When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Photo of a child in a bus as Ukrainian refugees arrive in Poland after crossing the Shehyni-Medyka border.

Ukrainian refugees arrive in Poland after crossing the Shehyni-Medyka border.

Lorraine Olaya, Laure Gautherin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Salamalekum!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine sees its first successful mass evacuation, Biden announces ban on Russian energy imports and Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship is found after 107 years. We also feature our English edition of an article published by Ukrainian analyst Taras Kuzio on Vladimir Putin’s ultimate plans to turn Ukraine into “Little Russia” and install a familiar face as leader.

[*Wolof, West Africa]

✅  SIGN UP

This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Ukraine ceasefire & first mass evacuation: The Russian defense ministry has announced a ceasefire in key cities including Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol. Previous ceasefires have failed, but on Tuesday, 5,000 people were able to successfully evacuate from Sumy. Ukraine announces plans to continue evacuating more civilians through six humanitarian corridors.

• Fallout from Biden’s ban on Russian energy imports: The U.S. ban on Russian oil and gas imports announced yesterday is expected to continue to cause energy prices to skyrocket. This comes as inflation rates continue to climb. The UK and European Union, which are more reliant on Russian oil and gas, have signaled plans to phase out reliance on Russia for its energy supplies rather than an immediate shut down. European share prices have recovered in early trading after several days of losses.

• More companies halt business in Russia: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Electric and Starbucks are the latest to join more than 70 companies in suspending business in Russia. While McDonald’s and Starbucks intend to temporarily close their locations in Russia, PepsiCo and General Electric announced only partial shutdowns.

• South Korea presidential elections: Voters in South Korea head to the polls today to vote in the closest election in recent history. According to exit polls, conservative candidate Yoon Suk-yeol leads by less than a percentage point ahead of liberal candidate Lee Jae-myung.

• Guatemala increases jail time for abortion and prohibits same-sex marriage: Guatemala’s congress approved a law increasing prison time for abortions to up to 25 years, and also banned same-sex marriage and teaching on sexual diversity in schools.

• National emergency declared in Australia: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the floods that have devastated the east coast will be declared a national emergency. In the past two weeks, the flood has killed 20 people and flooded thousands of homes. Australia’s emergency services are stretched thin, leaving many stranded for hours.

• Shackleton's lost ship found after 107 years: A team of scientists has found the wreckage of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship, 107 years after it sank, leading Shackleton and his crew to continue their journey on foot and in small boats. Endurance, which has been sitting at the bottom of the Weddell Sea some 3-kilometers (10,000 feet) deep, is said to be in a remarkable state of preservation.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The Wall Street Journal devotes its front page to President Joe Biden’s announcement of a U.S. ban on the import of Russian oil in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The leading American business daily says “will add pressure to already record U.S. gasoline prices and the economic recovery.”

💬  LEXICON

Rruga Ukraina e Lirë

Following similar moves in the capitals of Lithuania (Vilnius) and the Czech Republic (Prague), the Albanian capital of Tirana has renamed a section of one of its streets where the Russian embassy is located to Rruga Ukraina e Lirë (Free Ukraine Street).

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Yanukovych and a new "Little Russia": Putin's final plan for Ukraine

Putin says he wants to "denazify" Ukraine, but his true goal is bringing the country back into Russia's sphere of influence as part of an all-Russian nation. To achieve that, he will try to turn it into a second Belarus, with a puppet ruler who has a familiar face, writes Taras Kuzio in Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg.

🇷🇺🇺🇦 Even now, three decades later, the collapse of the USSR remains a tragedy for Vladimir Putin. He believes that "Little Russia"— that is, Ukraine — must be led by a Russian puppet like the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. After reports from British intelligence about the Kremlin's plans to put Yevgeniy Murayev, leader of the marginal political party “Nashi”, at the head of Ukraine, Moscow now has decided to replace him with Viktor Yanukovych, who is currently in the Belarus capital of Minsk, with Russian occupation forces ready to assign him as a president in Kyiv.

🛑 This would fully comply with the narratives of Russian propaganda, which over the past eight years have been stating that Yanukovych was ousted in 2014 due to an illegal “coup” supported by the West. Yanukovych's return to power would let Putin erase the humiliation he suffered during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, when Yanukovych was ousted after the Maiden protests in Kyiv and the Orange Revolution, which saw Ukrainians protest the 2004 election results that were reported to be rigged in Yanukovych’s favor.

🌐 According to Putin, the last eight years after the “coup” were a deviation from the normal development of Ukraine. “Denazification” will mean the eradication of all aspects of Ukrainian national identity that contradict Putin's imperial nationalism. According to the paradigm that he has detailed in his own ideological program in July 2021, Russians and Ukrainians are “one people.” "Belarusization" will not mean the end of Ukraine, but will turn it into "Little Russia" as an integral part of the "Russian world" and Eurasia.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

This is in the interest of no one.

— Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned Western sanctions towards Russia during a virtual call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Xi said China was instead willing to "work actively" with the international community to halt the fighting in Ukraine and that the emphasis should be put on peace talks on both sides.

✍️ Newsletter by Lorraine Olaya, Laure Gautherin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet



Let us know what’s happening in your corner of the world!

info@worldcrunch.com

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