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



RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Properly, that is what the U.S. is making an attempt to resolve so as to work out tips on how to reply. The Biden administration already introduced that Individuals cannot do enterprise within the separatist areas of Ukraine that Putin has now declared impartial. However the U.S. is holding again on a fuller set of sanctions towards Putin. The U.N. Safety Council held an emergency assembly final evening on Ukraine, and that is what U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield mentioned.

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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 needs to display that, by means of drive, he could make a farce of the U.N. We should act collectively in response to this disaster.

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

JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Morning, Rachel.

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 towards Russia. Simply this morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson from the U.Ok. instructed an emergency nationwide safety assembly that the U.Ok. would launch a barrage of sanctions towards the nation. He did not particularly say what they had been however that Russian financial pursuits can be hit laborious and that there have been – there was no place for Russian oligarchs to cover. The U.S. can also be sanctioning Russia, but it surely’s a much more restricted strategy, simply concentrating on these two breakaway areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, and that may forestall any Individuals 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 making an attempt to outline, whether or not or not this constitutes an invasion of Ukraine. What would these broader set of sanctions appear like?

NORTHAM: Properly, they aim and attempt to cripple Russia’s economic system – so, , sanctioning a few of its largest banks, stopping them from being a part of the, , international monetary market, withholding any U.S.-made expertise to Russia which may hamper Russia’s efforts to, , modernize its army 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 economic system.

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

NORTHAM: Properly, a senior administration official says all of it will depend on what Russia does now. So who is aware of? Maybe if Russia strikes additional into Ukraine, that might spark these severe sanctions we’re speaking about. And actually, the U.S. says it’s anticipated to announce one other spherical of sanctions right now towards Russia.

MARTIN: So Putin has declared these two states as impartial. 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, , there’s – the window for a diplomatic decision to this disaster is shortly closing. There is not any query about that. As you talked about, the U.N. Safety Council met, however there was no motion taken. In the present day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is because of meet along with his Ukrainian counterpart, and he was speculated 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 tips on how to maintain Putin accountable for this newest transfer, Ukrainians now really feel beneath risk in a brand new method.

MARTINEZ: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is making an attempt to reassure his individuals. He mentioned yesterday that Ukraine’s internationally acknowledged borders would stay that method and that there was no motive 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: Completely happy to do it.

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

MAYNES: Properly, , to start with, , a lot of those occasions occurred right here late into the evening, so Russians right here in Rostov and elsewhere awoke this morning to the information and a brand new actuality, , that the Kremlin had taken actions that might result in warfare 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 drive. Russian state TV is exhibiting celebrations within the separatist areas, in addition to – I have been getting messages from Russian nationalists at residence. They’ve lengthy championed independence ever since participating in a Russian-backed proxy warfare 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, , much less clear, I feel, is what the remainder of Russia will make of this could violence in Ukraine spiral, and that definitely seems potential. Two Ukrainian troopers had 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 army motion, which, after all, is what the U.S. and allies have been warning about all alongside. I imply, simply on a private notice, I made a go to to the border yesterday, and I may see tanks and army automobiles tucked within the woods to the aspect of the primary freeway, and that is only one a part of this huge drive of some 150,000 Russian troops now that appears to be an invasion drive.

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

MAYNES: Yeah, , President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a speech late, late final evening 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 group. Let’s pay attention in.

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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 associates and companions are and who will proceed to push again towards Russia with simply phrases alone. You realize, I feel it is honest to say that is actually the most recent instance of Zelenskyy’s frustration with Western powers who’ve been warning Russia behind the scenes of what may occur if it assaults Ukraine, somewhat than overtly spelling out what’s going to occur.

MARTIN: Charles, I need to ask you in regards to 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 extremely 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 provides us some clues. So what did you see in his conferences yesterday that had been placed on public tv, in his speech?

MAYNES: Yeah, this was a extremely, actually indignant 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 benefiting from Russia after the top of the Chilly Battle – , anger over NATO growth eastward in direction of Russia’s borders and about what Putin argues are Western designs to include and even destroy Russia right now. 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 maybe even battle to return.

MARTIN: NPR’s Charles Maynes. Thanks.

MAYNES: Thanks.

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

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

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

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.

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 checklist. However many individuals, myself included, who tried to test it out had been caught in a sort of tech doom loop. You realize, there are these e-mail confirmations that had 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 had been in a position to make accounts had been positioned on a waitlist with some tons of of 1000’s 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, , since he was banned from Twitter, Fb and YouTube after statements he made urging supporters to storm the Capitol, , he has needed to begin his personal Twitter-esque service. And he is enlisted former Congressman Devin Nunes to guide 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 top of March and that it is all about, , giving individuals their voice again and making a social media platform that is not managed by an enormous Silicon Valley firm. And let me remind you, this can be a actually crowded house, Rachel. There’s, like, half a dozen different conservative-leaning, , social media apps making an attempt 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 sort of shot of breaking by means of?

ALLYN: Actually 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 hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. So given these large names and its sizable fundraising, , it does have potential. However specialists I talked to are fairly uncertain that it’s going to ever come anyplace 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 helpful, 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 sort of target-rich surroundings.

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

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

ALLYN: That is true. No, that could be very true. You realize, however – , there’s additionally solely so many individuals fascinated by a nonmainstream various to Twitter. So it is kind of – , are these individuals, actually, who’re at different websites going to go to Trump’s information web site? And I’ll notice 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 location.” 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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