What you missed in Columbus for March 7

The latest from Ukraine, expiring mask mandates, a Crew draw that felt like a loss and more from the weekend

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Ukrainian servicemen help an elderly woman, in the town of Irpin, Ukraine.

On Sunday, Russia pressed on with its invasion of Ukraine, attacking airfields and renewing its assault on the port city of Mariupol. Meanwhile, on Ukrainian's western border, a steady stream of refugees continued fleeing the country, encountering deadly Russian strikes in the process.

"In Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, at least eight people, including two children, were killed in an artillery barrage as families were preparing to board buses to flee the area," the Washington Post reported. "For the second consecutive day, Russian shelling ruptured a temporary cease-fire in Mariupol, blocking efforts to evacuate civilians in the Black Sea city where more than 200,000 residents remained trapped, according to a tally by relief agencies."

So far, attempts at establishing safe evacuation corridors for civilians have failed. New York Times photojournalist Lynsey Addario was in Irpin over the weekend and witnessed Russia's shelling of civilians. As a Ukrainian family of four attempted to evacuate, three of the family members were killed in front her. NYT editors chose to put Addario's photo on the Times' homepage yesterday. Warning: graphic imagery.

In several hotspots, Ukrainian forces continue to put up more of a fight than Russia seemed to have anticipate. For three days, Russian forces tried to take the city of Mykolaiv, "but by Sunday, Ukrainian troops had driven them back from the city limits and retaken the airport." Today, Russia resumed its attack.

On Friday, NATO rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's calls to protect its airspace from Russian missiles and warplanes, citing a desire to prevent the war from escalating outside of Ukraine. NATO instead threatened more sanctions against Russia.

NPR is also reporting that "Russian forces have seized two of Ukraine's four nuclear power plants and are advancing on a third," raising international alarm about nuclear safety.

Yesterday, TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, said it would suspend livestreaming from Russia.

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Tonight, Columbus City Council is expected to rescind the citywide indoor mask mandate. Tomorrow, Columbus City Schools will follow suit, ending its mask requirement inside school buildings and buses.

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Axios' Tyler Buchanan visited the Arnold Sports Festival over the weekend and watched numerous Americans set new records, including 70-year-old Shelly Stettner, who squat-lifted a 250-pound barbell. Meanwhile, I did some push-ups this morning.

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On Saturday, the Columbus Crew faced the San Jose Earthquakes on the road, falling behind 0-1 early in the game, then storming back to take a 3-1 lead with two goals from star player Lucas Zelarayan, who delivered yet another signature free-kick banger. But the Crew defense collapsed in the final 10 minutes of the game, allowing San Jose to score twice, including one goal on the final play of the game in stoppage time. With a road win seemingly in hand, the resulting 3-3 draw felt more like a loss.

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In a ceremony before Saturday night’s game against the Boston Bruins, the Columbus Blue Jackets retired CBJ legend Rick Nash's number 61 jersey.

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Yesterday, the Ohio State men's basketball team lost to rival Michigan 75-69.