Empty shelves, spy hunt: Kyiv residents brace for Russian assault | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Residents and servicemen alike hunt for Russian spies in Kyiv and supermarkets wrestle with logistics as a protracted Russian army convoy advances slowly in the direction of town.

The seventh day of Russia’s warfare on Ukraine started with the sounds of sirens warning of air raids once more on Wednesday morning whereas a lot of explosions and shelling incidents had been heard in a single day.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the enduring Independence Sq. in Kyiv, has been surrounded by barricades with sandbags and anti-tank Czech hedgehogs, as a 64km (40-mile) convoy of Russian tanks and different automobiles advances slowly in the direction of town.

Spanish ham, French cheese, Swiss chocolate and mangoes delivered straight from Thailand final week, simply earlier than the warfare, are left on the cabinets of Silpo, a grocery store chain, within the Pecherskyi district within the metropolis of practically three million individuals.

All the cheaper meals are gone. There isn’t a bread or greens, no oils of any form, and no meat or sausages.

“We’re anticipating a supply tomorrow, it’s not that simple logistically,” Konstantin, a cashier in a face masks adorned with a tiny Ukrainian coat of arms, advised Al Jazeera.

Not removed from Silpo, a dozen individuals stand patiently close to the doorways of a pharmacy. It snowed in Kyiv final evening, however the snow is melting, and the tweeting of birds will not be silenced by the standard drone of visitors.

People line up in front of a pharmacy in KyivFolks line up in entrance of a pharmacy in Kyiv [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

“It’s one man out, one man in,” Leonid Goncharenko, a 79-year-old former firefighter, advised Al Jazeera, pointing on the doorways. He wants a number of drugs and drops for his diabetes and a coronary heart situation, and can wait patiently to get in.

Aside from the queues in entrance of grocery retailers and supermarkets, the streets are empty. Folks trickle out and in of the close by underground metro station-turned bomb shelter.

Teams of stern, gun-toting army officers in khaki uniforms and masks examine the identification of anybody getting into the station.

An analogous group of servicemen stops and checks every automotive and truck. Drivers and passersby eagerly present their ID playing cards, opening luggage and automotive boots.

“There are Russian spies working in Kyiv already, they spot the placement of strategic websites, we’ve got to seek out and detain them,” one of many servicemen advised Al Jazeera.

Nearly each house constructing has its personal chat room in WhatsApp or Viber, the place residents change information, suggestions and rumours.

An aged man sitting on a bench, a stranger knocking on someone’s door, a foreign-looking man taking photos – everybody seems to be suspicious, and teams of neighbours usually rush to such individuals asking what they’re doing within the neighbourhood.

“It’s our civil responsibility – to be vigilant,” Tetiana Dobuzhanska, 34, who lives in a five-storey constructing of the Pecherskyi district, advised Al Jazeera.

With extra reporting from Kyiv by Mansur Mirovalev

A single person is seen on a Kyiv streetNearly each house constructing has its personal chat room in Whatsapp or Viber, the place residents change information, suggestions and rumours [Mansur Mirovalev/Al Jazeera]

Residents of Ukraine’s breakaways recount short-lived joy, hope | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


After residing eight years within the battle zone, the residents of Ukraine’s separatist-controlled elements of Donetsk and Luhansk areas have rejoiced at Russia’s recognition of their self-proclaimed republics’ independence, considering it might deliver peace and stability.

The enjoyment of the February 21 announcement lasted simply three days as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin used the safety of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk Folks’s Republics (DPR and LPR) in japanese Ukraine as a pretext for a full-scale invasion of the nation on February 24.

Al Jazeera spoke with residents of the separatist republics about life after recognition, the all-out conflict, in addition to their relationship with Russia and Ukraine.

Maxim, 36, Luhansk metropolis

“All my family members are in Luhansk. It’s calm right here, however photographs from heavy weapons are heard from town or close to town. An oil depot exploded within the Luhansk area, within the metropolis of Rovenki.

