Ukraine’s Zelenskyy: A wartime statesman for the social media age | Russia-Ukraine war


Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine’s comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is quick rising – even amongst a few of his harshest critics – as a logo of resistance and unity.

Usually wearing an off-the-cuff inexperienced navy T-shirt, the 44-year-old has addressed the nation in a collection of self-shot movies recorded on his telephone and printed on social media.

In a single such video shot outdoors within the capital, Kyiv, final Friday, he’s surrounded by his key aides and says defiantly: “We’re all right here. Our navy is right here. Residents in society are right here. We’re all right here defending our independence, our nation, and it’ll keep this fashion.”

The video rapidly went viral and was seen as an act of bravery by Ukrainians.

“I don’t suppose our earlier presidents would have stayed in Ukraine; they in all probability would have escaped,” says Elizabeth Tishchenko, a resident of Ukraine’s second-biggest metropolis, Kharkiv.

Zelenskyy’s personable and impassioned speeches urging Ukrainians to take up arms and his refusal to go away Ukraine regardless of warnings from america that he’s the Kremlin’s high goal have received him many plaudits each at dwelling and overseas.

“He’s the literal man on the road,” says David Patrikarakos, a British journalist and creator of Warfare in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Battle within the Twenty-First Century. “He’s saying, ‘I’m your president, I’m not hiding, I’m not going wherever. I’m not behind the desk or carrying a swimsuit. I’m right here with the danger of being killed, like everyone else.’”

His strategy stands in stark distinction to the grand official settings most well-liked by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guests to the Kremlin are pressured to take a seat on the finish of a specifically designed six-metre-long desk when assembly Putin, leading to a collection of awkward photo-ops. In latest weeks, the Russian president, who normally comes throughout as calm and calculated, has lower a seemingly paranoid determine vulnerable to lengthy, rambling pre-recorded speeches.

“Once you see Zelenskyy operating round on the street, you possibly can’t assist however examine him to Vladimir Putin who seems like a supervillain in his bunker, remoted, sitting at his lengthy desk,” says Patrikarakos.

In this photo dated Feb. 6, 2019, Ukrainian comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy seen during the shooting of a popular TV series, where he plays the president during the filming in Kiev,
Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a comic who performed a president in a preferred tv collection earlier than he really grew to become one [Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]

‘I want ammunition, not a trip’

Simply three years in the past, Zelenskyy was a widely known comedian actor, finest identified for enjoying a schoolteacher who wakes as much as discover he has been elected head of state after a video of him ranting in opposition to corruption secretly recorded by his pupils goes viral. However in 2019, he ran for the presidency, utilizing a lot of the identical anti-corruption rhetoric as his on-screen character, and stormed to a landslide victory over the incumbent president and oligarch Petro Poroshenko with 73 p.c of the vote.

“I believe folks voted for him as a result of they bought sick of all these oligarchs being in energy. They thought, ‘Let’s have a boxer in Kyiv and a comic as president,’” says Tishchenko, referring to the previous heavyweight boxer, Vitali Klitschko, who’s presently the mayor of Kyiv.

After Zelenskyy got here to energy, the truth of politics set in, and the everyman picture started to put on off as he handled an vitality disaster after which a world pandemic. His recognition waned, hitting 31 p.c in December 2021. Latest polling over the weekend, nonetheless, means that Zelenskyy’s wartime management has earned him an approval score of 91 p.c, thrice what it was earlier than the invasion.

“Nobody thought Zelenskyy may have performed this, however he has morphed from comic and unintended president to wartime statesman. Nobody noticed this coming,” says Patrikarakos.

Igor Novikov, a former adviser to the president between 2019-2020 who oversaw US-Ukrainian relations, informed Al Jazeera that the truth that Zelenskyy’s background shouldn’t be in politics is a key consider his early success as a wartime chief. “President Zelenskyy is simply an strange man from an industrial metropolis in Ukraine; he’s not a seasoned politician. And that’s Ukraine’s blessing: the place others run overseas or cover behind paperwork, he simply does what must be performed.”

Hampus Knutsson, a disaster communication specialist at Wings Public Relations who has labored on political campaigns in Sweden, factors out what Zelenskyy has performed effectively thus far. “Zelenskyy is open, clear and communicates often,” Knutsson says. “He’s on the bottom.”

On February 26, the Ukrainian embassy in the UK introduced on Twitter that Zelenskyy had turned down a suggestion by the US to evacuate Kyiv. “The combat is right here; I want ammunition, not a trip,” they quoted him as saying, earlier than including, “Ukrainians are happy with their President.”

“In a way, in his honest and no-nonsense strategy, he’s the true, undistorted picture of [many of] the Ukrainian folks [fighting] now,” says Novikov, including that “his power, braveness and willpower are what unites everybody.”

