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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top story:

Ukraine continues to be a land under siege today as Russian forces surround major urban centres and choke off utilities and medical supplies. Thousands have been killed and more than a million forced into flight. Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities continue to be bombarded by missile strikes as air-raid sirens continue to ring across the country.

Yesterday’s attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, which left three dead and two wounded, continues to raise alarms over a potential nuclear disaster. Only one of the six reactors now functions and although Ukrainians continue to operate it, Russian forces are in control of the station.

Meanwhile Canada’s Prime Minister is heading to Europe for talks on Ukraine. Justin Trudeau will meet with other leaders to discuss Russia’s onslaught and how to counter disinformation from the Kremlin.

NATO, for its part, announced earlier today that it wouldn’t set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine, despite entreaties from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

From our columnists:

Read more:

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As more provinces relax health restrictions and drop vaccine requirements, Canadians who have been vaccinated could find themselves sharing more space with people who have yet to receive a first dose. Research shows that the risk of COVID-19 tends to increase when unvaccinated individuals infected with the virus spend time indoors with others.

Russia’s offer to foreign firms: stay, leave or hand over the keys

Companies around the globe are grappling with a dilemma over what to do with their Russian investments as Moscow laid out their options: stay in the country, exit entirely or hand over their holdings to local managers until they return.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index rose for a second-straight week as commodity prices continued to march higher with oil surpassing US$115 per barrel over worries about the war in Ukraine.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 152.02 points to 21,402.43.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 179.86 points at 33,614.80. The S&P 500 index was down 34.62 points at 4,328.87, while the Nasdaq composite was down 224.50 points at 13,313.44.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.43 cents US compared with 78.96 cents US on Thursday.

The April crude oil contract was up US$8.01 at US$115.68 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up 29.4 cents at US$5.02 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$30.70 at US$1,966.60 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 15.6 cents at US$4.94 a pound.

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TALKING POINTS

Back from the past, establishment Conservative Jean Charest is the insurgent in this race

Campbell Clark: “It is Mr. Charest who is the outsider in this race. To win, he would have to sign up a lot of new members, and build a new Conservative coalition.”

War is not inevitable. Even the Ancient Greeks understood that

Matthew A. Sears: “Simply accepting war as an inherent part of the human condition – to accept that business-as-usual between and within two rivalling powers is a trap that will lead to bloodshed – can itself make avoidable war a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Matthew A. Sears is professor of classics at the University of New Brunswick.

Increasing fossil fuel production will not lead to peace

Arno Kopecky: “From the moment they were discovered, fossil fuels have been intimately tied to the largest outbreaks of violence in our species’ history.” Arno Kopecky is an environmental journalist and author.

Baltic warnings about Russia must be heeded now more than ever

Marcus Kolga: “Our failure to respect the warnings of our allies on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastern flank, and our belief that rhetoric and diplomacy would deter Mr. Putin, have enabled the barbaric invasion we are witnessing in Ukraine today.” Marcus Kolga is a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier and CDA Institutes, and founder of DisinfoWatch.org.

LIVING BETTER

How Colin Farrell and Kogonada built a kinder, gentler robopocalypse with After Yang

Barry Hertz makes the case for the robot film you didn’t know you needed. After Yang is “an intimate film about the spaces we inhabit, and the lives we build for ourselves to keep some inside and others out.”

TODAY’S LONG READ

The day I became Ukrainian

”Today, for the first time in more than 40 years, I feel Ukrainian – not out of pity, or hate or sadness, but out of pride in the freedom that Ukraine and its people have epitomized since we left the Soviet Union.

“Truth be told, since we left Ukraine in 1995, four years after the unmaking of the Soviet Union, I had erased that country from my consciousness: its borders, its language and, with them, my childhood.”

Read more of Alissa Kole’s reflections on her personal and emotional journey as she now raises her voice in unison with those that scream on behalf of Ukraine.

Evening Update is written and compiled by Andrew Saikali. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.