Previews: The Guardian Weekly – February 18

The spectre of war loomed over Europe this week as western allies began evacuating diplomats and citizens from Ukraine in the face of the massed Russian troops on its borders. Andrew RothSimon Tisdall and Julian Borger report for our big story this week, as the world waited anxiously to find out how far Vladimir Putin is prepared to go to achieve his goals.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, many feared the worst for the educational prospects of girls and women under an ultra-hardline Islamist regime. Yet remarkably, as Emma Graham-Harrison and Jordan Bryon report, some brave women have fought successfully for their right to continue to study.

In Opinion, the Observer’s Will Hutton argues against the decision to lift all Covid restrictions in England (and find out what scientists around the world think in Spotlight). Guardian Australia columnist Van Badham exposes the fakery of the global “freedom movement”, while Arthur Turrell celebrates what could be a breakthrough moment for nuclear fusion and energy production.

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