More sanctions, less diplomacy, and a critical few days ahead to see what Putin does next - as the clock ticks on, the situation appears all the more perilous.
Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.
SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS
On Tuesday, a number of sanctions were announced by the EU, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Japan. These were in response to President Putin's decision to recognise the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent.
In terms of the banking sanctions the US imposed, Max Seddon - Moscow Bureau Chief for The Financial Times - gave some interesting analysis.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said a scheduled meeting on Thursday with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, was no longer going ahead.
What else happened? Meanwhile, Russia's upper house of parliament voted unanimously in favour of Russian troops being deployed abroad. As The Moscow Times noted, 153 Russian senators backed the decision, "with no one voting against or abstaining".
Interesting analysis: The Guardian published a really interesting piece on why the next few days are going to be so crucial. Basically, some of the positions currently being held by Russian forces near the border with Ukraine have "poor protection from the cold" and "can be held only for a short period of time".
It is also worth noting that roughly a third of the Russian troops are now understood to be "tactically deployed" in frontline positions.
Guess who? He hasn't been mentioned in a while, but former president Donald Trump spoke in a complimentary tone about President Putin and his handling of the situation. Here is a link where you can listen to the audio.
"This is genius. Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine... Putin declares it as 'independent'. Oh, that's wonderful... so Putin is now saying it's independent... I said, 'how smart is that?'... had I been in office, not even thinkable, this would never have happened." - Donald Trump
What to watch? Without a doubt, Channel 4 News had the most helpful summary on all of this last night. We know it is quite a lengthy piece, but even if you just watch the first four minutes it will make for a very helpful watch.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
Portugal's Prime Minister, António Costa takes office today once again after winning an unexpected majority in a recent snap election.
GUILTY OF FEDERAL HATE CRIMES
Three men who were last year convicted of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in 2020, were found guilty yesterday of federal hate crimes.
This latest trial was about whether or not Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their neighbour William Bryan, targeted Arbery - who was black - because of his race.
Worth noting: The men are already serving life sentences, but may receive another life sentence following this conviction.
BBC on-air journalists Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel jointly announced they were leaving the broadcaster and setting up a podcast and radio show together.
Maitlis has been the presenter of Newsnight, and Sopel is the network's outgoing Northern America editor. In the last year, Maitlis has been "reprimanded" for a tweet and a monologue that broke the BBC's strict impartiality rules.
Worth noting: The deal is with Global, the parent company of LBC. Late last year, Andrew Marr left the BBC to join LBC, saying he was "keen to get my own voice back".
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- BBC News: The mothers who helped uncover the biggest maternity scandal *a harrowing read
- The Guardian: Leak confirms Partygate questionnaire includes police caution
- The Financial Times: Putin orders troops into eastern Ukraine after recognising breakaway republics
- Al Jazeera: 'Not peacekeepers at all': UN chief condemns Russia move
- The Irish Times: Russia moves closer to war with Ukraine despite western sanctions
Colombia has decriminalised abortion in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
According to The Guardian, the country's constitutional court ruled five against four to make the legislative change. The article also referenced a pretty stark statistic - of the approximate 400,000 annual abortions in the country, only 10% are believed to be carried out legally.
Bigger picture: This follows similar steps made across South and Central America in recent years.
"While it is built off of decades of work by feminist activists across the region, the recent wave first gained speed in Argentina, which in December 2020, passed a law to legalise abortion and Mexico, which decriminalised the procedure in September. Other countries such as Ecuador also recently loosened laws to decriminalise abortion in situations of rape." - Context from Al Jazeera
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
There is little to make light of when it comes to Ukraine right now, but the viral video below of a reporter explaining the situation in six languages makes for quite an astonishing watch!