Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Sanctions: “President Joe Biden on Thursday announced what he characterized as a harsh new round of sanctions against Russia, just hours after Moscow launched an attack against Ukraine, plunging Europe into one of its gravest security crises since World War II.”
* The latest casualty count: “57 Ukrainians have died and 169 others injured since the Russian attacks began on Thursday, Ukraine’s Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko said. The report from Lyashko said these were both combat and non-combat injuries but did not differentiate between civilian and military casualties.”
* Returning diplomatic fire: “The second-highest ranking Russian diplomat is being expelled from the U.S. in retaliation for a similar move made by Russia earlier this month, a senior State Department official told NBC News Thursday.”
* Chernobyl: “Hours after the fighting began, Russia took control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant north of Kyiv, the site of the 1986 reactor explosion that released massive amounts of radiation into the environment.”
* Don’t assume rank-and-file Russians are pleased: “Among Russia’s political and media establishment, President Vladimir Putin has been hailed as a savior for invading Ukraine. Whether the rest of the country believes it is another matter.”
* Among the many obvious problems with Putin’s slander is the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish: “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday peddled accusations of Nazi elements within Ukraine to justify the attack on his western neighbor, a move that experts slammed as slanderous and false.”
* It’s hard to blame them for being nervous: “To Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians — particularly those old enough to have lived under Soviet control — Russia’s belligerence toward Ukraine has some worried that they could be the next target.”
* Late-breaking news this afternoon out of Minnesota: "Three former Minneapolis police officers have been found guilty of violating the civil rights of George Floyd, a Black man whose death at the hands of police in 2020 spurred protests against systemic racism around the world."
* There are two former Republican presidents, and only one has condemned Russia’s attack: “Former President George W. Bush warned that Russia’s attack on Ukraine ‘constitutes the gravest security crisis on the European continent since World War II,’ adding to the condemnation from major political figures Thursday.”
* This isn’t today’s biggest story, but I’m eager to learn more about it: “The former head of the Texas power grid testified in court Wednesday that when he ordered power prices to stay at the maximum price cap for days on end during last year’s frigid winter storm and blackout, running up billions of dollars in bills for power companies, he was following the direction of Governor Greg Abbott.”
See you tomorrow.