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukrainian actor and candidate and his wife Olena Zelenska, react after debates between two candidates in the weekend presidential run-off at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 19, 2019.
Zelenskyy and his spouse Olena Zelenska on the final day of campaigning in April 2019 earlier than Zelenskyy secured a landslide victory to turn into president with 73 p.c of the vote [Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo]

Internal circle

It’s a picture that has been influenced and honed by these in Zelenskyy’s inside circle, based on Novikov.

“He’s surrounded not by politicians however by strange human beings. A few of them come from his manufacturing firm, some come from present enterprise, some come from the authorized occupation, however most of them have by no means had any earlier expertise in politics, and that offers them that willpower and braveness to really deal with the outdated system,” says Novikov, who himself comes from an educational and non-political background.

He describes the ambiance in Zelenskyy’s inside circle throughout peacetime as pleasant and, maybe unsurprisingly, stuffed with jokes. It’s also unusually casual, with Zelenskyy insisting that these he meets consult with him with the casual phrase for “you”, Ty (Ты), versus the formal Vy (Вы).

Based on Novikov, what the world is seeing now’s a wartime chief now not restrained by the extra scripted high-stakes diplomacy that preceded the invasion. “He will get emotional, particularly within the run-up to the invasion, when he knew every part was about to occur,” Novikov says.

“He was really actually aggressive together with his Twitter and his inside circle needed to tone him down and they’d discover a lighter extra political means of placing it, however now, clearly all bets are off.”

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy holds a bullet as he addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy held a bullet when he addressed the 74th session of the United Nations Basic Meeting on September 25, 2019. He spoke in regards to the battle in japanese Ukraine that had been ongoing since 2014 and mentioned that in a globalised world, ‘There isn’t a such factor as another person’s battle’ [Richard Drew/AP Photo]

‘A brand new type of statesmanship’: Grit and authenticity

Novikov says that Zelenskyy has at all times taken a hands-on strategy to social media and is at all times checking his feeds. “He prefers selfie-style movies and chooses to immediately handle his viewers as a lot as doable as a result of it’s him: he’s a human being, not a portrait,” he says.

For Tishchenko, who’s in her early 20s, this communication type is a key consider his present recognition. “His private qualities are actually exhibiting now, his speeches are each critical however digestible; youthful folks actually like this,” she says.

“It’s at all times extra vital what you do than what you say. Zelenskyy does what he says,” says Knutsson, who believes his seen and open presence on-line can be about setting an instance. “He reveals each motion and heroism – the precise form of behaviour he needs from each his inhabitants and from the surface world. It will increase the probabilities of getting simply that.”

Patrikarakos describes Zelenskyy’s social media technique over the previous week as “a brand new idiom of diplomacy” and “a brand new type of statesmanship” the place, on this present social media age, it will be important for politicians to indicate a human facet. “It’s all about being gritty, it’s all about being genuine,” he says. “We’re coping with a unique public sphere [in 2022] with quick consideration spans.”

He says that Zelenskyy’s expertise in tv meant that he rapidly understood that social media may very well be a robust weapon in a battle the place Ukraine is each outnumbered and outgunned. Zelenskyy movies himself on the road and “solely has the rostrum for 30 seconds, however he stays informal and direct; these movies are designed to go viral”, Patrikarakos explains.

You will need to not underestimate the ability of social media, he provides. “Don’t ever overlook that these things adjustments coverage and coverage can get you stingers [air-defence systems] and javelins [anti-tank weapons systems].”

“In the long run is it going to show the tide of battle?” Patrikarakos asks. “In all probability not; in actual fact nearly actually not. However it’s made a distinction. The response has been unprecedented.”

Mykhail Hontarenko, 17, from Odesa, believes that though Zelenskyy’s profession in leisure helps him ship his strains on digicam, he has been displaying real emotion. “I don’t suppose he’s performing now; he’s scared,” he says.

Even those that weren’t beforehand followers of the president are coming round. Artem Skorobagach is a 20-year-old scholar from Kharkiv who’s now serving within the reserve defence forces. He says that previously week he has seen a unique facet to Zelenskyy and that his shows of bravery and resolve have modified his opinion of him.

“Firstly, he [Zelenskyy] seemed like a populist to me. He promised a whole lot of issues [that didn’t depend on him]. For instance, he mentioned the continued battle with Russia might be stopped, we, the Ukrainian military, simply should cease capturing. What nonsense. That was one-sided capturing from Russians from the beginning,” he says.

However Skorobagach believes that the battle and lack of human life have introduced out a extra human and patriotic facet to the president, which is coming throughout in his televised addresses and on social media. This has made him rather more relatable to Ukrainians dealing with the bitter realities of a full-scale invasion, he believes.