I don’t depart the place the place I’m now, as a result of mobilisation is below means and everybody of navy age is being taken away. At virtually each bus cease, folks in uniform get into minibuses and choose up males.

Nearly all of my acquaintances and mates don’t work and conceal in secluded locations. There are virtually no males of navy age on the streets.

Volunteers are being sent to recruiting offices after a declaration of mobilization in the Donetsk region Males are being despatched to navy recruiting workplaces after a declaration of mobilisation within the Donetsk area below the management of pro-Russian separatists [File: Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Recognition was simply an excuse to assault Ukraine. Folks in Donbas are nonetheless being shelled regardless of that Russia promised it might cease. Besides how they began choosing up folks on the streets, nothing has modified.

This isn’t our conflict, not the conflict of extraordinary folks, however the conflict of somebody’s ambitions and whims.

Russian President [Vladimir Putin] and his pocket politicians ought to themselves battle this mindless and silly conflict.

None of my family and mates have left town but. Right here such a circus with this evacuation is staged, it’s simply one other window dressing.

A buddy’s daughter went to a rally, actually they had been placed on buses “for evacuation”, photographed for the press and despatched house.

Regarding my emotions about Ukraine. Over these eight years [since the separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk broke away from Ukraine in 2014], the [central] authorities of the nation haven’t achieved something to make folks themselves need to return below Ukrainian management.

Ukraine map

Their idiotic legal guidelines on decommunisation, ban on the Russian language [refers to a language law requiring all Ukrainian citizens to know the official state language], renaming streets and cities solely repels me.

And the tariffs for utilities are typically out of this world in Ukraine, though in Luhansk tariffs have risen very a lot and meals costs are the identical as in Moscow, if not increased, whereas salaries are pennies.

Everybody right here suffered from the conflict, there isn’t a railway or air site visitors right here, there are not any worldwide banks.

I divide Russia into authorities and folks. I don’t respect the federal government for his or her coverage and angle in direction of folks, however the persons are all totally different. There are sane folks, however there are folks which might be zombified by propaganda.

It hurts me for the folks on the [government-controlled] aspect of Ukraine, I realise that they’ll plunge into the darkness and poverty during which we [in the separatist regions] have lived all these eight years.”

Christina, 32, Donetsk metropolis

“Folks had been blissful due to the popularity. For us, this was one other little step in direction of peace. We rejoiced as a result of we had been recognised, we had been heard, we had been seen.

Folks thought that the world neighborhood would concentrate and the prayers of the folks of Donetsk could be heard. Folks had been blissful, it’s true.

We understood that there could be a conflict [in Donbas] and tensed up, however typically in Donbas, folks exhaled and stated “possibly every little thing will finish”.

To be sincere, nothing has modified [since recognition] aside from the enjoyment of our compatriots.

Shelling has been added. It hit town centre immediately, which has by no means occurred earlier than.

A woman is seen in front of damaged building in Donetsk's PetrovskayaA lady is seen in entrance of a broken constructing in Donetsk’s Petrovskaya, which is below management of pro-Russian separatists [File: Leon Klein/Anadolu Agency]

All males had been mobilised all through town. There are solely ladies within the metropolis now. The lads went to conflict.

After all, everyone seems to be tense and afraid for his or her fathers, brothers, sons and youngsters. Lots of my mates, classmates, dad and mom of classmates grew to become volunteers within the military over time.

Our folks help the president of Russia. However we don’t help the conflict in Ukraine, we don’t help the killing of civilians.

All of us wakened on this hell and we don’t want this on anybody. We love Ukrainian brothers.

We have no idea for positive, however we expect that it’s not extraordinary people who find themselves firing at us for eight years. We guess that these are nationalist battalions [Putin and other officials have claimed that Russia has been targeting only ultra-nationalists in Ukraine].”

Natalia, 38, Ilovaisk metropolis, Donetsk

“The scenario after the missile got here is calm. [The night before the interview DPR air defence shot down a rocket that fell near a private residential building].

