Russia continues to bomb the capital city of Kyiv while Ukrainian and Russian delegations meet in Belarus. President Zelensky is not in the meetings and had demanded an “immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops” in the lead-up to the meeting. Many see Russia’s request for a meeting ‘smoke and mirrors.’
Much to Russia’s surprise, Ukraine forces — many of them civilians — beat back the well-trained Russian army. But Sunday an ominous trail of tranks estimated to be three miles long was pictured on satellite images headed towards the capital.
SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday that the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service is available in Ukraine and SpaceX is sending more terminals to the country. Due to the Russian invasion, the internet in some places has been cut off. This was after Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, asked Musk for help:
“@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!”
Switzerland now joins a long list of nations imposing sanctions on Russia, saying they will freeze Russian assets. Why is this big news? Because the country’s banks have traditionally been neutral. In a statement, Switzerland said it was departing from its usual policy of neutrality because of “the unprecedented military attack by Russia on a sovereign European state.”
Reportedly a favorite destination for Russian oligarchs and their money, this will hit Putin and his cronies in the pocketbook.
On Saturday, the war took an ominous turn when Putin announced he had ordered his country’s ‘deterrence’ weapons on high alert (read: nuclear weapons) but as of Monday the US had not seen ‘anything specific.’
“We’re still monitoring and watching this as closely as we can, given President Putin’s announcement yesterday,” the official said. “I don’t believe we’ve seen anything specific as a result of the direction that he gave.”
Germany has vowed to take in all Ukrainian refugees who flee from a Russian invasion of their country.
“We will take in all Ukrainians fleeing,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at a joint news conference with her Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar on Monday. “We are helping fleeing people from Ukraine. We are standing at the borders to bring help to the people and to bring people to all European countries.”
In other heartening news, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an ’emergency operation to provide food assistance to people within Ukraine and in neighboring countries’ following an official request from the Ukrainian government, the UN agency said Monday. Food is scarce in many parts of Ukraine.