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March 5, 2022

As we continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, here’s today’s link to continually-updated news on the Russian invasion:

Among the major stories: A U.N. agency estimates that 1.45 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began. Russia denied an accusation that it violated a temporary ceasefire to protect safe humanitarian corridors for evacuees. NATO rejected imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, calling it a “painful decision” but saying that NATO has a responsibility not to escalate the conflict into a wider European war by engaging with Russia in the air or on the ground. Putin said that any no-fly zone imposed by a third party would be viewed as “participation in the armed conflict.”

A reminder that with any fast-breaking news from a war zone, some stories will turn out to be incorrect through honest mistakes and others may be spin or outright propaganda. If journalism is the “first draft of history,” then this is a first draft written under an impossible deadline while bombs are going off, so take everything with a grain of salt until it’s confirmed.

It’s hard to believe that Washington, DC, would have to worry about a fertilizer shortage, but that’s the latest serious threat. Russia produces about 13% of the world’s supply of potash, phosphate and nitrogen for fertilizer. Prices are already rising astronomically, and Russia is reportedly considering withholding exports, which could create worldwide food shortages, if other nations continue their crippling sanctions. All that reliance on imports still looking like a good idea?

In a dramatic show of defiance, the entire staff of Russia’s Dozhd or TV Rain news channel ended their broadcast by walking off the set in protest of the government crackdown on journalists reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.

Friday, Putin signed a new law that could fine or jail journalists for up to 15 years for reporting "fake" news about the military and invasion that conflicts with statements from Russian officials. This includes using the words “war” or “invasion” to describe the war and invasion. TV Rain has been accused of "inciting extremism, abusing Russian citizens, causing mass disruption of public calm and safety, and encouraging protests" by reporting on the attack on Ukraine.

I’m grateful we live in a nation with free speech and the Bill of Rights to protect us from out-of-control tyrants who would bully the media into helping silence people under the guise of them spreading “misinformation” that might “cause confusion or sow mistrust” in the government. Thank God that could never happen here.

In a related story, CNN announced that it will stop broadcasting in Russia due to the new law making it illegal to air “fake news.” Decide for yourselves whether this is a protest or an admission of guilt.

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