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Russia shelled a Ukrainian nuclear power plant

World leaders condemned the attack on Europe's largest facility, although Ukrainian authorities say radiation levels are safe.

Surveillance camera footage shows a flare landing at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

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Here’s what you need to know

Russia shelled a Ukrainian nuclear power plant. World leaders condemned the attack on Europe’s largest facility, although Ukrainian authorities say radiation levels are safe, and a fire has been extinguished.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia met for talks. The two delegations agreed to set up corridors for civilians to leave Ukraine and humanitarian aid to enter, as Russia continues to besiege its neighbor’s southern cities.

The US and UK sanctioned more Russian oligarchs. It’s another blow for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cronies, who have creative ways of hiding their wealth.

The Winter Paralympics begin in Beijing, but without Russia and Belarus. Both countries are appealing against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Sacklers agreed to a $6 billion opioid settlement. If approved by a judge, family members will make the payout to US states and local governments, and give up their company, OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

Rivian made a U-turn on price increases. The electric-vehicle company apologized to waiting customers for its now-discarded plan to charge up to $20,000 more for preordered cars.

What to watch for

China’s biggest annual political meetings, known as “two sessions,” will convene today and tomorrow. Thousands of the country’s political elites will gather in Beijing to discuss issues including China’s GDP target, national budget, defense spending, and how to handle the risky property sector.

This year’s two sessions is expected to also provide a glimpse of Beijing’s thinking on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The government could reassess its foreign and domestic policies in response to the crisis. It could also shift its priority to developing self-reliance, especially in areas where Russia is being sanctioned, including the payment system and semiconductors, according to experts from German think tank Merics.

A speech by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi next Monday (March 7) will be watched closely for any clues about China’s stance on Ukraine and the direction of the currently highly strained China-US relations.

Ukraine’s tech sector is in danger

“I’ve seen what Russia did in the eastern Ukrainian regions and in Crimea as well. You can’t do any business over there. It’s always scorched earth.” —Vlad Panchenko, CEO of DMarket, a Ukrainian metaverse developer 

Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, is both the hub of its $6.8 billion fast-growing tech sector and one of the country’s most vulnerable assets. Before the current crisis, the industry was markedly resilient, surviving the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, then a devastating Russian cyberattack known as NotPetya in 2017. When Ukraine’s GDP fell 4.4% in 2020, revenue from its outsourced IT services grew more than 20%.

Ukrainian-born startups have mostly relocated, though it’s not clear if they’ll ever return. Companies that provide outsourcing for Western firms are more at risk of shutting down completely, if they haven’t already.

Maersk is thinking outside the container

In January, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) became the world’s biggest shipping line by container capacity, unseating juggernaut Maersk from the top spot it’s held for more than 25 years. But Maersk wasn’t fazed—it’s looking landward. ✦ Learn more about Maersk’s pandemic-charged transformation. Not yet a member? Try it free for seven days.

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