Updates on the Crisis in Ukraine

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

The crisis in Ukraine appears to be growing worse. While there was hope — perhaps faint, but still hope — that talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine on Monday could lead to eventual peace, the situation looks as dire as ever. Ukrainians continue to put up a courageous fight, but Russia appears to have ramped up its attack.

On Monday night, the headline on The New York Times’ website blared: “RUSSIAN ROCKETS BATTER UKRAINE.”

CNN’s website said: “Large Russian military convoy reaches outskirts of Kyiv.” And The Wall Street Journal: “Ukraine Digs In as Russia Intensifies Attacks.”

The United Nations reported Monday evening that more than 400 civilians had been killed. ABC News reported nearly 20 have been children.

The news is constantly changing, and media coverage continues to shine a light on these horrific events. As I’ve written many times over the past week, what might be true one moment might have changed the next. So be sure to go to your trusted news source that has reporters actually in Ukraine to get the best sense of what is happening.

While we should never dismiss the courage of the journalists putting themselves in harm’s way to bring the world the latest news on the ground in Ukraine, what I found to be the most meaningful part of Monday’s coverage is what kind of impact the economic sanctions are having on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

For example, The Wall Street Journal’s Ian Talley wrote, “Blockade on Russia Central Bank Neutralizes Defense Against Sanctions, U.S. Says.”

And, throughout the day, the networks had excellent analysis of the real consequences of the sanctions.

There continues to be incredible coverage. Here are some of Monday’s highlights:

  • In the most disturbing (but important) report of the day, CNN’s Matthew Chance walked across a bridge on a highway littered with mangled cars, trucks and military equipment. It looked like a junkyard, but it was the remains from a battle so fresh that some of the cars were still smoldering. At one point, Chance came across a dead Russian soldier. Moments later, he didn’t realize he was crouching over an unexploded grenade. “Let’s move away from that,” he said calmly but forcefully. It was a mesmerizing video, and again shows the real impact of what is happening in Ukraine.
  • CNN’s Scott McLean had a difficult-to-watch report of families, especially women and children, desperately trying to board trains to get out of the country. Some traveled days to reach the station, only to be turned away until more trains arrive at a later time. One woman and child were offered spots on a train, but she would not leave her husband, who was not permitted to board the train.
  • ABC News chief national correspondent Matt Gutman had  heartbreaking video of a child holding her mother’s hand while crying into her stuffed animal — another example of a child whose father had to leave her behind to fight. The report closed with the girl on the train, crying while pressing her hand up against the window.
  • Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst continues to provide superb reports from Ukraine. In one report, a man in a town square said, “I am not good at arms. But I have my kitchen knife. And the day I see Russian pigs here in Ukraine, I will slaughter their throats.”
  • CNN’s Jake Tapper had an insightful interview with former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who told Tapper, “It’s clear that the post-Cold War era in Europe is over. So the notion by anybody that (there’s) hope that somehow through economic engagement that Putin can be convinced to play by international rules and norms is probably extinguished by now, or should be.” But, Esper added, Putin has already done three things that he didn’t want to do: He better unified NATO, he now has more NATO troops on his border and he has pushed Ukraine further “into the arms of the West.”
  • For National Geographic, David Beard with “Traveling light, Ukrainian photographer flees, again, from Russian invaders.”
  • The Washington Post’s Elizabeth Dwoskin and Cat Zakrzewski with “Facebook and TikTok ban Russian state media in Europe.”
  • CNN has launched a special open-ended season of the “Tug of War” podcast. In the first episode, chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward and senior field producer Brent Swails discuss what they’re seeing on the ground in Kyiv and Putin’s possible end game.

Again, this is just a very small percentage of the remarkable reporting that is being done around the clock. I wish I had the space and you had the time to go through all of it. But just turn on your TVs, open your computers, and go to the dozens of places that offer some of the strongest reporting that we’ve seen in recent memory.

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