News put that estimation at 90%. Worth noting: The majority of the city's citizens are Russian-speaking.
What else is going on?
- More than ten million people in Ukraine have fled their homes since the invasion began in late February. This number includes close to three-and-a-half million refugees who have fled the country, and millions more who are internally displaced.
- Worth noting: Of those who have left Ukraine, approximately two million are in neighbouring Poland. A Sky News report said the capital city of Warsaw's population - 1.8 million - "had increased by 17% due to the number of refugees arriving".
- President Zelensky went viral for voicing a video about the war and its impact on Ukrainians. In just 14 hours, it has been viewed more than 2.2 million times.
"Yes, Ukraine was beautiful, but now it will become great." - President Zelensky
Worth a read: Tom Friedman - It's Now Putin's Plan B in Ukraine vs. Biden's and Zelensky's Plan A.
"Putin, I suspect, is thinking that if he cannot occupy and hold all of Ukraine by military means and simply impose his peace terms, the next best thing would be to drive five or 10 million Ukrainian refugees, particularly women, children and the elderly, into Poland, Hungary and Western Europe — with the purpose of creating such intense social and economic burdens that these NATO states will eventually pressure Zelensky to agree to whatever terms Putin is demanding to stop the war." - Tom Friedman's analysis
IF YOU WATCH ONE THING TODAY...
Let it be this moving Channel 4 News piece about 12-year-old Yeva, a Ukrainian refugee celebrating her first St Patrick's Day since arriving in Ireland. You can watch it here.
"Green, made up of blue and yellow this year." - The most powerful and poetic sentence in Paraic O'Brien's report
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
The US has determined Myanmar's military has "committed genocide and crimes against humanity" against the Rohingya.
According to a CNN report, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make the announcement later today at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.
KEEPING AN EYE...
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been in hospital since Friday.
According to Reuters, the 73-year-old judge had flu-like symptoms, and was later diagnosed with an infection. He is expected to be released in the coming days.
WHEN A PHOTO TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS...
Last week, Syria's president Bashar al-Assad made an historic visit to the UAE, where he was hosted by Sheikh Maktoum.
The Times said it was Assad's first visit to an Arab state "since civil war broke out in his country 11 years ago". The Biden administration was said to be "profoundly disappointed" by the meeting - which was not publicly announced.
Wales has introduced a ban on smacking and slapping children.
The law came into effect this morning, and "makes all forms of physical punishment against children" illegal, and will include visitors to Wales.
- BBC News: Backlash in Russia against anti-war musicians
- The Guardian: Chinese article urging country to cut ties with Putin gets 1m views
- The Financial Times: Russia regroups for assault on Kyiv as it tightens grip on Mariupol
- Al Jazeera: Ukraine refuses to surrender Mariupol; ammonia leak in Sumy
- The Irish Times: Ireland in midst of second Omicron wave but no return of restrictions - Varadkar
Why? Because he allowed his Instagram account to be used by UNICEF to show the reality for a doctor working in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Beckham has 71.6 million followers.
Why? The British prime minister "sparked fury" and was condemned for comparing the people of Ukraine to those in Britain who voted for Brexit.
According to BBC News, he said Britons, like Ukrainians, "choose freedom". He then went on to cite the 2016 referendum as a "recent example".
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ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Just wishing you all good morning.