Blog: 1:50 AM
- There are reports of tanks coming across the border into Ukraine from Belarus. Malcolm Nance, who was in Ukraine, reported that the Russians had divided their forces into three strike divisions in Belarus north of Kyiv.
- There is a major road coming South from Homeil in Belarus, another less direct route from Brest.
- “It feels like the system is breaking down.” McFaul talking about the post-WWII world.
- According to NDTV, Putin gave a “surprise statement” shortly before 6 AM. He called on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and justified the invasion with claims of “genocide” in Eastern Ukraine.
- Attacks from north, east and south, reported by CNN
- Russian troops have landed in Odessa.
- Ukraine World (UW) is reporting crossing of the border in the north at Luhansk, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Chernihiv. Massive shelling followed by assault with tanks.
- UW reporting two villages in Luhansk taken by Russia.
- CNN, most Ukrainian troops are in the East.
- Putin warned the rest of the world this morning, not to get involved.
- MSNBC. Putin spoke at 5:45 AM. The message is being played in Russia. Russian TV is using words like “liberation.” They are reassuring the Russian public that citizens are not being hurt. They are selling the Nazi Ukrainian government. The war declaration is being played over rand over on Russian state TV.
- Reporter in Moscow, MSNBC, “people are in shock.”
- MSNBC: Casualties reported, 6 dead and injured.
- Navalny on trial this week in Russia.
- Katy Tur: “Putin sounds unhinged.” Covid, “self-isolation”. Reporter Matt Bodner: “Isolation is something we noticed.” In televised meeting with staff, sitting apart from them. Saw him slap down one of the people (rhetorically). Note: Again they ignore the fact that there is a video of Putin doing exactly this years ago.
- Jack Jacobs: Reporting dead and wounded in Odessa. Russians determining weak points and deciding where to attack next. They are waiting to see what the West will do. Waiting to see what the West will do about SWIFT. (Note: There were European reports that Biden had taken this off the table.) Once you cut them off (from SWIFT) and they continue, what do you do? This should be the last resort. (Note: Strange argument.) Once you do SWIFT, there is no follow up plan. Jacobs now talking about “rationality” of Putin.
- Jacobs: Putin’s strongest allies, most important constituency, are the oligarchs, his inner circle.