Key Developments in Ukraine
The Russian army is continuing to rain rockets, missiles, and shells on cities across Ukraine. However, the invaders are meeting fierce and unexpectedly effective resistance from the Ukrainian defense forces.
The Ukrainian crisis continues to be a fast-moving series of events. Here is an up-to-date summary of key developments taking place in Ukraine, Europe, and the United States
The Russian army is continuing to rain rockets, missiles, and shells on cities across Ukraine. However, the invaders are meeting fierce and unexpectedly effective resistance from the Ukrainian defense forces. Russia is responding to the Ukrainian resistance by attempting to encircle and lay siege to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and other cities.
Kyiv under siege
Kyiv continues to remain under Ukrainian control. Residents are packed into basement shelters and subway stations. Thousands of determined citizens are helping soldiers dig trenches, build barricades, and assemble Molotov cocktails. “Being a Ukrainian right now is to fight,” said Rostyslav Zavhorodnii, “a painter and art tutor. “It is better to die than become a part of Russia.”
Putin planned to roll into Kyiv, kill President Zelensky, and install a puppet government. But he underestimated Zelensky. His courage and defiance are inspiring the world to stand against Putin. When the fighting began he turned down a US offer to evacuate him. “The fight is here,” Zelansky said. “I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition.”
Russia is facing global condemnation and punishing economic sanctions. The United States, European Union, and Canada have banned Russian planes from their airspace. Switzerland broke its tradition of neutrality to impose sanctions against Russia. Germany joined nearly two dozen countries in sending arms to Ukraine. At least a dozen wide-body transport planes are now delivering vast quantities of military equipment to a secret airport in Poland. The stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank weapons are then transported by truck to front-line Ukrainian troops.
The West’s sweeping sanctions are beginning to severely impact the Russian economy. The Russian ruble is now worth less than a penny and the Russian stock exchange has remained closed. Unable to use Google, Apply Pay American Express, Mastercard, Visa or Paypal, Russians are standing in long lines at ATM’s in a sometimes fruitless wait for cash. Facebook and Twitter blocked Russian ads and international shipping companies have halted Russian deliveries. In addition, Disney, Nike, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and a growing list of international companies are refusing to do business in Russia.
Oil and gas prices
Global oil prices are surging to near-record levels. Average U.S. gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon for the first time since 2008. They are now within touching distance of the all-time high of $4.103. I can see and feel the rising prices at our local gasoline station. On Friday I paid $3.96 per gallon of regular to fill my car. On Sunday I paid $4.16 at the same station to fill my wife’s car.
Over 1.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine into neighboring Poland, Hungary, and Romania. The overwhelming majority of the refugees are women and young children. ABC, NBC, and CBS have now stationed their chief anchors at refugee centers in Poland. David Muir’s reports on ABC have been especially poignant. His heart-wrenching interviews with Ukrainian mothers have been unbearable to watch.
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