On Monday, talks at the Belarusian border aimed at stopping the fighting yielded only an agreement to keep talking.
The country’s embattled president said the stepped-up shelling was aimed at forcing him into concessions.
“I believe Russia is trying to put pressure [on Ukraine] with this simple method,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday in a video address. He did not offer details of the hours-long ceasefire talks that took place earlier, but said that Kyiv was not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting each other with rocket artillery.”
According to recent reports, the latest version of the Omicron variant, known as BA.2, is officially the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S.
The new Omicron variant accounts for more than 50% of all new cases—it’s also been described by health experts as “highly contagious.”
BA.2, the new Omicron variant that led to a surge of new COVID-19 cases in Europe, has now overtaken the U.S. as the most dominant version of the virus throughout the country. This latest data estimate is from a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, predicted that BA.2 would quickly become dominate in the U.S
The first case of the BA.2 was initially identified in the U.S. back in December. Meanwhile, scientists have been closely watching BA.2—which is now the third of the genetically distinct varieties of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The rapid growth of BA.2 is due partially to its eight gene mutations that spike protein on the virus’s surface, something that is not found in the previous strain, BA.1.
Although BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, as of now there are no signs that it causes more severe illness and it’s shown that vaccines continue to protect against the worst outcomes.