Though it was very scary, we didn’t know what to do and the place to run. Many individuals left after this blow. Now town is abandoned, however all retailers are open within the metropolis and items and important merchandise are in abundance – there’s sufficient of every little thing.

I’ve a sick mom and grandmother. I can’t depart them and so they don’t need to depart, both, although I attempted to influence them.

A lot of the metropolis was mobilised, few remained. There are virtually no males. Our metropolis is small and there are a number of my acquaintances amongst these folks.

I can’t say how I really feel concerning the introduction of [Russian] troops [in Ukraine], I don’t perceive the entire level of this conflict, persons are dying from all sides, it is a catastrophe for everybody.

The popularity of the republics was handled with nice pleasure right here, everybody was blissful and thought that peace would lastly come. Nobody anticipated such a flip of occasions, a minimum of I have no idea such.”

Anton, 23, Makiivka, Donetsk

“I really feel concern and anger. I hoped that there could be no conflict, and now I’m watching as Ukraine – the nation during which I lived one of the best years of my life – falls aside.

However I strive to not lose coronary heart, I’ve to consider myself, about my profession. In spite of everything, nothing will change due to me (or us).

I really feel no feelings concerning the recognition of DPR and LPR. Not everyone seems to be dangerous on the Ukrainian aspect. My family stayed in Ukraine and we communicate.

I now have a Ukrainian passport, however I utilized for the DPR passport due to recognition. I made a decision that it might come in useful.

In this file photo taken on January 19, 2022, a pedestrian walks past a huge state emblem of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk, eastern UkraineA pedestrian walks previous an enormous state emblem of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Folks’s Republic (DPR) in Donetsk [File: Alexander Nemenov/AFP]

Concerning politics, I’m upset. I imagine that every little thing will return to regular, however we must watch for 10 and even 20 years.

I disagree with the journey ban. I’m planning on leaving, however I can’t depart now. I need independence, and virtually everybody instructed me that if there are any objectives in life, then it’s higher to depart Donbas.

The truth that they started to select up folks on the streets, I noticed solely from pictures on social media, however my mates acquired summons for the military.

I can’t inform something concerning the scenario within the metropolis as a result of I don’t go exterior in any respect because of mobilisation. It’s scary to be on the conflict entrance. Very scary. I’ve extra plans for all times.”

Some Salt Lake County residents should still mask up despite updated CDC guidance, health director says


Dr. Angela Dunn additionally urged individuals to respect masking requests from others.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Individuals collect because the Salt Lake County Council holds a quick assembly on a January masks mandate, in Salt Lake Metropolis on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Following up to date masking steering Friday from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Salt Lake County residents ought to nonetheless put on a masks in some conditions, says Dr. Angela Dunn — who additionally urged individuals to respect masking requests from others.

Editor’s observe: The Salt Lake Tribune is offering free entry to essential tales in regards to the coronavirus. Join our Prime Tales publication, despatched to your inbox each morning. To assist journalism like this, please donate or grow to be a subscriber.

Salt Lake County residents ought to nonetheless put on a masks in some conditions, says Dr. Angela Dunn — who additionally urged individuals to respect masking requests from others.

“In the event you enter a enterprise and so they require or advocate masks, please respect this and put on a masks; they could have a colleague at excessive threat who wants that extra safety,” mentioned Dunn, the manager director of the Salt Lake County Well being Division, in new steering launched Monday.

“If a member of the family or pal you see often has an underlying well being situation, put on a masks in crowded, indoor settings for his or her sake — or consider if it’s worthwhile to be in that setting in any respect,” she added.

Dunn’s new suggestions comply with the Friday launch of latest recommendation from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The brand new steering advises solely individuals in “excessive” threat areas to proceed sporting masks. In Utah, two counties are thought-about excessive threat: Tooele and San Juan.

