Russia faces sanctions, Russia sends ‘peacekeepers’ to Ukraine, Trump app : NPR


Russia has despatched troops into japanese Ukraine. Is that this an act of struggle or the continuation of the identical battle that is been occurring there for the previous eight years?


Properly, that is what the U.S. is attempting to determine with a purpose to determine the right way to reply. The Biden administration already introduced that People cannot do enterprise within the separatist areas of Ukraine that Putin has now declared unbiased. However the U.S. is holding again on a fuller set of sanctions in opposition to Putin. The U.N. Safety Council held an emergency assembly final night time on Ukraine, and that is what U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield mentioned.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: President Putin is testing our worldwide system. He’s testing our resolve and seeing simply how far he can push us all. He desires to show that, by power, he could make a farce of the U.N. We should act collectively in response to this disaster.

MARTIN: So what does that seem like? NPR’s Jackie Northam is right here with us this morning. Hey, Jackie.


MARTIN: So what are you able to inform us about how the U.S. and NATO allies have responded to this newest provocation by Putin?

NORTHAM: Properly, the primary reactions have been to launch sanctions in opposition to Russia. Simply this morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson from the U.Okay. instructed an emergency nationwide safety assembly that the U.Okay. would launch a barrage of sanctions in opposition to the nation. He did not particularly say what they have been however that Russian financial pursuits could be hit laborious and that there have been – there was no place for Russian oligarchs to cover. The U.S. can be sanctioning Russia, nevertheless it’s a much more restricted strategy, simply focusing on these two breakaway areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, and that may stop any People from doing enterprise there or bringing any items or expertise from the area. However to be clear, these are restricted sanctions by the U.S. and far totally different than those the U.S. has been promising to impose on Russia for the previous couple of weeks ought to it invade Ukraine, not simply these breakaway areas.

MARTIN: Proper. And so that is what the U.S. is attempting to outline, whether or not or not this constitutes an invasion of Ukraine. What would these broader set of sanctions seem like?

NORTHAM: Properly, they aim and attempt to cripple Russia’s financial system – so, you already know, sanctioning a few of its greatest banks, stopping them from being a part of the, you already know, international monetary market, withholding any U.S.-made expertise to Russia which might hamper Russia’s efforts to, you already know, modernize its navy and likewise threatening to cease this new pure fuel pipeline from Russia to Germany from logging on. And it is pure fuel that helps prop up Russia’s financial system.

MARTIN: So what would it not take for the U.S. to determine that Russia has now crossed that line and that it is acceptable to focus on Putin and his shut allies, these banks, as you have been speaking about, with these sanctions?

NORTHAM: Properly, a senior administration official says all of it depends upon what Russia does now. So who is aware of? Maybe if Russia strikes additional into Ukraine, that would spark these severe sanctions we’re speaking about. And in reality, the U.S. says it’s anticipated to announce one other spherical of sanctions at present in opposition to Russia.

MARTIN: So Putin has declared these two states as unbiased. He has despatched forces into the Donbas and Luhansk areas. The U.N. needed to maintain an emergency Safety Council assembly. The place is diplomacy at this level, Jackie?

NORTHAM: Properly, you already know, there’s – the window for a diplomatic decision to this disaster is shortly closing. There isn’t any query about that. As you talked about, the U.N. Safety Council met, however there was no motion taken. At present, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is because of meet along with his Ukrainian counterpart, and he was imagined to be assembly with Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday. No phrase if that is going to occur.

MARTIN: NPR’s Jackie Northam. Thanks.

NORTHAM: Thanks.

MARTIN: OK, in order the U.S. and NATO strive to determine the right way to maintain Putin accountable for this newest transfer, Ukrainians now really feel below risk in a brand new method.

MARTINEZ: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is attempting to reassure his individuals. He mentioned yesterday that Ukraine’s internationally acknowledged borders would stay that method and that there was no purpose for chaotic actions.

MARTIN: NPR’s Charles Maynes is with us. He’s within the southern Russian metropolis of Rostov-on-Don close to the Ukrainian border. Charles, thanks for being right here.

CHARLES MAYNES, BYLINE: Blissful to do it.

MARTIN: So what are you listening to from Russians there?

MAYNES: Properly, you already know, initially, you already know, a lot of those occasions occurred right here late into the night time, so Russians right here in Rostov and elsewhere awakened this morning to the information and a brand new actuality, you already know, that the Kremlin had taken actions that would result in struggle or crushing sanctions or presumably each. And we now have information that Russian tanks are in these so-called republics as a part of what Russia says is its peacekeeping power. Russian state TV is exhibiting celebrations within the separatist areas, in addition to – I have been getting messages from Russian nationalists at house. They’ve lengthy championed independence ever since participating in a Russian-backed proxy struggle in east Ukraine in 2014 – actually, a part of this broader Kremlin effort to undermine Ukraine’s ambitions to hitch NATO and the EU.

