A school in Kharkiv hit by shelling. (Photo: The Ukrainian parliament/Twitter)

Good afternoon and welcome to The Essentialist, the latest political news updates looking at the situation in Ukraine today.

Russia says its delegation is ready to continue peace talks with Ukraine tonight.

In the UK this morning, many members of the Parliament were dressed in blue and yellow, colors of Ukraine. As the Speaker of the House announced that the Ukrainian ambassador was in attendance for the Prime Minister’s Questions, he got a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute from the Members of Parliament . What makes this fascinating news is that the House of Commons rules prohibit MPs from applauding. 

Boris Johnson assessed Putin’s actions in Ukraine as a war crime.

“What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin’s regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians,” said Boris Johnson. “Mr Speaker, already fully qualifies as a war crime, and I know the ICC prosecutor is already investigating. I’m sure the whole house will support that.”

Sir Keir Starmer has placed pressure on Boris Johnson to impose more sanctions on the Russian oligarchs in the UK, especially Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club. “He is a person of interest to the home office because of his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices,” said Starmer. “Last week, the Prime Minister said that Abramovich is facing sanctions. He later corrected the record to say that he isn’t, why on earth isn’t he?”

Boris Johnson responded by saying that it’s not appropriate for him to comment on individual cases. “But what I can tell, and I stand, Mr. Speaker by what I’ve said in the house and what we put on the record, but be it no doubt that the actions that we’ve already taken, this house has already taken, are having an effect in Moscow by exposing the ownership of properties of companies in the way that we are by sanctioning 275 individuals already, a further 100 last week that the impact is being felt.

Imprisoned Alexei Navalny is urging Russians to take it to the streets and join the protest against Putin. 

A school in Kharkiv had been hit by shelling, according to the Ukrainian parliament.

Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the Beijing Paralympics that start this week, but not under the Russian flag. 

Nikita Mazepin, Russian F1 won’t be allowed to race at the British Grand Prix.

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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...

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