Will talks go ahead at the border? Will key cities remain under Ukrainian control? Will nuclear weapons be stored in Belarus?
A lot of questions in the air. Time will tell...
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UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST ON THE GROUND?
- The latest intelligence from the UK suggests "logistical failures and staunch Ukrainian resistance continue to frustrate the Russian advance".
- Most Russian forces remain "more than 30km to the north of Kyiv". While fighting continues in the cities of Chernihiv and Kharkiv, both remain under Ukrainian control.
- The latest estimates suggest more than 360,000 people have now fled Ukraine, according to the UN. Most of them have crossed the border into Poland. Concerns have been expressed that "more than 4.5 million" could follow suit if the fighting continues.
- Ukraine's foreign minister is now calling on foreign volunteers to fight in Ukraine.
- Russian authorities have finally acknowledged they have suffered casualties, though they did not provide specific numbers.
KEEPING AN EYE...
Belarus is apparently "preparing to send soldiers into Ukraine" in support of Russia "as soon as Monday," according to a report in The Washington Post citing a US official.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian government have released a photo showing they are ready to host talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations at the border this morning.
Zelensky has already said he doesn't expect much to come from the talks, but let's see.
Remember: There was a referendum in Belarus on Sunday, further cementing President Lukashenko's power. In what came as no surprise, the results suggested a majority voted in favour of a new constitution.
Why is this so significant? Well, it removes the country's non-nuclear status. Many reports suggest it clears the way "for Russian nuclear weapons to be placed on Belarusian soil". According to CNN, the amendments will come into effect "in 10 days' time".
What was also a significant development on Sunday was Putin putting Russia's nuclear forces on "special alert". While the move sparked a lot of concern, as BBC News pointed out, it "does not mean Russia intends to use the weapons".
"Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world but also knows that Nato has enough to destroy Russia if they were used." - analysis from BBC Security correspondent, Gordon Corera
- The European Union has shut off its airspace to Russia.
- Russia has more than doubled its interest rates after the rouble fell by 30% against the US dollar.
- The EU also announced they would provide €450 million in funding for weapons for the Ukrainian army. As The Irish Times noted, it would be the first time the bloc would do so.
- Ireland is to abstain from directly funding Ukraine's military defence in line with its military neutrality. It will instead pay €9 million towards non-lethal materials, "like fuel".
- The New York Times wrote a fascinating piece about Israel's "delicate balancing act" of supporting Ukraine, without provoking Russia.
"Many Israelis appreciate longstanding cultural connections with Ukraine, which, for several months in 2019, was the only country other than their own with both a Jewish president — Volodymyr Zelensky — and a Jewish prime minister." - The New York Times
IF YOU WATCH ONE THING...
Vice News have aired a special report on the invasion. It was released on Saturday, and already has more than four million views.
MEANWHILE IN THE US...
Donald Trump strongly suggested he would run for president again during a conservative conference in Florida over the weekend, saying "we did it twice, and we'll do it again".
Trump went on to clarify Russia's invasion of Ukraine was "an outrage and an atrocity", after appearing to praise Putin last week.
“Under Bush, Russia invaded Georgia. Under Obama, Russia took Crimea. Under Biden, Russia invaded Ukraine. I stand as the only president of the 21st century on whose watch Russia did not invade another country.” - Donald Trump
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported President Biden's approval rating has hit "a new low at 37%".
KEEPING AN EYE...
French President Emmanuel Macron is this week expected to announce his candidacy to run for re-election in the presidential election in April.
The Financial Times reported it would happen today, but The Guardian kept it vague, saying "this week". The deadline to register is March 4, this Friday.
The first-round vote will occur on April 10.
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- BBC News: Would Putin press the nuclear button? *interesting read
- The Guardian: Live: Russia-Ukraine war latest news: rouble crashes as markets open' US condemns Putin's nuclear deterrence order - live updates
- The Financial Times: West to impose sanctions on Russian central bank and cut some lenders from Swift
- Al Jazeera: Russia-Ukraine talks due; Zelenskyy says next 24 hours 'crucial'
- The Irish Times: Putin puts Russia's nuclear forces on high alert as Ukraine defends key allies
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Hands up if you're the Emily in the relationship 🙋🏽♀️