In the headlines
Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear arsenal on “special” alert in light of what he labelled “aggressive statements” by Nato. The Russian leader clearly didn’t anticipate just how tough the West’s response to the invasion would be, says Gideon Rachman in the FT. Germany is boosting its military spending by €100bn and the EU has said it will send Ukraine fighter jets. In Russia, “panicked citizens are rushing to withdraw money from banks” after Western financial sanctions sent the value of the rouble plunging by 30%. Kyiv is still held by Ukraine, says The Times, but more than 400 elite mercenaries from the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group are operating in the city, with orders to assassinate Ukraine’s President Zelensky and his top officials.