The Morning Dispatch: An Invasion Filled With Russian Blunders

Happy Tuesday! We learned yesterday that before President Volodymyr Zelensky grew into one of the most inspiring resistance leaders of a generation, he voiced Paddington Bear in the Ukrainian versions of Paddington and Paddington 2.

As the character’s creator Michael Bond once wrote, “young [Paddington] has a habit of bringing people closer together in the end.”

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • A senior Biden administration official told reporters Monday the United States was coordinating with allies to prevent Russia’s central bank from selling dollars, euros, and other foreign currencies in its reserves to prop up the ruble, which ended Monday down 21 percent against the dollar since Friday and worth less than a penny. Russia’s central bank announced Monday it would keep the Moscow Exchange closed on Tuesday for a second consecutive day “due to the current situation,” and later added morning and evening trading would be closed through March 5.

  • One day after Germany reversed its longstanding policy against sending weapons to warzones to deliver 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced it would substantially boost its own defense spending, pledging to soon adhere to NATO’s recommendation of 2 percent of GDP. Scholz also told lawmakers Germany must “overcome” its dependence on energy imports by building more liquefied natural gas terminals, and an economic minister did not rule out extending the life of three nuclear power plants slated to close this year.

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