Grief & Loss, News, Russia, War — February 28, 2022 at 3:02 am

Fighting continues in Ukraine as talks begin in Belarus

Russia-Ukraine War - Nuclear Waste Storage Facility Reportedly Destroyed in Chernobyl in Intense Fighting
Russia-Ukraine War – Nuclear Waste Storage Facility Reportedly Destroyed in Chernobyl in Intense Fighting

Russian forces bombarded a residential area in Ukraine’s second-largest city with rockets on Monday, killing at least one person, and several large detonations were heard in the center of the capital Kyiv, as talks between delegates on both sides in Belarus came to a close.

The attack and explosions were launched as Russia becomes increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, particularly Western nations, which have been imposing a rash of sanctions on the country since it launched its invasion of Ukraine last week. CNN

The European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of $500 million worth weapons to Ukraine, marking the first time in the bloc’s history that it will send arms to a country under attack.

Why it matters: Longstanding policy taboos are falling across the EU because of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine. The new weapons program, which will be funded through the European Peace Facility, was announced Sunday alongside new sanctions on Russian aircraft, state media and the Belarus economy. AXIOS

President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put Russian nuclear forces on alert thrust the crisis over Ukraine into a more volatile phase on Sunday, fueling the potential for deadly miscalculation as the West’s campaign of economic reprisal increases the chances the Russian leader could see his survival and that of the Russian state at risk.

U.S. officials were scrambling in the hours following Putin’s order, issued as Russian troops face stiff resistance in the fourth day of their invasion of Ukraine, to decode what the enigmatic leader’s decision meant in practice. Experts said it was the first time the Kremlin, which has the world’s biggest nuclear stockpile, had made such an announcement since the Russian Federation was established in 1991.

Putin described the move as a response to what he called “aggressive statements” from the West and its escalating package of economic retaliation. The sanctions, including new steps unveiled Saturday that would cut off Russia’s financial institutions from the global economy and cripple its central bank, have already sent the ruble tumbling to a record low, raising questions about how Russia’s economy can hold on. THE WASHINGTON POST

Powerful Western sanctions rocked Russia’s financial system and triggered a spiral in the ruble, drawing the central bank into an emergency doubling of interest rates. The Russian ruble fell as low as 111 to the U.S. dollar from 83 on Friday, a drop of more than 20% before recovering slightly, on track for its biggest single-day fall on record. But trading was spotty, with local onshore markets frozen by the central bank and markets outside Russia reluctant to trade the currency. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Vladimir Putin: does he have a wife and children? Vladimir Putin has worked on preventing the media from knowing much about his personal life. Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya was married to Putin from 1983 to 2014. Lyudmila was a flight attendant for the Kaliningrad branch of Aeroflot. She met Putin in Leningrad and they married in July of 1983.

The couple made their divorce public on Russian state television after attending a ballet performance. “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life,” Putin said.

Putin’s daughters
Putin has two daughters with Lyudmila. He has never publicly acknowledged his children, though media outlets have reported about the two daughters Putin had with his ex-wife. There are also unconfirmed reports that he may have had another daughter in 2015 with former Russian rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva. Neither the child nor the relationship with Kabaeva have been confirmed.

His daughter’s names are Maria and Katerina. Maria, the eldest, was born in Leningrad in 1985, and Katerina was born in Germany in 1986 when the family lived there during her father’s time in the KGB.

Maria, studied biology in college and went to medical school in Moscow, while Katerina majored in Asian Studies in college. Both girls attended university under false identities. AS USA


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