Lately, I have spent each day talking to people in Ukraine or trying to get out of Ukraine. They send me photographs, some of them gruesome. One morning, I woke up to a picture of a severed head next to a severed leg, the remains of a neighbor of one of my sources killed in a Russian airstrike. Every day I receive photographs of rubble that were once someone's home.
Everyone I speak to begs for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. We could win this war if you closed the skies, they tell me. I understand why they ask. But NATO won't close the skies because that would mean a direct confrontation with Russia, which could lead to nuclear war and even more needless death.
Meanwhile, people tell me stories about their grandmothers dying. A man lost his entire family in one day because his wife stayed behind to help her mother with Alzheimer's. Another man said he witnessed Chechen fighters shoot people and hijack their cars.
"Women and babies are sleeping on the ground," a man texted me this morning from Poland, along with a photograph of families sleeping rough.
There doesn't seem to be a good way to stop this. Here's a picture from Kharkiv that I took a few years ago. Parts of the city have since been leveled to the ground.
If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with a friend, share a link on social media, or upgrade to a premium subscription for $2 a month if you can afford it. And please don't hesitate to get in touch with recommendations for what I should feature here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washington Post has information about how you can help Ukrainians.