The capital remains under Ukrainian control, the country's second city has a battle underway, and Vladimir Putin loses an Honorary Presidency.
Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.
WHAT'S THE LATEST IN UKRAINE?
- Kyiv: all reports suggest Ukraine's capital remains firmly under the control of Ukrainians. In the last hour BBC News reported an oil depot outside a city near Kyiv was hit "by a Russian rocket".
- Kharkiv: Russian troops have reportedly entered the city of Kharkiv. It is the second largest city in Ukraine, and is based about 20km from the border with Russia.
- Casualties: Russia's Defence Ministry is still reporting zero casualties in Ukraine. In recent hours, Reuters published an article saying there have been at least 64 civilian casualties so far. Citing UN figures, 160,000 people are also thought to have left their homes since the invasion began.
- SWIFT: After much speculation, a number of Russian banks have been banned from SWIFT, the international payments system. A joint statement from Western allies suggested up to 70% of Russian banks will be impacted.
- Social media: Facebook announced no Russian state media will be allowed to run ads anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, CNN reported Twitter was being restricted inside Russia in a probable attempt at "damage control".
- Anti-war protests: At least 2,600 people have been detained - more than half of them in Moscow - following protests in Russia against the invasion of its neighbouring country.
- Chelsea FC: The owner of Chelsea Football Club, oligarch Roman Abramovich, has handed over the "stewardship and care" of the club in light of the invasion
- Judo title: The International Judo Federation has dropped Putin's title as Honorary President
DOES RUSSIA ACTUALLY WANT THIS TO CONTINUE?
Well, this morning the Russian government said they have sent a delegation to Belarus to negotiate a peace agreement with Ukraine.
Remember: Belarus is Russia's closest ally to Russia in Europe, and its border with Ukraine is roughly 100km from Kyiv. On Thursday morning, CNN aired footage of Russian tanks crossing the border from Belarus into Ukraine.
How has Ukraine responded? President Zelensky said while his country wants peace, they won't be sending a delegation to Belarus - a country assisting Russia in its attack. Instead, he suggested a number of other cities, including Warsaw, Istanbul, Budapest and Baku.
We'll keep an eye on this for you.
WHY THE DIFFERENT REACTION TO WARS IN IRAQ, SYRIA ETC?
This has been discussed a lot online in recent days.
The CBS News reporter below went viral and was widely condemned for his comments about Ukraine being a "relatively civilised" country in comparison to others who have faced war in recent decades.
"This isn't a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades, you know this is a relatively civilised, relatively European... city where you wouldn't expect that." - CBS reporter, Charlie D'Agata
On an episode of The Daily on Wednesday - the day before the invasion began - there was an interesting discussion about Putin raising the possibility of Ukraine obtaining weapons of mass destruction, a similar narrative given by the US ahead of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"That invasion of Iraq by the United States that Russia obviously opposed is something you hear Putin talking about time and time again, and I think right now what you're seeing is Putin looking back at military action that the US undertook. You know, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and he's really saying... if the US did this for what it claimed were its important national security interests or humanitarian reasons, then we should be able to do the same thing." - Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times
This angle is discussed from about 18 minutes into the podcast.
Special Forces Day in Russia. President Putin took the time to thank Russian soldiers for their "heroic" defence of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
Remember: The Donbas region contains the territories Putin recognised as independent of Ukraine on Monday. In recent weeks he has also claimed there is a genocide occurring there against ethnic Russians, something Western leaders have repeatedly insisted there is no evidence of.
KEEPING AN EYE...
- There is a referendum in Belarus today, which many observers say will likely further cement the leadership of President Lukashenko. As Radio Liberty reported, there is also a chance the country could end its nuclear-free status as a result.
- On Friday, the story of 13 Ukrainian soldiers on a small island sending a defiant message to a Russian warship before being killed went viral. A report in The Guardian today suggests the soldiers "may still be alive".
MEANWHILE, IN THE US...
The video below of a Republican congressman calling for a "round of applause for Russia", has gone viral.
WHAT'S THE ONE ARTICLE YOU WOULD RECOMMEND?
Right now, we would say Tom Friedman's opinion piece in The New York Times - We Have Never Been Here Before.
*You will likely need a subscription to read it - which was actually one of the key reasons we became a free summary service, so your money could possibly be spent supporting some of our recommendations.
Other recommendations that do not require subscriptions;
- RTÉ News: What is SWIFT and will Russia be cut off?
- BBC News: Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky: The comedian president who is rising to the moment
*Both are super informative.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK?
- The three police officers alongside Derek Chauvin on the day of George Floyd's murder were found guilty of violating his civil rights.
- The man charged with the murder of British teacher, Sabina Nessa, pleaded guilty in court.
- In the US, President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to become a justice on the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become the first Black woman to ever serve on the court.
- Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, won an award at the NAACP Image Awards. While accepting the award they voiced their support for Ukraine.
*Apologies for not fully covering some of these developments in recent days. We will be back to the normal format of the newsletter from tomorrow, but leading with Ukraine.
Leaving you with a collection of some of the most shared content online right now.
"F*** you, Lavrov."
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