Russia and its allies initiated a series of new provocations this weekend as an invasion of Ukraine grows more likely by the day.
- Meanwhile, Russian-backed separatists in two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine ordered a full military mobilization Saturday and ordered widespread civilian evacuations to Russia.
- Ukraine’s government reported 136 ceasefire violations in the past 48 hours by the separatists. The separatists shelled Ukrainian positions, striking a kindergarten and killing two Ukrainian soldiers.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine would not respond to Russian or separatist provocations to not give Russia a pretext to invade his country.
- Zelensky said Ukraine would defend itself from Russian aggression “with or without” allies and called on Putin to meet with him to forge a diplomatic solution to the crisis. The Kremlin has not yet responded.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he believes Russia is planning the biggest war in Europe since 1945.
- The New York Times sees “the looming threat of a new Cold War” in Putin’s Ukraine crisis. The growing conflict with Russia seems unlikely to stay confined to Ukraine.
- The Washington Post published four maps with useful background information to help explain the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The maps chart the former Soviet Union, NATO’s current boundaries, the extent of Russia’s current occupation of parts of Ukraine, and other Russian-backed breakaway regions across the former USSR.
- CNN examined the breakaway Donbas region that Russia invaded in 2014 and is at the heart of the current crisis.
- Fox News covered the divisions in Congress that have killed a bipartisan Russian sanctions bill that seemed likely to pass just weeks ago. Congress has now settled for a meaningless bipartisan resolution, the legislative equivalent of a strongly worded letter to the editor.
- The Wall Street Journal released an informative four-minute mini-documentary explaining the role the Russo-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline plays in the Ukraine crisis.
- The Washington Examiner reported on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the Munich Security Conference. Zelensky labeled the West “accomplices” to Putin thanks to their “indifference.” He derided the west’s “arrogance and irresponsibility” that hides behind “a façade of self-congratulatory sanctimony.” Zelensky purposefully kept his criticisms of the west vague, although he did attack former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-Russia policies.
© Dominic Moore, 2022