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Sen. Chris Van Hollen: Responding to Russia's assault on Ukraine

Chris Van Hollen has been Maryland's junior US senator since January 3, 2017. From 2003 to 2017, he represented Maryland's 8th congressional district. (official photo)

The UN estimates there are 2 million refugees who have fled their homes in Ukraine. Many have crossed into neighboring countries on Ukraine’s western border. Yesterday, President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and gas entering the US. The average price of a gallon of gas in MD stands today at $4.23. A steady stream of international companies has stopped doing business in Russia. Yesterday, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca Cola became the latest American corporations to suspend operations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has reported that the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near the northern border of Ukraine, has been disconnected from the power grid. The plant is under Russian military control. Workers worry they may not be able to cool spent fuel that is stored there.

More than 200,000 people are without heat, electricity and water in the southern city of Mariupol, where fighting continues. Russian troops continue their very slow progress toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Tom's first guest today is Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland's Democratic junior senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Van Hollen joins us on Zoom.

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Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.