For the reason that invasion started one week in the past, at the least a million Ukrainians in a rustic of 44 million have already fled to neighbouring international locations together with Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. Ukraine’s well being ministry mentioned on Sunday that 352 civilians – together with 14 youngsters – have been killed for the reason that invasion started, however it’s troublesome to know the precise loss of life toll. It’s not clear what number of Ukrainian and Russian troopers have died thus far.

“When Russia moved their forces to our border, Zelenskyy and the federal government did every part proper, with out panic. Even now, once they attacked, he’s in Kyiv and appears assured, as a result of he believes in our military and other people,” Skorobagach says. “He conjures up that entire nation, and we consider that he is not going to bend beneath the strain and won’t give up the pursuits of our nation.”

Artem Skorobagach, 20, in his home in Kharkiv on February 27 is now serving in the reserve defence. He was not a fan of Zelenskyy but says since the invasion, he has seen a more human and patriotic side to the leader through his televised addresses and on social media [Courtesy of Artem Skorobagach]
Artem Skorobagach, 20, in his dwelling in Kharkiv on February 27, is now serving within the reserve defence. Beforehand, he was not a fan of Zelenskyy, however he says that for the reason that invasion, he has seen a extra human and patriotic facet to the chief via his televised addresses and on social media [Courtesy of Artem Skorobagach]

Assist from inside

Throughout Ukraine, there are shows of dogged resistance from the territorial forces and numerous civilian campaigns and initiatives designed to help the battle effort. There are queues for blood banks throughout the nation in addition to worldwide help within the type of donations, garments and different necessities pouring in from overseas. Tishchenko feels Zelenskyy is basically answerable for galvanising worldwide efforts. “Many individuals consider in him; thus far he has negotiated with many world leaders, he has secured weapons, meals and gear,” she says.

Even earlier critics of Zelenskyy seem like supportive of the chief. Olga Rudenko, the chief editor of the Kyiv Impartial information web site, tweeted on Friday that “President Volodymyr Zelensky has made many actually dangerous errors, and I’m certain will make many extra, however immediately he’s exhibiting himself worthy of the nation he’s main.”

However it hasn’t all been optimistic. For the reason that invasion, Zelenskyy has signed a decree prohibiting males between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the nation in case they’re conscripted. The implementation of this rule has drawn criticism from many households who’ve been forcibly separated from their males on the border as they tried to flee the nation. Olga Balaban, 26, who was separated from her 18-year-old brother on the Polish border, informed Al Jazeera that she discovered the sweeping decree unfair. “I don’t suppose it’s humane to name up all males to combat,” she mentioned. “Perhaps some are sick or have psychological well being points.”

Artem U is a 17-year-old scholar from Kyiv who fled together with his mom and siblings to Poland. He says his household was initially sceptical of Zelenskyy’s governance. “Earlier than the battle, many individuals didn’t like him, however now they’ve modified their thoughts,” he explains.

Based on Artem, his household didn’t approve of the truth that Zelenskyy was a comic. They might have most well-liked an skilled politician or somebody with a enterprise background, however they now worth his management. “He’s a hero for us, we’ll vote for him within the subsequent election,” he says.

Novikov believes the help of Zelenskyy’s household, associates and colleagues has been a vital consider his capacity to carry out beneath such strain in latest days. “Plenty of his power comes from the staff,” he says, highlighting, specifically, Andriy Yermak, a movie producer and lawyer and now Zelenskyy’s chief of workers.

The previous adviser acknowledges that he and others had been initially essential of Yermak, believing he was overprotective of the president, however says, “We had been mistaken, and it reveals now.”

“He’s the partitions and the inspiration that preserve Zelenskyy’s sincerity and braveness going,” Novikov provides.

However there’s a lengthy highway forward for Zelenskyy. Eight days into the invasion, Moscow claims that the Black Sea metropolis of Kherson has fallen, whereas troops shut in on main cities comparable to Mariupol and Kharkiv, the place residents have come beneath heavy bombardment. A 64km-long armoured column is located simply outdoors Kyiv, however the Russian advance has been slowed by mechanical points and decided Ukrainian resistance.

For the president to maintain up his high-energy social media presence and high-level diplomatic relations in opposition to the backdrop of such a large-scale navy invasion and threats to his personal life shall be a monumental job. However, for now, Ukrainians seem united behind their chief.



Tiger Woods wins $8m prize despite barely playing – for generating media interest


Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods final performed in an exhibition parent-child match in Florida along with his son Charlie in December 2021

Tiger Woods has received $8m (£5.99m) for producing extra media curiosity than another golfer in 2021 – regardless that he performed only one match all yr.

Woods is the primary winner of the PGA Tour’s Participant Influence Programme (PIP).

The scheme was launched to reward opponents for producing optimistic curiosity within the American circuit.

The previous world primary has profession earnings on the tour in extra of $120m (£89.96m), regardless of not having performed an official tour occasion for over a yr.

