Friday 25th February 2022

Russia has declared war on Ukraine. Yesterday, Russia invaded Ukraine by land, sea and air. Soldiers entered Ukraine from the Eastern border with Russia, from the Northern border with Belarus, and from the South by the occupied territory of Crimea. In the sea port of Odessa 18 people were killed by a missile strike according to Ukrainian authorities. There were air attacks and explosions throughout Ukraine and there have been reports of the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers, Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians. The Chernobyl power plant in northern Ukraine has been captured by Russia. There have been cyber attacks on government institutions and banks. After explosions in the Capital city Kiev yesterday, many people decided to leave the city, mostly going West and to Poland. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law, and said that any Ukrainian that wants a weapon will be given one.

Russian President Vladimir Putin justified the invasion of Ukraine by saying that Ukraine was planning to attack Russia, and was committing genocide on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Putin said that Russia is trying to neutralize Ukraine’s military, and that if any foreign country interferes, then Russia will respond with the greatest consequences that have ever been seen in history. Putin said that Ukrainian soldiers should surrender. Around the world there have been pro-Ukraine protests. In Russia reports say that anti-war protests have led to thousands of Russians being arrested.

Almost all world leaders have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. United Nations Head Antonio Guterres... “The saddest moment in my tenure as Secretary General of the Untied Nations. President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg... “We now have war in Europe of a scale and a type we thought belonged to history. Our thoughts are with the brave people of Ukraine.”

United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson... “Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom, democracy and the right to choose its own destiny. Our mission is clear - diplomatically, politically, economically, and eventually militarily, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.”

European Union commission head Ursula von der Leyen : “Early this morning Russian troops invaded Ukraine, a free and sovereign country, and once again in the centre of Europe, innocent women, men and children are dying or fear for their lives. We condemn this barbaric attack and the cynical arguments to justify it. It is President Putin who is bringing war back to Europe and in these dark hours, the European Union and its people stand by Ukraine and its people.”

United States president Joe Biden :

“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Putin yesterday, and told him to stop the violence. China said that the West was causing hysteria by using the word “invasion”.

Many countries have imposed their largest ever sanctions on Russia. The price of oil has risen to its highest in 7 years. It is expected that the price of wheat will also increase, as Ukraine produces 10% of the world’s wheat. The Russian Ruble has fallen to its lowest value ever, and the Russian stock market lost 40% of its value yesterday.

The rest of the world...

In Pakistan the son of a famous businessman has been sentenced to death. Khadija Tahir reports..

In Pakistan, a man has been sentenced to death for the murder of a 27-year-old woman. Zahir Jaffer, who belongs to one of Pakistan's richest families, murdered Noor Mukkadam in his house in July last year. CCTV footage showed Noor Mukkadam trying to escape the house but he was stopped by the household employees. Pakistan does not have a nationwide law criminalizing domestic violence, and activists have called for Pakistan's parliament to pass laws against domestic abuse.

In Japan the government must give compensation to three people who were forcibly sterilised in the 1960s. A court ordered the government to pay almost 30 million yen to the three people, who lost the ability to have children because of a Japanese government programme to stop some disabled people from reproducing. In 2019 the government made a public apology for the programme.

And in Chile, a Moai statue is being returned to Easter Island over 150 years after it was removed. Easter Island is famous for its Moai large - head statues, and this one was transported to Santiago in 1870.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support it at I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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