“We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-gotten gains.”
The Ukrainian crisis is a fast-moving event. Here is an up-to-date summary of key events taking place in Ukraine, Europe, and the United States.
The Ukrainian army and public continue to fiercely resist the Russian invaders. Frustrated by his invasion’s slow pace and unexpected setbacks, Putin is escalating violent attacks on Ukrainian cities and civilians. Russian missiles and artillery shells are bombarding residential neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals. Ominous aerial pictures show a 40-mile long convoy of tanks and armored personnel carriers slowly threatening to encircle Kyiv.
The escalating violence is forcing Ukrainians to flee their homes. Thus far about 700,000 Ukrainians have escaped into Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Most of the refugees are women and children. Heartbreaking scenes like the one in today’s picture are prompting an outpouring of humanitarian aid. Experts warn that the wave of refugees will soon soar into the millions.
NATO and the European Union have imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on the Russian economy. These sanctions are beginning to seriously weaken the Russian economy. It now takes 100 rubles to purchase a single US dollar. The value of Russian stocks is plummeting forcing the government to suspend all trading. Led by Apple, Nike, Disney, General Motors, and Exxon, a growing list of American companies are refusing to do business inside Russia. The United States has now joined Canada and the European Union in closing its airspace to Russian commercial planes.
Oligarchs are a small but powerful group of wealthy Russians who collectively own about one-third of the Russian economy. Many believe they could pressure Putin to negotiate a settlement. In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Biden vowed, “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-gotten gains.” Good! This might have an impact!
Russia is rapidly becoming an international pariah. FIFA has suspended Russia from World Cup soccer play and from all other soccer competition. This action may hurt Putin with Russia’s sports loving public. Remember, soccer is the world’s most popular sport.
The Swiss have a long history of neutrality. Spurred by massive public demonstrations, Switzerland has joined the European Union sanctions against Russia. You really have to screw up big time to alienate the Swiss!
The price of benchmark Brent oil has surged above 110.00 a barrel. Will Americans feel this increase at the pump? Yes, we will. I don’t like to pay more to fill my car. However, I believe it is a small price to pay for defending freedom. I stand with Ukraine!!!
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