Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times
As talks break down, Russian forces surround Ukrainian towns
The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers yesterday made no progress in their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the Russian invasion two weeks ago, while Russian bombardment wreaked further carnage, having caused damages estimated at $100 billion so far. Follow the latest updates here.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Turkey. “The general narrative he conveyed to me,” Kuleba said afterwards, “is that they will continue their aggression until Ukraine meets their demands, and the least of those demands is surrender. .”
Russian forces have surrounded or nearly surrounded a number of Ukrainian towns and are destroying much of their critical infrastructure, making evacuations increasingly difficult, if not impossible. More than two million people have fled, including 80,000 in the past two days.
Next steps: Speaking from Warsaw, Kamala Harris, the US vice president, said Russia should be investigated for possible war crimes in Ukraine. “I have no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of aggression and these atrocities,” she said.
In images, in pictures: These photos document the growing human toll of the Russian invasion.
In other wartime news:
New satellite images showed that the Russian military convoy near Kiev has widely dispersed and redeployed, with some vehicles now near the village of Lubyanka, about 30 miles northwest of the capital.
President Biden is expected today to call on the United States to join the G7 and the European Union in suspending normal trade relations with Russia.
More sanctions and isolation for Russia
Goldman Sachs became the first major US bank to leave Russia after Western governments imposed a series of sanctions meant to cripple the Russian economy. Hotel chains Hyatt and Hilton suspended development work, and Hitachi said it was suspending exports to Russia and halting manufacturing.
The British government has frozen the assets of seven Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, and Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum magnate linked to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. Premier League club Chelsea can continue to operate, but they cannot sell tickets or merchandise and are prevented from buying or selling player contracts.
The music world’s most powerful corporations – the three major record conglomerates and touring giant Live Nation – are also cutting ties with Russia. Here is the list of other companies that are withdrawing.
Threats: Besieged by an avalanche of sanctions that have largely wiped out 30 years of economic integration with the West in the space of two weeks, Putin opened the door to nationalizing the assets of Western companies that withdrew from Russia and urged senior officials to “act decisively” to save jobs.
New findings on Covid-19 vaccines for young children
Many parents in the United States have chosen not to have their children vaccinated against the coronavirus, in part because of incomplete data. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides only weak protection against infection with the Omicron variant in children 5 to 11 years old and offers little defense against moderate disease in adolescents 12 to 17 years old.
Experts note, however, that while Omicron can still infect vaccinated people, vaccines still prevent serious illness and death – and can do so for years. A record number of children under the age of 5 in the United States were hospitalized during the Omicron surge, underscoring the need for vaccines for these children.
Recent studies suggest that the problem is not so much the vaccine as the dose. In the Pfizer trials, children ages 5 to 11 received 10 micrograms, and those 6 months to 5 years received only 3 micrograms. These doses may have been too low to elicit an adequate and lasting response, although higher doses too often caused fever.
By the numbers: In the United States, less than one in four children between the ages of 5 and 11 are vaccinated against the coronavirus. And although more than half of people aged 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, only about 12% have received a booster dose.
Future: Pfizer and Moderna plan to release results from trials of their vaccines in young children. The results, if positive, should lead to a new round of regulatory reviews, possibly as early as April, which could well allow tens of millions of children to be vaccinated.
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
THE LAST NEWS
Around the world
“I feel hopeless all the time.” The physical scars of our warming planet – including rising sea waters, melting glaciers and charred forests – are everywhere. But climate change is also inflicting a growing mental toll. The Times spoke to Americans about the stresses and strains of living on the front lines of a changing climate.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Bringing Ukrainian Books to the West
A wartime effort to quickly translate the works of Ukrainian novelists, poets and historians is underway to give international readers a glimpse of what ordinary Ukrainians are going through – and to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim, that Ukrainians and Russians “are one people”. .” The project is as political as it is cultural, say the authors and translators.
By highlighting Ukraine’s vibrant literary and linguistic heritage, the translators hope to emphasize the country’s distinction from Russia and draw attention to a rich cultural landscape that may be endangered under occupation by the Russians. forces of an increasingly authoritarian ruler, reports Alexandra Alter for The Times.
“We need to raise Ukrainian voices right now,” said Kate Tsurkan, a translator in western Ukraine and associate director of the Tompkins Agency for Ukrainian Literature in Translation, or Tault.
This week alone, Tault’s “Operation Ukraine” project produced several new translations by well-known Ukrainian authors, including an essay on the conflict by Ostap Ukrainets, which was published in The Los Angeles Review of Books; an essay in The New Statesman on the cathartic power of foul language in times of war, by poet and playwright Lyuba Yakimchuk; and one filled with rage dispatch from Kiev by Olena Stiazhkina, translated by Ali Kinsella and published in Guernica.
Learn more about the Ukrainian Literature Rapid Translation Project.