The highways out of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were jammed with traffic on Thursday, as thousands of Ukrainians fled their homes in the first hours after a Russian invasion of their country began.
Residents of the Ukrainian capital were awakened by a series of early morning missile and air strikes, followed by the belated sound of an air raid siren. Attacks were reported on cities across the country, with airports and military bases – along with the Black Sea port of Odessa – appearing to be the main target in the first wave.
In a televised address broadcast as the attack began, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would “lead to consequences you have never seen in history.” He said the aim was to “demilitarize” Ukraine – a country he has sought to portray as a threat to Russia – and said his army didn’t plan to occupy the country.
Ukraine’s defence minister said that Ukrainian units, military control centres and airfields in Ukraine’s east were under intensive Russian shelling. The military said that Ukraine’s air force was trying to repel a Russian air attack.
- Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates: Ukrainians start to flee as Putin warns other countries not to interfere
- EU planning new sanctions against Russia for attacking Ukraine
- Oil breaches US$100 after Putin declares military operation in Ukraine
- Analysis: Biden touts ‘first tranche’ of sanctions against Russia as toughest measures yet. How effective are they?
- What further Canadian sanctions on Russia will target: oligarchs, banks and exports
- Ukraine’s decision to remove nuclear arsenal ‘huge mistake,’ former commander says, as Russia deploys troops
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ottawa ending use of federal Emergencies Act, Trudeau says: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is ending the use of the Emergencies Act because Ottawa has been assured that police have sufficient tools to deal with any further challenges. The act, in place for a 10-day period, was invoked on Feb. 14 in response to prolonged demonstrations in downtown Ottawa and blockades at border crossings across the country.
- Federal government facing lawsuits over Emergencies Act
- U.S. truckers plan pandemic demonstrations, inspired by Canadian convoys
- Campbell Clark: Trudeau is eager to stop talking about the Emergencies Act, and talk about blockades instead
- Lawrence Martin: Is polarization in Canada comparable to the U.S.? Not even close
- Editorial: The Emergencies Act ends not with a bang, but with a whimper
Senior military officer charged with sexual assault: A senior military officer in Ottawa has been charged with five counts of sexual assault against at least four alleged victims, according to court documents obtained by The Globe and Mail. The charges come as the Canadian Armed Forces has been gripped by a crisis of confidence in its ability to adequately manage sexual harassment cases within its ranks and among its most senior commanders.
Despite ample supply, many Canadian children remain unvaccinated: Across the country, 92 per cent of people 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but for kids 5 to 11 the average is only 61 per cent, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. That average only tells part of the story, as some high-income areas in Canada are reporting upward of 90 per cent of kids 5 to 11 being vaccinated, while other areas – notably lower-income, racialized communities, as well as remote and rural ones – have rates well below 50 per cent, with some dipping as low as the teens or even single digits.
Gunman’s spouse should testify at Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry, lawyer says: Families of those who were killed in the shooting attack in Portapique, N.S., say they are concerned that the gunman’s common-law partner has not been called to testify in the inquiry. They say her knowledge of what happened in the first hours of the rampage could help answer key questions at the centre of the tragedy.
The countdown begins to rising variable rates: On March 2, the Bank of Canada is expected to lift its key lending rate to restrain the most serious inflation threat Canada has seen in decades. That could put a huge dent in the pocketbooks’ of Canadians, especially home owners with variable mortgage rates.
- Rob Carrick: Despair about affording a home has this immigrant to Canada wondering what kind of country we’re trying to build
Ontario to introduce legislation on electronic tracking of employees: The Ontario government plans to introduce legislation later this month that will compel employers with 25 or more workers to disclose to their employees if and how they are being electronically monitored.
World stocks dive: Oil prices broke above US$100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, global stock markets slumped and the rouble hit a record low after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 2.61 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 4.07 per cent and 4.36 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.81 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 3.21 per cent. New York futures were sharply lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.98 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
David Parkinson: “The combination of massive government supports and public-health measures has fed a swelling of household savings in many advanced economies, as money that would have gone to restricted activities such as travel and entertainment has stayed in bank accounts. What’s deeply unclear in all these advanced economies – Canada’s included – is what sort of appetite households will have to spend this extraordinary build-up of money.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
The three secrets to investing success
Some people become millionaires by investing. Others wallow, never getting ahead while complaining the stock market is fixed. The difference can be summed up in three words: commitment, discipline and patience. It sounds simple. It’s not. Let’s delve a little deeper.
MOMENT IN TIME: FEBRUARY 24, 1986
Tommy Douglas dies
Tommy Douglas, the premier of Saskatchewan for 17 years and the first leader of the federal NDP, is known as the father of public health care. Douglas, a Scottish immigrant, died of cancer on this day in 1986 at the age of 81. A brilliant speaker with a cutting wit, his belief that people should not have to go broke to pay for health care was based on personal experience. As a child, he suffered a leg wound that would not heal and doctors said they would have to amputate his limb. Another doctor offered to operate for free, as long as his medical students would be allowed to watch. His leg was saved. A provincial boxing champion in his late teens, Douglas would go on to become a Baptist preacher and, eventually, a politician. His socialist convictions were bolstered by the poverty and lack of medical care he saw in the Depression-hit Prairies. As premier, he guided the creation of several government programs, including publicly owned utilities and car insurance. But his most beloved creation was public health insurance, which would become law in Saskatchewan shortly after he resigned as premier in 1961, and would be copied by the federal government in 1966. Eric Atkins