What you missed in Columbus for Feb. 28

The latest updates on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the UN issues a horrifying new climate report; Gravity absorbs the Idea Foundry; and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
A Ukrainian Army soldier inspects fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday. It was unclear what aircraft crashed and what brought it down amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces have continued to slow the Russian invasion, holding onto the capital and other key cities amid ongoing attacks, some of which have been directed at civilian targets, despite Russia’s insistences to the contrary.

In response to Russia’s aggression, the world has enacted devastating economic sanctions against the country, which, combined with the strong Ukrainian resistance, led Russia President Vladimir Putin to order the country’s nuclear forces put on high alert.

Amid this constant ratcheting up in the action, talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials started today (Monday, Feb. 28), during which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said it would demand an immediate cease-fire. According to the Associated Press, the Russian delegation is being led by Putin’s adviser on culture, raising questions about how seriously Russia is taking the talks.

On the tech front, Facebook and Twitter removed disinformation accounts targeting Ukrainians, the largest of which operated in Russia. According to NBC News, these accounts were engaged in propaganda campaigns meant to undermine trust in the Ukrainian government and to heap praise on Russia.

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If the increased threat of nuclear war annihilation isn’t enough of a bummer to start your Monday, could we direct you to a horrifying new climate report recently completed by the United Nations?

Absent immediate action, climate change is “going to make the world sicker, hungrier, poorer, gloomier and way more dangerous” in the coming years, the AP writes of the report, which cites an “unavoidable” increase in risks.

“The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health,” continues the report, designed to guide world leaders in their efforts to curb climate change, warning that any delay in making cuts to carbon emissions will cause us to “miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

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The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) took place in Florida over the weekend and included speeches from a handful of Ohio politicians, including senatorial sparring mates Josh Mandel and JD Vance, who was fresh off of trying to walk back his proclamation that he doesn’t care about what happens to Ukraine “one way or another.” Ohio Capital Journalcompiled a rundown of speech “highlights,” including continued advancement of the Big Lie and full-throated, anti-immigrant stumping. 

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A number of prominent Republicans, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, also appeared at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), a white nationalist conference that took place adjacent to CPAC in Florida. Video from the conference showed attendees cheering for Vladimir Putin, while conference founder Nick Fuentes, who introduced Greene to the stage, used some of his time on the microphone to praise Adolf Hitler.

In the aftermath of both conferences, Rolling Stone published a report detailing how the line between CPAC and AFPAC has continued to blur in some pretty damning (but ultimately not all that surprising) ways.

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Franklinton’s Gravity complex is living up to its name with the announcement that it will absorb the Idea Foundry into its orbit, with Gravity owner Kaufman Development purchasing the Idea Foundry property, which will now become part of the nearby Gravity development. 

According to a press release, Idea Foundry Founder Alex Bandar and his team will continue running the Foundry, but “with amplified resources from Gravity.” In turn, Gravity’s residential, office and retail tenants will have access to the Idea Foundry. “This takes us from being a space for creatives to being a district for creatives,” Bandar said, “with opportunities that will be unique to any makerspace in the world.”

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The Columbus Crew kicked off the 2022 season in fine fashion, dispatching of Vancouver 4-0 in Saturday’s home opener. If you missed it last week, you can read our season preview here.