Attack on Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has attacked eastern Ukraine.
Last night, Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine after months of escalating tensions and troop reinforcements along the border. He said it’s because separatists from Donetsk and Luhansk had called for backup. And claimed that Russia had received threats from Ukraine. (A seed of disinformation Russia has planted for days.) Now, tanks have begun rolling in — all under Putin's orders for the "demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine.
This is a lot.
It is. He also warned the world that if anyone interfered, they would face consequences. But Putin still claims he never meant to (and won't) "occupy Ukraine." Immediately after his announcement, there were reports of explosions heard near Kyiv’s Boryspil airport. Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and over a dozen other cities were hit with missiles. Russia allegedly first targeted military buildings. And is reportedly getting help from Belarus.
How’s Ukraine reacting?
President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and cut diplomatic ties with Moscow. It comes as Zelensky has said he’s prepared to defend the country. And has called on military reservists to fight. Meanwhile, the country’s foreign minister maintains Russia launched “a full-scale invasion of Ukraine." And authorities reportedly say more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and dozens are wounded.
And the world?
President Biden condemned Russia's "unprovoked and unjustified attack." He could announce more on the US response today. But only 26% of Americans say the US should get involved in the conflict. Meanwhile, the EU is looking to approve another round of sanctions, calling the attack "barbaric." The UK said it will work with allies to “decisively” respond. And France called on Putin to end military operations "immediately."
Russia’s decision to launch an attack on Ukraine is something that the US, Ukraine, and European allies have been hoping to avoid — especially because it could be the beginning of Europe’s biggest war in decades.
PS: A lot has unfolded between Russia and Ukraine in recent weeks. Here's how we got here.
What could be getting revamped…
NYC subways. Yesterday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) — the nation's largest public transit system — said it’s testing out platform barriers at three stations. The goal is to keep people off the tracks amid an uptick in violence in the city’s subway system. Earlier this year, the city mourned 40-year-old Michelle Go after she was pushed in front of an oncoming train. And last year, 30 people were pushed onto the tracks. It's got people advocating for change. Now, after years of resisting an MTA upgrade, the city's saying 'we'll try it.' The plan could get platform barriers up in some stations by 2024. But it’s still years behind other major cities like Paris, Hong Kong, and London that have already set things up.
There’s more: NYC also announced a new plan to better address homelessness and crime in the subway system. Think: by expanding the number of police officers and mental health care workers and crackdown loitering at stations.
Raising alarms: It comes as there’s been an uptick in hate crimes on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. More than 9,000 hate crimes since the beginning of the pandemic. And at least 10 major US cities set new homicide records last year, including Philadelphia and Portland.
Who's saying 'I'm pulling up on you'...
US truckers. Yesterday, a group began their drive from California to DC to protest COVID-19 restrictions — even as states are easing up on pandemic rules. They're taking cues from Canada's "Freedom Convoy" protests that paralyzed the country's capital. Now, more than two dozen truckers are calling themselves the “People’s Convoy.” And are expected to make their way to DC by the end of next week. The US gov is saying ‘we’re ready.’ And is preparing to have 700 National Guard troops at the ready.
What women in the US shouldn't have to be dying from...
Pregnancy or childbirth. Yesterday, the CDC released a new report that found US maternal deaths jumped 14% between 2019 and 2020. That number represents 861 women who died in 2020. And Black women were disproportionately at risk, representing one third of those who died. Experts say COVID-19 “likely” contributed to the rise. Pregnant people are at higher risk for severe disease if they catch COVID-19 and have low vaccination rates. But the US already has the highest maternal death rate of any developed nation — and the rate continues to rise. Year after year after year.
Who’s saying 'wrap it up'...
The FDA. Yesterday, it authorized a new condom made for both front and back shenanigans. Because safety first.
While you're still not over "Inventing Anna"...
Some Spider-Men are here to make memes come true.
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