1) By now you’ve heard that, after months of buildup and attempts by many Western nations to find a diplomatic solution, Russia invaded Ukraine. Events on the ground are fast moving and whatever information I might include here could be outdated by the time you read it. However, I did find two resources worth following from the website Bellingcat.
This Twitter thread tracks cluster munition and cluster munition attacks.
This map tracks verified “incident(s) or event depicted through video, photo, or commercial satellite imagery and has undergone a rigorous verification process to identify where and when it was taken.”
Additionally, the Commentary Magazine Podcast provides good analysis of the previous day’s events in Ukraine.
2) The courage of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has without a doubt helped rally the world to the plight of his nation. From his pre-invasion speech to the Russian people (see video below) to his refusal to flee the nation, he has been nothing short of inspirational. The situation is nevertheless dire, and Zelenskyy may lose his life. But for now, he has given his nation has a chance, even if it is a slim one.
David French had a good article on why Zelenskyy’s resolve is important.
3) The pressure being put on Russia is immense and the aid being sent to Ukraine is substantial. Joshua Trevino details several ways the world is making like miserable for Russia. Perhaps the most dramatic action was taken by the Swiss, who took the unprecedented step or abandoning neutrality in favor of the Ukrainians.
4) What if Vladimir Putin has lost his mind? Oliver Pope in WaPo’s “The Daily 202” breaks down the growing number of people who wonder if the Russian leader is suffering from, in the words of Senator Marco Rubio, “neuro/physiological health issues”.
5) Jonah Goldberg’s most recent G-File uses G.K Chesterton to make the case that the relative peace Europe has enjoyed since the end of World War II is the exception in human history, not the norm. Thus Russia’s actions are a return for form. AEI Senior fellow Hal Brands explains that “Ukraine’s crisis will not stay in Ukraine.”
For a broader view of what the Russian invasion means, check out the Ricochet Podcast, featuring Bloomberg Foreign Policy columnist Eli Lake and Fred Kagan, Director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute on Dan Senor’s “Call Me Back” podcast.
6) One of the worst features of modern American politics is that we far too often view every event around the world through the lens of current domestic politics. Thus we see Donald Trump’s weird praise for Putin and claim that America is now dumb, which all seem designed to score political points in preparation for the 2024 Presidential election. More damaging is the attendance by members of Congress at a conference organized by Nick Fuentes, a known racist and anti-Semite. Georgia’s own Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at the event, taking the stage moments after Fuentes praised Russia and the crowd chanted Putin’s name. This is the latest in a long string of embarrassing and outrageous actions by the Northwest Georgia Congresswoman, who hasn’t even completed her first term in office. National Review has an article (behind the paywall) criticizing Greene’s excuse that she didn’t know who the event organizer were. It may finally be reaching a boiling point for Greene in her district as a former Floyd County GOP official publicly criticized her. Greene does have a credible primary opponent named Jennifer Strahan. One hopes her constituents will boot Greene in favor of Strahan. If not, they will continue to suffer embarrassment after embarrassment from their Congresswoman, who is more interested in raising money and building a national profile than she is in serving her constituents.
After Greene was elected, I said this:
Former Republican state Rep. Buzz Brockway tweeted that Greene will become “a constant source of embarrassment and a fundraising bonanza for the other party. Get ready GOP elected officials, you’ll be spending a lot of time answering questions about whatever her latest crazy comment is.”
Sadly, I’ve been proven correct.
The crisis continues.