However, you already know, much less clear, I feel, is what the remainder of Russia will make of this could violence in Ukraine spiral, and that definitely appears doable. Two Ukrainian troopers have been killed in a single day, dozens wounded. The separatists are actually speaking about seizing extra territory within the Donbas now that they’ve Russian backing. And in the meantime, Russia is accusing Ukraine of shelling civilians, even staging assaults on Russian territory right here the place I’m in Rostov Oblast. That is close to the border once more. And all this might be used as a pretext for additional navy motion, which, after all, is what the U.S. and allies have been warning about all alongside. I imply, simply on a private observe, I made a go to to the border yesterday, and I might see tanks and navy autos tucked within the woods to the facet of the principle freeway, and that is only one a part of this massive power of some 150,000 Russian troops now that appears to be an invasion power.

MARTIN: Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy is attempting to reassure Ukrainians, however that could be a actually powerful job proper now – proper? – I imply, after Russia took Crimea in 2014, now has acknowledged these two Russian-backed areas of Ukraine as unbiased.

MAYNES: Yeah, you already know, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a speech late, late final night time calling the Russian transfer a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. He mentioned Ukraine needed peace however wouldn’t give something away to anybody. He additionally referred to as for a transparent and efficient response from the worldwide neighborhood. Let’s pay attention in.


PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: (Non-English language spoken).

MAYNES: So right here Zelenskyy is saying that that is the second when Ukraine finds out who its actual mates and companions are and who will proceed to push again in opposition to Russia with simply phrases alone. You realize, I feel it is honest to say that is actually the newest instance of Zelenskyy’s frustration with Western powers who’ve been warning Russia behind the scenes of what might occur if it assaults Ukraine, moderately than overtly spelling out what is going to occur.

MARTIN: Charles, I wish to ask you concerning the assembly, the speech, that Putin had yesterday as a result of he is such a black field – proper? – on the worldwide stage. It’s totally uncommon to have the ability to perceive precisely what’s occurring in his thoughts or his decision-making course of. So each alternative to see him in a public setting offers us some clues. So what did you see in his conferences yesterday that have been placed on public tv, in his speech?

MAYNES: Yeah, this was a very, actually offended speech. And what struck me was that though a lot of it was a chauvinistic harangue about Ukraine, the opposite half targeted on what Putin sees because the West making the most of Russia after the tip of the Chilly Warfare – you already know, anger over NATO growth eastward in the direction of Russia’s borders and about what Putin argues are Western designs to include and even destroy Russia at present. And Putin’s obsessions with these matters have not been resolved in any method by this transfer into the Donbas, which means that yesterday’s drama is a prelude to extra brinkmanship or even perhaps battle to come back.

MARTIN: NPR’s Charles Maynes. Thanks.

MAYNES: Thanks.


MARTIN: Former President Donald Trump has a brand new social media app.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, it is referred to as Fact Social, and it is attempting to be a conservative-leaning different to Twitter, which banned Trump final yr.

MARTIN: So many questions. Let’s put them to NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn. Hey, Bobby.


MARTIN: So I heard that the launch of this social media app, Fact Social, didn’t go to plan.

ALLYN: (Laughter) Yeah, not precisely. So there was tons of curiosity. The app was launched Monday morning and shortly 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 are these e mail confirmations that have been promised and by no means arrived. You’d put in a code and get an error message. This was extensively reported throughout Twitter and different social media. Those that have been capable of make accounts have been positioned on a waitlist with some tons of of hundreds of individuals in entrance of them.

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

ALLYN: (Laughter) Proper.

MARTIN: So simply remind us of 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 not too long ago 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 individuals their voice again and making a social media platform that is not managed by a giant Silicon Valley firm. And let me remind you, it is a actually crowded house, Rachel. There’s, like, half a dozen different conservative-leaning, you already know, social media apps attempting to drag individuals away from the Twitters and Facebooks of the world.

MARTIN: Proper, so he has competitors, even Donald Trump has competitors, in that house. 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 tons of of tens of millions of {dollars}. So given these large names and its sizable fundraising, you already know, it does have potential. However consultants I talked to are fairly uncertain that it’s going to ever come wherever near changing Twitter. Here is Hunter Faculty professor Jessie Daniels, who research on-line extremism.

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

ALLYN: In different phrases, Fact Social won’t be that, proper? Twitter has some 300 million customers and many totally different views, numerous viral squabbles, and if a platform is generally like-minded individuals – you already know, principally an echo chamber – you won’t have these fights that make Twitter create so many headlines.

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

ALLYN: That is true. No, that may be very true. You realize, however – you already know, there’s additionally solely so many individuals fascinated about a nonmainstream different to Twitter. So it is form of – you already know, are these individuals, actually, who’re at different websites going to go to Trump’s information website? And I’ll observe right here, Rachel, that I checked out the app’s phrases of service, and there may be 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 positioning.” And I think about meaning Donald Trump.

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

ALLYN: Thanks, Rachel.

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