While the top stories across Western media are undoubtedly focused on developments in Ukraine, there is an important trial getting underway in Moscow later that deserves coverage.
Alexey Navalny, Putin's most prominent critic, could face more than a decade in jail.
Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.
UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
Some Western intelligence have suggested Wednesday could be the day Russia invades Ukraine.
The country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, continues to express skepticism on reports an attack is imminent. Instead, he has now called for a day of unity in Ukraine on Wednesday, encouraging people to fly the country's flags.
Important: Zelensky said Monday; "they are trying to frighten us by yet again naming a date for the start of military action". Some Western media organisations thought he was responding to confirmation he might have received of an attack on Wednesday. However, it was later clarified he was referring solely to the media reports.
Relocation: While most US diplomats have left the country, those who remain have been moved from Kiev to the western city of Lviv, which is about 460km further away from the Russian border.
Worth noting: According to Channel 4 News, 60% of Russia's ground forces are now stationed close to the border with Ukraine. Below makes for a fascinating look on just how far some of them have come.
Want to watch something? The Channel 4 News piece 👇🏽 is incredibly helpful.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will be in Moscow today, following his visit to Kiev on Monday.
KEEPING A CLOSE EYE...
While the world's worries are directed towards Ukraine, President Putin's most prominent opposition figure, Alexey Navalny, goes on trial today on embezzlement charges.
As The Times noted, he could end up being in prison until 2032. Many of Navalny's supporters said the Kremlin's hope is that the current build up of troops alongside the border will divert attention away from this trial.
Staggering statistics: The Times also cited a stark statistic. "Less than 0.4% of criminal trials in Russia result in a not-guilty verdict."
Not familiar with Navalny? For years, he has been a thorn in the side for President Putin, in particular because of his investigations into corruption within the upper echelons of the president's circle. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent, and became so ill on a flight it was forced to divert. He was then transferred to Berlin in a medically induced coma, where he received months worth of treatment.
CNN published an extraordinary investigation on this last year, well worth a watch 👇🏽
NO CONFIDENCE, NO FAITH
Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan forced the involuntary resignation of Met Police chief, Cressida Dick, saying he had no confidence in her leadership.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) said they have "no faith" in the mayor.
Remember: The MPF represents about 31,000 officers. They have accused Mayor Khan of acting politically. As mentioned last week, the Met Police Commissioner is appointed by the Queen "on the advice of the Home Secretary", but the support and confidence of the mayor is also required. Home Secretary Priti Patel was reported to have been "blindsided" by Khan expressing no confidence in Dick last week, leading to her involuntary resignation.
"Frankly what we are viewing is politicians trying to use policing and the career of the country’s most senior police leader to deflect from their own failings." - Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation
Here is a link to the full statement. It actually received a significant level of criticism online.
- Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, tested positive for coronavirus days after her husband Prince Charles did the same.
- In Northern Ireland, all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted from today. There will now just be guidance, although the Minister for Health urged people not to "jump the gun".
- Tennis star Novak Djokovic said he would rather sacrifice trophies than get the vaccine. Djokovic went on to say he was not anti-vax, he just believes an individual should have the right to choose what to put in their bodies.
Worth noting: Djokovic's comments were made during an exclusive BBC interview, which will air tonight at 20:30 GMT.
- BBC News: Trump accountants say financial reports unreliable
- The Guardian: Daughter of peer died after complaining of headache, inquest told
- The Financial Times: Global stocks drop over fears of Russian attack on Ukraine
- Al Jazeera: German Chancellor Scholz flies to Moscow in bid to avert war
- The Irish Times: Fintan O'Toole: Before we retrofit our homes, we need to know if the builder is called Jerry
Two years since the death of Caroline Flack.
The TV presenter took her own life a day after learning she would be prosecuted for assault, following an altercation with her boyfriend in December 2019.
The Crown Prosecution Service had initially recommended she receive a caution. On Monday, a watchdog ordered the Metropolitan Police to reinvestigate whether or not Flack's fame played a role in how she was treated.
TODAY ALSO MARKS...
Six months since the fall of Kabul, which ultimately led to the return to Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Why? Supermodel Naomi Campbell graces the cover of British Vogue's March issue with her daughter. Campbell has remained incredibly private about her journey to motherhood, saying she could count "on one hand" the number of people who knew she was having a baby. She also has not revealed her daughter's name, and said “she wasn’t adopted – she’s my child".
Here is a link to the full article.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...