Ukraine, Briefly

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  • As Russia continued to pummel Ukrainian cities overnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address American lawmakers Wednesday morning in a speech expected to push for more military assistance including a “no-fly zone,” the Associated Press reported. Most Western governments oppose such a measure because of worries it will ignite World War III. Still, US President Biden is expected to announce $800 million in military aid for Ukraine Wednesday.
  • The EU and the United Kingdom imposed further sanctions against Russia and Belarus on Tuesday, prohibiting the export of high-end luxury items, raising taxes on Russian commodities and targeting more Kremlin-connected billionaires, according to the Moscow Times. And in a tit-for-tat move, Russia enacted sanctions and travel bans on a number of US and Canadian officials, including US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Newsweek noted. White House officials mocked the measures saying they don’t hold money in Russian banks. The amount of Russian wealth stashed overseas is about the same as the amount held by the Russian population in Russian banks, the Washington Post noted.
  • The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia visited Kyiv on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and convey the European Union’s “unequivocal support” for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, Axios reported. The visit came as Russia continued its bombardment of the capital, amid heightened fighting in Kyiv’s outskirts, the Wall Street Journal added. Kyiv’s mayor, meanwhile, imposed a 36-hour curfew late Tuesday, saying that the capital faced a “difficult and dangerous moment.”
  • Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe Tuesday, claiming that NATO and the European Union are turning the leading human rights organization “into an instrument of anti-Russian policy,” according to CNN. The continent’s main institution governing human rights had already suspended Russia in late February. At the same time, Russian authorities are seeking a 13-year jail term for opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a trial that Kremlin opponents regard as an attempt to lock away President Vladimir Putin’s most fervent rival for as long as possible, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, a Russian state television employee who blurted out her opposition to the Ukraine conflict on primetime television was fined more than $250 on Tuesday and could face jail time, Politico noted. Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Kremlin-backed Channel One, momentarily jumped behind a broadcaster on Monday, holding a banner that read: “No war. Stop war, don’t believe in propaganda, they’re lying to you here. Russians against war.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said negotiations with Ukraine are at an impasse, telling Kyiv “is not showing a serious commitment to finding mutually acceptable solutions.” Zelenskyy, meanwhile, said negotiations with the Kremlin are “more realistic.” Talks continue Wednesday.

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