An exhibition parent-child match final December was his solely aggressive motion in 2021.

Tour officers initially said that they’d not make PIP outcomes public, however the 10 gamers who profited have been revealed in a memo to PGA Tour members.

In December, Phil Mickelson mistakenly claimed that he had received the largest share of the $40m prize fund. He truly completed second to Woods and obtained $6m.

The 51-year-old grew to become the oldest main winner with victory on the US PGA final yr.

Rory McIlroy – whose PGA Tour profession winnings complete $63m) – Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson all obtained $3.5m from the programme, which relies on metrics measuring a participant’s means to generate curiosity.

Auditors Grant Thornton verified the outcomes following evaluation of web searches, articles, social media, sponsor publicity and consciousness among the many US inhabitants.

Woods was significantly injured in a automobile crash in February 2021 and was not seen publicly for a lot of the yr. In late November a social media submit of him hitting golf balls underneath the title “making progress” attracted 7.8m views on Twitter.

A month later, the 15-time main champion partnered his son, Charlie, within the PNC Championship. They completed second after making 11 consecutive birdies within the closing spherical.

Woods, who used a buggy to play the Florida match, nonetheless doesn’t know when he will likely be match sufficient to return to the principle tour.

The opposite PIP beneficiaries have been main winners Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Bubba Watson. Every participant obtained $3m.

This yr, the PIP bonus pool will improve to $50m, a transfer criticised by Open champion Collin Morikawa.

“That is loopy to me,” Morikawa said a fortnight in the past.

Facebook and TikTok block Russian state media in Europe : NPR


Fb’s mum or dad firm Meta mentioned in an announcement that it had obtained requests from quite a few governments and the European Union “to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media.”

Jenny Kane/AP file photograph


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Jenny Kane/AP file photograph


Fb’s mum or dad firm Meta mentioned in an announcement that it had obtained requests from quite a few governments and the European Union “to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media.”

Jenny Kane/AP file photograph

Fb, TikTok and Microsoft are cracking down on Kremlin-backed information retailers RT and Sputnik following the European Union’s ban on Russian state media.

“We now have obtained requests from quite a few governments and the EU to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media. Given the distinctive nature of the present state of affairs, we can be proscribing entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU presently,” mentioned Nick Clegg, vp of world affairs at Fb mum or dad Meta.

A spokesperson for TikTok informed NPR it was additionally blocking the 2 retailers within the EU. The strikes imply folks utilizing the social media apps in EU nations will not have the ability to entry pages or content material posted by RT and Sputnik.

Microsoft on Monday mentioned it might drop RT’s information apps from its smartphone app retailer, not show any RT or Sputnik content material on its Microsoft Begin information feed and MSN.com, and push the websites down in Bing search outcomes.

On Sunday, EU President Ursula von der Leyen introduced a ban on the 2 retailers, which she described as “the Kremlin’s media machine.”

“The state-owned Russia At present and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will not have the ability to unfold their lies to justify Putin’s struggle,” she tweeted.

The Russian media retailers have emerged as a flashpoint for social media platforms, that are beneath strain to curb Russian propaganda and disinformation in regards to the struggle in Ukraine.

RT and Sputnik have amassed giant followings on apps together with Fb, Instagram and YouTube, the place they push a pro-Kremlin agenda. RT, which has greater than 7 million followers on its most important Fb web page and 4.6 million subscribers to its most important YouTube channel, has framed Russia’s invasion as a response to Ukrainian aggression and toed the Kremlin’s line in calling it a “particular operation.”

Google and Fb are additionally blocking Russian state media in Ukraine on the request of the federal government there. Together with Microsoft, they’ve additionally lower off state-backed retailers from utilizing their promoting instruments.

Earlier on Monday, Twitter mentioned it might put warning labels on tweets with hyperlinks to tales from Russian state media. It is also making it much less doubtless folks will see these tweets, just like what it has executed with false claims in regards to the 2020 election and COVID-19.

Editor’s be aware: Meta pays NPR to license NPR content material. Microsoft is amongst NPR’s monetary supporters.

NPR’s Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.



Facebook to restrict access to Russian state media outlets in EU | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Meta’s head of worldwide affairs says firm will restrict entry to RT and Sputnik in EU amid Russian assault on Ukraine.

Fb’s mum or dad firm Meta has introduced plans to limit entry to Russian state media retailers RT and Sputnik throughout the European Union, as Russia pressed on with its invasion of Ukraine.

Meta’s head of worldwide affairs, Nick Clegg, tweeted on Monday afternoon that the social media firm had obtained requests “from a variety of Governments and the EU to take additional steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media”.

Clegg mentioned Meta would proceed to work intently with governments on the problem.

