For more than 2 weeks, Ukrainians have fled their own country due to the Russian-Ukrainian war. This flight has seen families ripped apart as those leaving are mostly women and children. Men between 18 and 60 have been mandated by the Ukrainian government to stay in the country and fight. At borders and evacuation hubs across the country you can see the agony of these families as they say their goodbyes not knowing when or if they will see each other again.
Civilian fathers, sons and brothers are pouring into military recruitment centers to offer their help in the war against Russia. While in the center there is this patriotic camaraderie against the unknown of what is to come, at the borders this unknown is faced in loneliness, and feeling lost. Women have been forced to become the sole parental figure trying to find safety and build a new life in the middle of chaos.
Mirroring the civilians fleeing Ukraine, many journalists are now fleeing Russia. On March 4th the Kremlin passed a law banning what it considers to be “fake news” about the military. This includes referring to the war in Ukraine as anything other than a “special military operation.” Breaking this new law is punishable by a 15 year prison sentence. This has many global media companies halting reporting in Russia to protect its journalists until they can get more clarity around the impact of this law.
State run RT dominates the media space in Russia and this new ban extremely hampers independent reporting, leading to an even larger ability for the Kremlin to pump out propaganda and control the narrative around the war.
The atrocities that Russia is committing has the whole world coming together to impose sanctions on the Kremlin. Even Switzerland, who remained neutral in World War II ,has taken a stance and joined in on the sanctions. Sanctions are measures designed to hurt a country's economy, or the finances of its individual citizens and are one of the toughest measures countries can take short of joining the war.
Some sanctions include the banning of Russian oil and gas, the freezing of the Russian central banks dollar reserves ($630bn), and the removal of Russia from SWIFT which enables smooth transfer of money across borders. These sanctions along with many many others have led to the crumble of the value of the Russian ruble. (source)
These sanctions have also led companies to halt their dealings in the country. Names like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Apple, Netflix, Zara, Mothercare, H&M and Jaguar Land Rover have paused all activities in the Kremlin. Three of the Big Four accounting groups, KPMG, EY and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have also removed themselves from business in the country.
Visa and Mastercard have also imposed their own measures stating that cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network regardless of where they’re used - inside or outside of Russia. And, any card issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.