How will Russia invade Ukraine?
Following the advice of US intelligence agencies, President Biden said on Friday that he had believes that Vladimir Putin will attack Ukraine “In the next week, in the days to come.” But how the Russian leader will do that – all at once, as senior US military and intelligence officials expect, or in a series of smaller attacks – remains unclear.
One possible option is to squeeze like a python, made easier all by the fact that Belarus allows Russian troops to stay indefinitely in the country, where they can threaten Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Putin may be betting that he can crash Ukraine’s economy and topple its government without immediately rolling into the tank.
If Putin were to strike the entire country with a single blow, it could trigger the biggest, most violent battle for European territory since the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. There is little doubt that the package is full. Sufficient sanctions against Russia and cutting technology exports would be. called almost immediately. International condemnation will follow, though it may not last.
On the ground: Russian artillery fire strong escalation in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, raising fears of an impending attack and potentially creating an opening for Russian aggression. Ukrainians are reluctant to leave their homes, some fleeing to Russia.
Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for coronavirus
Queen Elizabeth II, longstanding monarch of Great Britain, have been infected with coronavirus, Buckingham Palace said yesterday, rocking the country she has led for seven decades. Elizabeth, who turned 96 in April, was among those at Windsor Castle to be infected, showing an outbreak at the royal residence.
“Buckingham Palace can confirm that the Queen has today tested positive for Covid,” the palace said in a statement. “Your Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but is expected to resume light duties at Windsor over the next week.” This month, Elizabeth met her eldest son, Prince Charles, who later tested positive and was isolated.
The Queen has experienced other health concerns over the past year, canceling many public appearances and increasingly using a walking stick. Her weakness is deeper anxiety she extremely popular dynasty may be coming to an end. The news comes as prime minister Boris Johnson prepares to lay out his plan to lift the remaining coronavirus restrictions in the UK by the end of the month.
By the numbers: Britain reported 25,696 new cases of coronavirus yesterday. Nearly 1,300 people were hospitalized and 74 people died.
These are the latest virus updates and map.
In other pandemic developments:
China celebrates victory at the Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics ended last night with athletes marching into the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing to the sound of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. For all that Chinese officials insist that the Olympics are not about politics, but sport, this is Most controversial Olympics in yearshaunted by controversy and scandal.
Over the past weeks, the International Olympic Committee has faced questions about conditions for athletes in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus; about Peng Shuai, tennis player and former Olympic athlete who accused a high-ranking Chinese official of sexual assault; and about the inevitability of political injection into an event that officials hope, perhaps in the future, will rise above them.
The most indelible memory of the Olympics – besides the images of workers and volunteers signing up to wear hazmat – will most likely be 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva falling on the ice after being allowed to compete even though the test showed traces of a banned heart drug. She burst into tears, only to be scolded by her coach.
Medal: Norway, the nation that won the first gold medal of the Beijing Games and then went on to win it for two weeks, added its 16th and final gold medal yesterday in the race. the last cross-country skiing of the Olympics. The nation has won a total of 37 medals, putting it in place the top of the medal table.
Capture the moment: Gabriela Bhaskar, a photographer for The Times, recorded the Winter Olympics on her 50 year old Polaroid SX-70 – until the camera freezes in subzero conditions.
News from Europe
Over two years of a global health crisis that has reshaped society and daily life, Covid-19 is leaving its mark on the literary fiction genre, Alexandra Alter reports for The Times. In a new book, the authors are exploring, sometimes reluctantly, the emotional and psychological repercussions of the pandemic.
Many of these pandemic-themed novels seek to capture the novel fabric of everyday life: the corrosive effects of isolation, the tedium and monotony of confinement and isolation, the stress in relationships, how the coronavirus changed normal interactions and divided some families and brought others together.
By Gary Shteyngart social satire “Friends in our country,” which I read last week on vacation, is one of the earliest novels about this pandemic. But others are in the limelight: Ian McEwan’s upcoming novel, “The Lessons,” follows a British man from the 1940s to his late afternoons in 2021, when he’s living alone in London during confinement, looking back on his life.
And in Isabel Allende’s “Violeta,” the narrator’s life is linked by two pandemics: the Spanish flu and the coronavirus. “The experience of the entire planet being frozen in place by a virus is so extraordinary that I am sure it will find widespread use in literature,” the author said. “It was one of those events that marked an era.”
Author Sigrid Nunez said: “While it may feel like it’s too early to write about the pandemic, writing about anything else seems more difficult. “If it is set up now,” she said, “it has to be part of the story.”
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/briefing/putin-russia-elizabeth-coronavirus.html Your Monday Summary – The New York Times