“Given the distinctive nature of the present scenario, we will likely be limiting entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU right now,” Clegg mentioned on Twitter, with out going into additional element about what the restrictions would entail.

The announcement comes on the fifth day of Russia’s army assault on Ukraine, which has killed no less than 352 folks to this point, in line with the Ukrainian well being ministry, and garnered widespread condemnation.

Russian state-run media exercise on social media platforms has emerged as a contentious situation for large tech corporations in the course of the invasion of Ukraine.

Meta, Google and YouTube have taken measures in latest days to limit Russian state media retailers from creating wealth from advertisements on their websites. Twitter banned RT and Sputnik from promoting on its web site in 2017.

On Friday, Fb mentioned it had restricted Russian state media’s capability to earn cash on the social media platform. The transfer got here after Russia had introduced it was partially limiting entry to Fb as the corporate mentioned it refused to adjust to an order from the Russian authorities to cease fact-checkers and content material warning labels on its platforms.

The EU mentioned on Sunday it could ban RT and Sputnik, whereas Canadian telecoms operators have additionally stopped providing the RT channel.

Police detaining protestersProtests towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine resumed on Monday, with folks taking to the streets of Moscow, St Petersburg, and different cities [Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Photo]

On Monday, the web sites of a number of Russian media retailers had been hacked, with a message condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine showing on their important pages.

Whereas it’s unclear who was chargeable for the hack, the interference hints at a rising anti-war sentiment amongst Russians and others world wide. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authorities additionally has been accused of searching for to suppress dissent.

Russia’s state communications and media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked a number of Russian and Ukrainian media retailers over their protection of the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian journal The New Instances, which has been brazenly important of the Kremlin, was blocked for reporting particulars about Russian army casualties in Ukraine, which the Russian defence ministry has not disclosed.

Protests towards the invasion have been held throughout Russia for a number of days, regardless of authorities launching a mass arrest marketing campaign towards the demonstrators, whereas almost a million folks signed a web-based petition demanding an finish to the warfare.



Mitt Romney calls pro-Putin sentiments from some in GOP and media ‘almost treasonous’


The Utah senator has lengthy been essential of the U.S. method to Russia.

(Screenshot) Throughout an look on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney referred to as pro-Putin sentiments from throughout the Republican celebration and a few right-wing media “virtually treasonous”.

Sen. Mitt Romney had a terse rebuke for People, together with the media and members of the Republican Celebration, who’ve voiced assist for Vladimir Putin and the Russian assault on Ukraine in latest days, calling such actions “virtually treasonous.”

Talking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, the Utah senator mentioned the assault on Kyiv, Russia’s menace to the U.S. and the world, and the pro-Putin sentiments throughout the GOP.

“A whole lot of these persons are altering their stripes as they’re seeing the response of the work and the political response right here within the U.S.,” Romney mentioned. “However how anyone on this nation, which loves freedom, can facet with Vladimir Putin, who’s an oppressor, a dictator, he kills folks, he imprisons his political opponents, he has been an adversary of America at each probability he’s had, it’s unthinkable to me. It’s virtually treasonous.

“It simply makes me ailing to see a few of these folks do this. … It’s disgusting. I’m hopeful you’re seeing a few of these folks acknowledge simply how incorrect they’re.”

Requested particularly if he thought-about the pro-Putin remarks from former President Donald Trump to be treasonous, Romney stopped nicely wanting leveling the accusation.

“I mentioned it’s almost treasonous,” the senator replied. “Standing up for freedom is the suitable factor to do in America. Something lower than that’s unworthy of American assist.”

Romney has lengthy been vocal about his issues relating to Russia and Putin. He was mocked in some political circles throughout his 2012 presidential marketing campaign for calling Russia a geopolitical adversary to the USA, with President Barack Obama saying throughout one debate that “the Nineteen Eighties are calling to ask for his or her international coverage again.”

“I’ve clear eyes on this,” Romney mentioned on the time. “I’m not going to put on rose-colored glasses relating to Russia or Mr. Putin.”

Romney didn’t appear concerned with taking a victory lap Sunday. He referred to as China the best financial and army menace to America long run. However the senator reiterated his longstanding issues with Putin’s Russia.

“They assist the world’s worst actors,” Romney mentioned, citing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro and North Korean chief Kim Jong-un. “They mainly poke us within the eye each time they’ll. …

“Russia, in a variety of respects is circling the drain, given their shrinking inhabitants, their weak economic system. John McCain used to joke that Russia is a gasoline station parading as a nation. However they’re a geopolitical adversary poking us the place they’ll.”

Romney lamented the White Home’s method to dealing with Russia over a few years.

“What does concern me,” he mentioned, “is that we’ve had president after president — not simply President Obama, however President Trump, President Bush — who have been resetting relations with Russia, hoping as they regarded within the eyes of Vladimir Putin they might see a accountable individual. And John McCain was proper. He mentioned he regarded in Vladimir Putin’s eyes and noticed the KGB.

