Day 763: "Plot twist."
1/ The U.S. formally accused Russia of committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine for “targeting civilians with death,” using rape as “a weapon of war,” stealing Ukrainian children and “reeducating” them, and targeting train stations, maternity wards, hospitals, schools, and orphanages. Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – taking a nearly 10-hour train ride from Poland to Kyiv to show his administration’s “unwavering support.” After meeting with Zelenskyy, Biden vowed that the U.S. would “not tire” in its support of Ukraine. “One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden said. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.” (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News / Politico / Washington Post)
2/ Putin suspended participation in the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the U.S. Putin, however, said Russia will not “withdraw” completely from the New START nuclear nonproliferation agreement, but that Russia won’t allow NATO countries to inspect its nuclear arsenal. The 2011 treaty placed “verifiable limits” on the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and deployed nuclear warheads. In his state-of-the-nation address, Putin accused the U.S. and NATO of “using Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia,” adding: “It was they who unleashed this war. We are using force to stop the war.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico / The Guardian)
3/ The U.S. warned that China was “considering providing lethal assistance to Russia” in its efforts in Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned Beijing against providing “material support” to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Beijing responded, saying the U.S. was “not qualified to issue any orders to China” and that the Biden administration should “stop shirking responsibility and disseminating fake news.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping, meanwhile, is expected to visit Putin in the coming months. Immediately before Russia invaded Ukraine, Moscow and Beijing issued a joint statement and declared a “no limits” partnership. (Politico / New York Times / CBS News / ABC News)
4/ The special grand jury that investigated Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results recommended indictments of multiple people on a range of charges. “It is not a short list,” the forewoman said, adding “You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science […] it is not going to be some giant plot twist.” Rudy Giuliani and 16 Republicans who were part of a fake electors scheme are known targets in the inquiry. (New York Times / Associated Press / The Hill)
5/ The EPA will take control of the cleanup of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio that released hazardous chemicals into the environment. Norfolk Southern will be required to remediate the site under a plan approved by the EPA and pay for the remediation costs. The company has two days to respond to the directive. The EPA’s response comes 18 days after the Feb. 3 train derailment. (Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / Bloomberg / NBC News)
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