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:
- Andrew Coyne: “Even a Russian victory, with whatever brutality it might be achieved, would not begin to solve the problems Mr. Putin has brought upon himself. Indeed, it is difficult to believe he has thought this through.”
- Rita Trichur: “Foreign businesses of all kinds spent years lending legitimacy to Mr. Putin and his rogue regime through their investments and commercial contracts in Russia.”
- Doug Saunders on what could become “the largest European refugee movement this century, and likely the largest since the aftermath of the Second World War.”
- Konrad Yakabuski: “With a bloody war raging in Europe, the electoral battleground has suddenly shifted from the domestic domain to the continental sphere. The future of Europe is on the ballot in direct and tangible ways.”
- Cathal Kelly: “You can’t have it both ways any more. Thanks to Russia, we have re-entered the Manichaean political world we hoped we’d left behind. It’s with-us or against-us time again.”
- Live updates: Stay on top of latest events.
- Podcast: In the latest Decibel, Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife explains how Canada is pushing back against Putin.
- Explainer: Why is Russia invading Ukraine? What Putin’s troops have done so far, from Zaporizhzhia to Kherson to Kyiv
- Explainer: Which countries are taking in Ukrainian refugees?
- In photos: Scenes from across Ukraine as Russian attacks continue
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Public-health restrictions in Canada are being dropped. So what does this mean for vaccinated individuals in the face of Omicron?
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.
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.
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.
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.