“That’s what we’re seeing, a small, evil, feral-eyed man who’s attempting to form the world within the picture the place as soon as once more Russia could be an empire.”

Romney additionally lamented “tepid” responses to Putin’s earlier assaults on Georgia, Crimea and U.S. elections.

“In consequence, he feels emboldened to enter Ukraine,” Romney mentioned. “We lastly are saying no — partly due to folks with telephones and braveness from the folks of Ukraine. The world acknowledges the distinction between good and evil right here. This, I feel, goes to reset his calculation of what he’s going to do subsequent.”

The Utah senator reaffirmed assist for NATO’s Article 5, the mutual protection clause, ought to Russia assault a NATO nation.

“We’ll reply with full power,” Romney mentioned. “Now we have a duty. We’re folks with honor and integrity and we are going to fulfill our commitments.”

In the long run, Romney expressed optimism that Putin could be stopped.

“The folks of the world see him and see Russia for what it’s,” Romney mentioned. “We’ll battle for freedom. What we’re seeing is inspiring. It’s highly effective. And it’ll assist change the world in a optimistic method.”

EU ups the ante with Russia; closes airspace, bans media | European Union News


The European Union has introduced sweeping new sanctions in opposition to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, closing its airspace to Russian plane and banning Russian state media shops broadcasting within the bloc.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, saying the measures on Sunday, stated the Union was taking the unprecedented step of financing arms to Ukraine, and was hitting Russian ally Belarus with sanctions for facilitating the invasion.

“They received’t be capable of land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU. Together with the non-public jets of oligarchs,” von der Leyen stated of the airspace measures in a tweet.

Particular person EU international locations have been saying bans on Russian planes of their airspace in current days.

The UK has moreover banned Russian airways from touchdown at its airports or crossing its airspace, that means Moscow is dealing with a close to complete blockade of the continent’s skies.

The measures come on high of sanctions von der Leyen introduced a day earlier which are about to be carried out: slicing some Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging community, banning all transactions with Russia’s central financial institution, and added restrictions on Russian oligarchs.

The EU has additionally sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin and his international minister Sergey Lavrov.

Collectively, the steps added as much as the hardest stance the EU has taken in opposition to a rustic, reflecting the bloc’s horror and anger at Putin’s assault on Ukraine, launched on Thursday.

“Because the struggle in Ukraine rages on, and Ukrainians struggle bravely for his or her nation, the European Union steps up as soon as extra its help for Ukraine and the sanctions in opposition to the aggressor – Putin’s Russia,” von der Leyen stated in a broadcast deal with.

She stated the airspace ban would prohibit flights into or over the EU by “each Russian airplane – and that features the non-public jets of oligarchs”.

The measure consolidated what was already de facto largely in place, with lots of the EU’s 27 nations individually saying airspace closures to Russian flights.

Stopping Russian ‘lies’

The transfer in opposition to Russian state media focused its shops Russia In the present day – referred to as RT – and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries.

Von der Leyen stated they “will now not be capable of unfold their lies to justify Putin’s struggle and to sow division in our Union”.

The EU’s international coverage chief Josep Borrell, at her facet, stated the measure concerned “banning Russia In the present day and Sputnik from broadcasting within the European Union”.

Sputnik responded with a sardonic assertion saying: “We propose the European Fee not cease midway and ban the web altogether.”

RT’s French subsidiary tweeted the ban “goes in opposition to the very rules of freedom of expression” and stated it was a sufferer of “censorship”.

Von der Leyen stated the sanctions in opposition to Belarus had been aimed toward “the opposite aggressor on this struggle”, naming the regime of strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

“We’ll hit Lukashenko’s regime with a brand new bundle of sanctions,” she stated.

“We’ll introduce restrictive measures in opposition to their most necessary sectors. This can cease their exports of merchandise from mineral fuels to tobacco, wooden and timber, cement, iron and metal.

“We may also prolong to Belarus the export restrictions we launched on dual-use items for Russia.”

Belarusians serving to Russia’s army operation would even be sanctioned, she stated.

Von der Leyen stated the choice to offer funding for the acquisition and supply of arms to Ukraine was “a watershed second for our Union”.

Borrell stated he would “suggest to make use of the European Peace Facility for emergency help measures to finance the availability of deadly materials to the Ukrainian military, in addition to badly wanted gas, protecting gear and medical provides”.

“We’re doing this as a result of this struggle requires our engagement so as to help the Ukrainian military – as a result of we stay in unprecedented occasions,” he stated.

Russian regulator warns local media over coverage of Ukraine war | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Russia’s communications regulator has ordered media shops within the nation to take away stories describing the persevering with assault on Ukraine as an “assault, invasion, or declaration of battle” – or face being blocked and fined.