Salt Lake County is taken into account a medium-risk space, together with Beaver, Field Elder, Cache, Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Kane, Morgan, Wealthy, Sanpete, Summit, Uintah, Wasatch, Washington, and Weber counties. In such areas, individuals at excessive threat for extreme illness ought to train warning, the CDC suggested.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox earlier this month known as on companies to elevate all masks and vaccine necessities, saying the pandemic has shifted such that particular person Utahns wanted to guage their very own private threat “to guard ourselves and to reside fortunately ever after.”

The state is also winding down its COVID-19 response this month, shuttering take a look at websites and and ending the day by day launch of information for coronavirus instances, hospitalizations and demise after April 1, as a substitute offering these figures “most likely … extra on a weekly foundation,” Cox mentioned.

Surges in instances are more likely to happen once more, Cox mentioned on the time, however he claimed the omicron variant confirmed a “decoupling” of “the speed of unfold of the virus and the deadliness of the virus and the extreme hospitalizations that went with that.”

State information nonetheless reveals hospitalizations and deaths each rose sharply in January because the omicron variant unfold throughout the state — simply not as sharply as instances rose. And there’s no strategy to know whether or not future variants of the virus will trigger deaths and hospitalizations at a decrease or increased fee than the omicron variant has.

On Friday, Utah Division of Well being information confirmed unvaccinated individuals had been at 6.3 occasions larger threat of dying from the coronavirus, 2.5 extra more likely to be hospitalized and a couple of occasions nice threat of testing optimistic. The chance elevated vital when evaluating unvaccinated individuals to those that’ve obtained a COVID-19 booster.

Dunn on Monday suggested residents keep up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, isolate at dwelling in the event that they expertise any signs of the virus, put on a high-filtration masks when circumstances apply, search remedy early in the event that they take a look at optimistic and are at excessive threat for critical sickness and preserve a wholesome way of life by consuming nutritious meals and getting train.

“Please remember and respectful of what the individuals round you’re doing,” Dunn mentioned, “and likewise take into account the individuals in your life who could also be at increased threat than you.”

— This story is creating and will probably be up to date.

Food inequality haunts SLC’s west side. Here’s how residents are working to change that.


On the nook of North Temple and Redwood Highway, Lisia Satini counts not less than 9 fast-food eating places.

“We’re busy, working class, and typically we don’t have time to be cooking,” she stated. “And once we’re on the lookout for meals, and all now we have are fast-food choices, it’s irritating.”

Though Satini can also level to a few grocery shops in her Fairpark and Rose Park space, making wholesome meals choices can nonetheless be a wrestle.

The issue isn’t nearly not having sufficient close by grocers. Meals inequity as an alternative is a multidimensional subject in west Salt Lake Metropolis.

It’s evident each time Satini travels east to search out extra reasonably priced wholesome meals choices. It additionally haunts her when she will be able to’t get culturally applicable meals in her personal neighborhood, or when the shops don’t supply contemporary and wholesome decisions.

She now could be a part of Meals Fairness Advisors, a Salt Lake Metropolis program devoted to assuaging these variations.

The group organizes conferences with metropolis residents from numerous backgrounds to collect enter about boundaries to meals entry. The objective is to supply a brand new meals evaluation to replace the final one the town printed in 2013. These advisers additionally assist draft suggestions for the town to contemplate.

Now this system is proposing a Meals Fairness Decision that “will acknowledge the necessity for modifications in land use planning, zoning, environmental and housing coverage, water administration, transportation, parks and open area, financial improvement,” reads a 2021 report. It’s anticipated to be mentioned by the Metropolis Council within the coming months.

Of their preliminary draft, the advisers known as for a decision to proceed to make meals fairness a precedence, updating the town’s current meals evaluation and pursuing extra management alternatives for numerous residents.

The starvation hole

In areas comparable to Glendale and a few ZIP codes that Utah’s capital shares with neighboring South Salt Lake, 29% to 33% of adults fear about having sufficient cash to purchase meals, based on 2015-2020 knowledge from the Utah Division of Well being.

