Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the town of Bucha, the site of alleged atrocities by Russian forces. Today, he gave a forceful address to the United Nations Security Council in which he questioned the very purpose of the organization. “Are you ready to close the UN? Do you think that the time of international law is gone?” he asked. “If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.”
President Joe Biden has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes over the killings in Bucha, where the bodies of civilians were left in the streets by retreating forces. Our writers weigh in on the appalling latest chapter of the now five-week-old war.
- Bucha is the scene of horror. “Two months ago, these were human beings, living perfectly suburban lives,” Franklin Foer writes. “Whether this constitutes genocide hardly matters when it is precisely evil.”
- Animals are also being killed. George Packer reports that pet dogs, horses, and more “have become Russian targets for no purpose other than sheer cruelty.”
- How can individuals help during times of war? Our staff writer Joe Pinsker runs down how to think about charitable giving during crises—and in times of relative stability—in order to maximize impact.
More on Russia’s war on Ukraine: Carl Miller writes that, despite what you may see on Western social-media feeds, it’s too early to say that Ukraine is winning the information war. Meanwhile, Leon Aron argues that a neutral Ukraine is a dangerous idea.
The rest of the news in three sentences:
(1) Both the European Union and the United States are considering tightening sanctions against Russia.
(2) Police arrested two suspects in connection with Sunday’s mass shooting in Sacramento, California.
(3) Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney joined their GOP colleague Susan Collins, announcing that they’ll vote yes on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
In Peacefield, the Kremlin expert Thane Gustafson offers Tom Nichols the rational explanation for why Putin invaded Ukraine—and talks about why it still cost Russia its future. Brooklyn, Everywhere’s Xochitl Gonzalez tells the story of the Puerto Rican pioneers who preceded the Amazon union’s win in New York last week.
Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:
I open my hands: praise, a planet. Read Kemi Alabi’s poem “Goodbye Letter to My Lover’s Wife.”
A break from the news:
For more great reads like this one, sign up for our newsletter One Story to Read Today.