In an announcement on Saturday, Roskomnadzor accused a number of impartial media shops of spreading “unreliable socially vital unfaithful data” in regards to the shelling of Ukrainian cities by the Russian military and civilian deaths.

Amongst these despatched warning letters had been Echo Moskvy, a preferred radio station, and Novaya Gazeta, the nation’s prime impartial newspaper whose editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize final 12 months.

Citing a request from the Prosecutor-Common’s Workplace, the regulator stated media shops, together with impartial tv channel Dozhd, will probably be blocked except they take away the “unreliable data”.

“Roskomnadzor additionally launched an administrative investigation into the dissemination of unreliable publicly vital data by the above-mentioned media,” the watchdog stated, including that the offence is punishable by a high-quality of as much as 5 million rubles ($60,000).

Roskomnadzor additionally stated that “dependable data” may very well be present in “official Russian data shops”.

Russia launched its full-scale invasion within the early hours of Thursday, calling it a “particular navy operation” aimed toward defending Russia-backed separatists within the east and demilitarising and “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. Russian troops on Saturday pressed in the direction of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, after an evening of explosions and avenue preventing that despatched residents looking for shelter underground.

In Russia, protests towards the battle resumed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and different cities on Friday, although they appeared smaller than these on Thursday, when hundreds of individuals took to the streets throughout the nation.

The OVD-Information rights group reported that 1,820 demonstrators had been detained in 58 Russian cities on Thursday night time, together with 1,002 in Moscow. It stated on Saturday a minimum of 2,490 folks had been arrested.

Individually, Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov on Friday strongly criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling President Vladimir Putin a “dictator” and urging world leaders to “comply with the cash” to cease him.

In the meantime, Elena Chernenko, a reporter with the Kommersant each day, stated she was kicked out of the overseas ministry pool over an open letter condemning the assault on Ukraine that has been signed by practically 300 reporters. Chernenko stated on the messaging app, Telegram, that the ministry cited her “lack of professionalism”, and he or she urged officers to not retaliate towards journalists who signed the letter.

“Apparently, such are the occasions,” Chernenko wrote of the ban.

One other journalist going through bother was Yury Dud. Like many others on Thursday, Dud, a vocal Kremlin critic who runs one of the standard YouTube blogs in Russia, wrote an elaborate social media submit decrying the invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, an influential Kremlin-backed web watchdog group, the Secure Web League, filed a request with the Prosecutor-Common’s Workplace and the Justice Ministry to contemplate labelling Dud a “overseas agent” – a crippling designation that suggests further authorities scrutiny and robust pejorative connotations that may discredit him.

Common state TV station, Channel One, introduced it was changing leisure reveals on its schedule with information and political reveals “due to the present state of affairs”. Amongst these scrapped was a late-night present hosted by a preferred comic, Ivan Urgant, who spoke out towards the invasion on Instagram.

The channel’s spokespeople insisted the choice to take away Urgant’s present from the schedule had nothing to do along with his Instagram submit.

Day 3 of the Russian invasion in Ukraine



Facebook blocks Russian state media ads : NPR


Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Tony Avelar/AP


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Tony Avelar/AP


Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Tony Avelar/AP

Fb is obstructing Russian state media from working advertisements on its platform wherever on this planet. The transfer comes after Russia mentioned it could restrict entry to the enormous social community within the nation.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of safety coverage at Fb, tweeted: “We at the moment are prohibiting Russian state media from working advertisements or monetizing on our platform wherever on this planet.”

It was not instantly clear whether or not the ban included different merchandise beneath Meta, like Instagram.

Twitter made the same transfer, saying it was “quickly pausing ads in Ukraine and Russia to make sure vital public security info is elevated and advertisements do not detract from it.”

Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The social community says it is also persevering with to label state-owned media accounts.

Earlier, Meta mentioned Russian authorities had ordered it to cease labeling and fact-checking state media.

On Friday, Russia’s communications regulator accused Fb of censorship and mentioned it was partially limiting entry to the platform.

Tech firms are beneath stress to restrict the unfold of deceptive info and propaganda in regards to the battle, whereas additionally dealing with threats from the Kremlin, which has been tightening its grip on communications.

Editor’s observe: Fb’s dad or mum firm, Meta, pays NPR to license NPR content material.



Facebook bans Russia state media from running adverts, monetising | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Transfer comes hours after Moscow mentioned it was limiting entry to Fb amid fact-checking dispute and invasion of Ukraine.

Fb says it has restricted Russian state media’s capacity to earn cash on the social media platform as Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine reached the streets of Kyiv.

“We are actually prohibiting Russian state media from working adverts or monetising on our platform anyplace on the planet,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media large’s safety coverage head, mentioned on Twitter on Friday.