Throughout the valley, in an east-bench space, that share is round 14%, lower than half of what’s discovered amongst lower-income communities and communities of shade.

Information from the U.S. Division of Agriculture additionally reveals gaps in grocery store entry. West-siders within the Ballpark, Fairpark, Glendale, Jordan Meadows, Poplar Grove and Rose Park neighborhoods have a more durable time attending to grocery shops.

Meals Fairness Advisors gathered 13 residents to assist put this knowledge into context by explaining what challenges they see of their neighborhoods, points they could have with already current meals packages, and what they take into account to be culturally applicable meals. Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New Haven, Connecticut, run comparable initiatives.

[Read more: There are 410,000 Utahns who are hungry. Here’s how you can help.]

The pilot program has wrapped up, and a brand new cohort is predicted to begin this 12 months. The town is accepting functions to take part and hopes to host the brand new group’s first assembly in April.

“The west aspect of Salt Lake,” stated Brian Emerson, Salt Lake Metropolis’s meals and fairness program supervisor, “for sure over time, there’s been underrepresentation for positive, and underinvestment and outright institutional racism.”

Whereas the areas of grocery shops have a direct influence on meals accessibility, Emerson stated, the meals fairness drawback has many extra layers.

Different obstacles embody low incomes, lack of entry to assist just like the Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP), the rising price of housing and different fundamentals, and transportation shortcomings.

“Earnings is the figuring out issue,” he stated. “However the meals that is likely to be out there in a neighborhood, it’s simply not proper for the neighborhood.”

That was Satini’s case.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lisia Satini, one of many advisers of Salt Lake Metropolis program to battle meals inequity, stands close to North Temple and Redwood Highway, on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

As a Pacific Islander, she had parts lacking in her eating regimen. She then was capable of finding taro leaves and inexperienced bananas in her space grocery store — a small victory, after mentioning the shortage of numerous meals to a grocer in one of many city-organized conferences.

“Accessibility is large,” she stated, “particularly for underserved communities.”

Doable options

The advisers mentioned the opportunity of making a meals or money voucher for these with restricted entry to SNAP and different help, giving residents extra monetary sources.

The town hasn’t made any commitments round this concept, Emerson stated, however there have been inside talks and research about how comparable packages have labored in different cities.

The voucher could possibly be much like the Salt Laker Card, a COVID-19 aid program that supplied $500 money playing cards to individuals who didn’t obtain stimulus checks due to their immigration standing or different limitations. It was a partnership between the town and neighborhood organizations.

“This isn’t one thing we’re fairly but actively wanting into,” Emerson stated. “However we had been intrigued by that concept.”

One other potential resolution would enable residents to take issues into their very own fingers, actually, by rising their very own meals. The plan requires teaming up with Wasatch Group Gardens to make neighborhood gardens out there on city-owned land.

The west aspect already has such a backyard close to the 9-Line, Emerson stated. One other is deliberate in Rose Park, and the town might revive Glendale’s Cannon Greens Group Backyard, which shut down as a result of soil contamination, at any time when it’s protected to take action.

This proposed initiative excites Eugene Simpson, one other program adviser. Driving across the metropolis, he can image new neighborhood gardens or greenhouses rising.

“There are new residences within the metropolis,” he stated. “In the event you put in greenhouses and also you let the individuals who reside within the residences know how you can keep the vegetation, they may even have contemporary greens.”

Simpson, who lives in South Salt Lake however owns a barbershop in Rose Park, moved to Utah from Belize in 1996 and jumped on the likelihood to take part in this system as quickly as he heard about it. He already plans to be a part of the second cohort.

“Meals was onerous to come back by. I used to be getting one slice of bread a day with a bit of little bit of peanut butter,” Simpson stated about his start line as an immigrant. “I don’t need anyone to undergo what I went by means of.”

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America corps member and writes in regards to the standing of communities on the west aspect of the Salt Lake Valley for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps hold her writing tales like this one; please take into account making a tax-deductible present of any quantity in the present day by clicking right here.