Wednesday, March 22

📩 NEWSLETTER | Dark basement, gun to the head

Grab a coffee and let’s get down to business. Good Morning.

where does the day go

Dark basement, with a gun to your head

Russia has offered Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war in a dark basement while holding a gun to its head. How will the thing Ukraine has accepted.

The dark basement is Belarus, one of the most terrible regimes in the area and a natural ally of Putin. Russia has proposed holding the meeting on Belarusian soil, between the city of Gomel and the Ukrainian Prípyat, known for hosting the Chernobyl nuclear plant. We do not know for now who will participate in the negotiation, nor when it will take place or if it is already taking place.

What we do know is that Ukraine negotiates with a gun to its head. Putin already threatens to use its nuclear arsenalin what we hope will be an overreacted response to the increasing pressure from the EU, the US and NATO, which do not want to act directly in Ukraine but they lose their shyness: Europe is sending weapons and warplanes to the Ukrainian Armyhas imposed economic sanctions on both companies and people closest to Putin, and has taken Russian banks out of the international circuitsamong many other measures.

The EU has also decided to ban the broadcasts in Europe of Russia Today television and the Sputnik agency, two old obsessions of the West that do not really have much impact. Of course, the influence inside Russia is already something else: this is how the russian media are counting this war.

  • Resistance. The news of the weekend is that the big cities of Ukraine are resisting what was going to be a Russian military parade. Both Kiev and Kharkov they haven’t just fallen under the control of Putin, who already recognizes his first casualties, wounded and prisoners. The mayor of Kiev said yesterday that the city is under siege, but later backtracked. Namely. The fighting is street to street.

what the border counts. A war is not just battles and negotiations. Also people who die and people who flee. Borders tell stories. Who are they, who are we? Why do we reject them, why do we help them.

today on the podcast We spoke with the two special envoys of to the border between Poland and Ukraine, Víctor Honorato and Olmo Calvo. And they tell us what they see and how different they see it from previous refugee crises.

  • By the way, with today’s we fulfill 100 chapters of the podcast ‘Un tema al día’. It is being a fantastic experience thanks to you. Many of the podcast listeners leave this newsletter, where we have already reached 100,000 subscribers. Between all of us we have already achieved more than a million listens for ‘A theme a day’. Thanks! You know: if you like it, recommend it out there.

don’t miss it

  • Clear path for Feijóo? The PP barons hold their breath. Pablo Casado’s number 2 said that it seemed very likely that there would be a candidate who would face Feijóo to succeed Casado, and since then he has said nothing more. The Galician also has to prepare his own succession in Galicia.
  • Aftermath. If you have had COVID and since then your body behaves differently, take a look at this. The symptoms of what is known as “persistent covid” are not the same as those of the disease itself, but rather a range of conditions that are quite complicated to limit.
  • for rent. In the US, a mecca of the free market, there are also cities where the rental price is regulated. how the system works in Oregon, Los Angeles or Palo Alto.
  • headline of the daybeyond the informative, it is the one in this interview Alberto Mielgo, the Spanish animation director who is nominated for the Oscar for Best Short Film for ‘The Wiper’. Says Mielgo: “I cannot financially afford to be nominated for an Oscar.”

things i didn’t know

  • He did not knowand today is a good day to learn it because it is 28-F, that the green of the Andalusian flag is called “green Umayyad”, referring to the Arab dynasty that conquered Al Ándalus. There are records from 1051 of a white and green flag still flying under Muslim rule in the Alcazaba of Almería. It was hoisted for the first time in an official building in 1932, both in the Aracena Town Hall (Huelva) and in the Seville Provincial Council, and it gradually ceased to be marginal to be seen as a symbol of freedom.
  • He did not know that there are the ‘flag trees’, a way that some types of trees have to adapt to strong and constant cold winds. They develop the branches in one direction and even bend the trunk to put them under cover. It is common in alpine landscapes and in species such as firs and some pines.
  • I didn’t know the data of the average time of use of a plastic bag, of which we use to put the fruit or the purchase of the supermarket: 12 minutes, according to what I have read. Twelve minutes, from the store to the house, and to the bag drawer or the garbage. They then take 500 years to decompose if they are not recycled. But the truth is that the data is everywhere, attributed to experts and to governments and to organizations, and I have not been able to find the original source. So I trust regular.

about this blog

‘Al día’ and ‘Un tema al día’ are the newsletter and podcast to keep you informed with the latest news every morning. With Juanlu Sánchez, deputy director of, and the contributions of the entire newsroom.

Subscribe to stay up to date.

Subscribe to the 'Al Día' newsletter, with Juan Luis Sánchez