He added that Fb would “proceed to use labels to further Russian state media”.

Fb’s dad or mum firm Meta mentioned earlier on Friday that Russia would hit its companies with restrictions after it refused authorities’ order to cease utilizing truth checkers and content material warning labels on its platforms.

Social media networks have turn out to be one of many fronts in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, house to generally deceptive info but additionally real-time monitoring of a rapidly creating battle that marks Europe’s largest geopolitical disaster in many years.

“Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to cease the impartial fact-checking and labelling of content material posted on Fb by 4 Russian state-owned media organisations,” Meta’s Nick Clegg mentioned in a press release. “We refused.”

His assertion got here hours after Russia’s media regulator mentioned it was limiting entry to Fb, accusing the American tech large of censorship and violating the rights of Russian residents.

On Wednesday, Fb additionally launched a function in Ukraine that permits individuals to lock their profiles for elevated safety, utilizing a device the corporate additionally deployed after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban final yr.

Gleicher mentioned Fb had arrange a particular operations centre to observe the state of affairs in Ukraine “in response to the unfolding navy battle”.

Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social media app, launches year after Twitter ban : NPR


Over a yr in the past, former President Donald Trump acquired booted from social media websites owned by Meta and Twitter. He vowed to create his personal, and Fact Social launched on Monday.



RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Simply over a yr in the past, former President Donald Trump acquired booted from social media websites, together with YouTube, Fb and Twitter. He then vowed to create his personal platform. He calls it Fact Social. And it launched yesterday. I talked earlier with NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn about it.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: So there was tons of curiosity. The app was launched Monday morning and rapidly shot to the highest of Apple’s most downloaded listing. However many individuals, myself included, who tried to test it out have been caught in a form of tech doom loop. You realize, there have been these electronic mail confirmations that have been promised and by no means arrived. You’d put in a code and get an error message. This was broadly reported throughout Twitter and different social media. Those that have been capable of make accounts have been positioned on a wait listing, with some a whole lot of hundreds of individuals in entrance of them.

MARTIN: Bless you for doing that for the sake of journalism, Bobby.

ALLYN: (Laughter).

MARTIN: So simply remind us the bigger context right here. Twitter, after all, banned Trump. However say extra about his agenda with this app.

ALLYN: Yeah. Precisely. So you already know, since he was banned from Twitter, Fb and YouTube after statements he made urging supporters to storm the Capitol, you already know, he has needed to begin his personal Twitter-esque service. And he is enlisted former Congressman Devin Nunes to steer the hassle. Nunes just lately went on Fox Information to speak up Fact Social. He says all of the bugs shall be labored out by the tip of March and that it is all about, you already know, giving folks their voice again and making a social media platform that is not managed by a giant Silicon Valley firm. And let me remind you, this can be a actually crowded area, Rachel. There’s, like, half a dozen different conservative-leading, you already know, social media apps attempting to tug folks away from the Twitters and Facebooks of the world.

MARTIN: Proper. So he has competitors. Even Donald Trump has competitors in that area. So does this app, then – with Trump’s identify connected to it, does it have any form of shot of breaking by?

ALLYN: Definitely has a really highly effective publicity machine. I imply, Trump allies, like representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, are speaking it up, so is Fox Information star Sean Hannity. It has raised a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. So given these huge names and its sizable fundraising, you already know, it does have potential. However specialists I talked to are fairly uncertain that it’s going to ever come anyplace near changing Twitter. This is Hunter School professor Jessie Daniels, who research on-line extremism.

JESSIE DANIELS: I believe a part of what he has discovered so helpful, particularly about Twitter, is that it each is relied upon by journalists as a supply, and it is utilized by an actual cross part of individuals politically. And so Twitter turns into a form of target-rich setting.

ALLYN: In different phrases, Fact Social may not be that, proper? Twitter has some 300 million customers and many totally different views, a lot of viral squabbles. And if a platform is usually like-minded folks, you already know, principally an echo chamber, you may not have these fights that make Twitter create so many headlines.

MARTIN: Though, it will possibly serve to animate his base, could not it?

ALLYN: That is true. No, that could be very true. you already know? However, you already know, there’s additionally solely so many individuals concerned with a non-mainstream different to Twitter.

MARTIN: Yeah.

ALLYN: So it is form of, you already know, are these folks actually – who’re at different websites going to go to Trump’s new website? And I’ll be aware right here, Rachel, that I checked out the app’s phrases of service. And there’s one factor that’s prohibited on Fact Social, and that’s, quote, to “disparage, tarnish or in any other case hurt” the backers of the location. And I think about meaning Donald Trump.

MARTIN: NPR’s Bobby Allyn. We admire your reporting on this, Bobby. Thanks.

ALLYN: Thanks, Rachel.

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