Happy Friday. Pray for Ukraine. 🇺🇦
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said early Friday morning the government confirmed at least 137 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were killed in the first day of fighting, and another 316 were wounded. He said he believes Russian forces view him as “the number one target,” but promised in an address to the country he will remain in Kyiv.
President Joe Biden announced a second tranche of sanctions aimed at Russia yesterday, targeting five more of Russia’s largest banks, 10 additional Russian oligarchs, two dozen Belarusian individuals and entities, and export controls on sensitive technologies and softwares. The administration stopped short of cutting Russia out of the SWIFT financial system and targeting Putin himself with sanctions, but Russia’s stock market closed down 33.3 percent and the ruble sank to a record low, and the cost of insuring Russian debt against default reached its highest level since 2009.
Biden approved the deployment of another 7,000 U.S. troops to Germany yesterday, and a Pentagon official said the forces—which include an armored brigade combat team—would leave “in the coming days.” Biden reiterated in a speech yesterday U.S. troops “are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO Allies and reassure those Allies in the east.”