White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

President Biden will take part in a virtual NATO summit to discuss the security situation surrounding Ukraine.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Gemini joins Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Putin is planning retaliatory sanctions on the West and will meet with the UN Security Council today. 

*All this and more ahead!

BREAKING THIS MORNING*

  • According to Interfax, Russia’s military has captured the strategic Hostomel airport outside Kiev.
  • Russia is ready to send diplomats to Minsk for talks with Ukraine, said  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
  • James Heappey, UK’s Armed Forces Minister, says that the NATO troops “must not play an active role in Ukraine” because the risk of miscalculation is too high. 
  • Turkey’s President Erdogan says that NATO reaction to Russia should be more decisive. He says that condemnation of Russia’s actions is not enough. 

*The news continues to break as we wake. In this edition of GMDC and those to follow, we provide you with the most up-to-date news of the conflict in Ukraine that is available.

Good Morning DC!

Tough time for world peace. On the second day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, citizens in Kiev are sheltering in a metro station as the safest place to shield themselves from explosions. In Kharkiv, residents are urged to use bomb shelters, basements, and subways. The Ukrainian military claims that the Russian “spies” have been spotted near the nation’s capital, Kiev. 

At the press conference this morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke at length but did not say how long Putin’s military operation would last. 

Lavrov accused the Western media of lying to the world.  

“They have been turning a blind eye to war crimes against the civilian population, to the murders of women, children, the elderly, to the destruction of civilian infrastructure and silently encouraging the rapid emergence of neo-Nazism and Russophobia, which ultimately plunged the country into its current tragic state.”

Lavrov said that Russia does not see a possibility “to recognize a government that mistreats its own people and uses methods of genocide against them as democratic.” He added that they will be creating photo documentation for the UN Human Rights Council to show the situation in Donbas regarding “the suffering of its residents.”

Lavrov accused the Ukrainian government of being “under Western control.” 

Addressing reporters, he  asked if it is acceptable in a democratic society for Russian-speaking people who live in one part of the territory to be referred to as “‘species,’ as Zelenskyy defined them.”

The Russian Foriegn Minister said that Russians are not able to use their native language in Donbas. “In the West, everything is looked at through your own interests. When you are not happy, you raise your voice, but when millions of people in Ukraine have their rights to language being removed, you do not say anything,” said Lavrov.

The goal of Russia’s invasion, said Lavrov, is “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. He said that, over the last eight years, not one of the media outlets provided coverage as to what is happening in Eastern Ukraine. Lavrov said that he is not an “expert on euphemisms” like his “colleagues in the West are” to call the attack on former Yugoslavia and Iraq “the fight for democracy.” 

The UK Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, said this morning that the UK assessment is that Russia did not take any of their primary objectives.

  

THE WHITE HOUSE

This morning at the White House, Biden will take part in a virtual summit with NATO members to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine.

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the members of the “Bucharest Nine.” 

On a domestic front, Biden may announce  his decision for the Supreme Court nominee today. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

Sam Bankman Fried of FTX has announced that “We just gave $25 to each Ukrainian on FTX.” He added, “Do what you gotta do.”

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$35,197.87

Ether (ETH):$2,693.10

SOL:$89.82

LUNA: $65.42

Gemini has joined the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI). “We are excited to join CCI and continue to advocate for the crypto industry,” Gemini said in a statement. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The US will impose sanctions on Russia’s two most prominent financial institutions, Sberbank and VTB. According to the White House, those two institutions together hold more than half of the Russian banking system’s assets, “over $750 billion in total.”

The Biden administration will also restrict US investors from providing debt or equity financing for 13 of the most critical Russian state-owned enterprises, which combined have estimated assets nearing $1.5 trillion. Additionally, Psaki said that the US will impose sanctions on the “executives at these state-owned institutions and additional Russian elites who are complicit in Putin’s kleptocracy and their family members.” 

Putin is scheduled to meet the UN Security Council today, and the Kremlin is planning a set of reciprocal sanctions against the United States and the European Union. “Naturally, countermeasures will follow. Of course, the reciprocity principle will apply. As to whether the measures are symmetric or asymmetric, that will depend on an analysis,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The UK has banned the Russian aviation company Aeroflot from the UK space, and Russia has responded with its own measure by banning any UK aircraft from the Russian airspace. James Heappey, UK’s Armed Forces Minister, said that there is “no time for political calibration” and that a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be difficult to implement. 

PM Boris Johnson spoke on the phone with Zelenskyy this morning and promised further support to Ukraine. 

Serbian president Aleksandar Vuicic is expected to address the nation today at 6pm local time regarding the situation in Ukraine. 

Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry made a statement in response to the situation in Ukraine. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls for restraint by both parties. All sides need to desist from taking positions that could intensify violence. We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and express concerns about the real possibility of civilian casualties.”

UEFA Champions League final is moving to Paris, France, from St. Petersburg, Russia, it has been announced today. 

And that’s a wrap for this Friday morning, February 25, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back on Monday to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...