The day my life was stolen was remembered by 7 voices

Vladimir Putin and the fate of the Ukrainian peninsula: Forcible annexation, democracy, and the bloody death of the Soviet empire

MOSCOW — It’s been 10 months since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was deploying tens of thousands of Russian troops on a mission to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine – its smaller independent neighbor and former satellite of both the Russian and Soviet empires.

Russian troops have proven unable to conquer Ukraine’s capital Kyiv or the second city of Kharkiv. Russian forces abandoned Kherson during a counteroffensive by the Ukrainians in November. Russian forces have shelled the city repeatedly since retreating.

Putin, however, attempted to claim that the referendums reflected the will of “millions” of people, despite reports from the ground suggesting that voting took place essentially – and in some cases, literally – at gunpoint.

After a year,Kyiv stands andUkraine stands. Democracy stands,” he declared, adding, “The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”

The Russian president framed the annexation as an attempt to fix what he sees as a great historical mistake that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Putin’s logical option, Kortunov says, is to declare victory and get out on his own terms. But for this he needs a significant achievement on the ground. “Russia cannot simply get to where it was, on the 24 February of this year, say, okay, you know, that’s fine. Our mission has been accomplished. We should go home and present something to the public as a victory.

Russia will now, despite the widespread international condemnation, forge ahead with its plans to fly its flag over some 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles) of Ukrainian territory – the largest forcible annexation of land in Europe since 1945.

The Russian leader spoke in the same place where he proclaimed in March that the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea was part of Russia.

The prime minister and many of his ministers sat in the audience with hundreds of Russian members of Parliament and regional governors.

Mr. Dugin sought to cast victory in Ukraine as essential to Russia’s survival in an existential battle against the West, which he referred to as a “mortal enemy.”

He reeled off a litany of Western military actions stretching over centuries — from the British Opium War in China in the 19th century to Allied firebombings of Germany and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

He claimed that the United States was the only country to use nuclear weapons in war. “They created a precedent by doing that,” he said in an aside.

The large-scale Russian bombardment struck several cities – including far reaches of western Ukraine close to NATO’s eastern flank – across the country almost simultaneously, propelling the conflict into a new phase and coming just as much of the country was starting to roar back to life.

Kremlin Defence of the Ukraine War and its Consequences for the Security and Security of the Community in the Middle East and the Balkans

Friday’s events include a celebration on Red Square. The decree will come to fruition next week according to the spokesman for the Kremlin.

The moves follow staged referendums held in occupied territory during a war in defiance of international law. Much of the provinces’ civilian populations has fled fighting since the war began in February, and people who did vote sometimes did so at gunpoint.

Russia could cement their hold over the two eastern regions at a time when it is being criticized by hawks in Russia for not doing enough to prevent recent gains by Ukrainian forces.

Putin won’t Reverse his battlefield losses any time soon, as his recent heavy-handed draft drive will only run him up a dangerous political tab.

As Washington warned that Zelensky was a “prime target for Russian aggression,” the Ukrainian president sent a message to his country and to the rest of the world, vowing to stay.

Kortunov runs the Kremlin-backed Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow. He told CNN that President Putin wants to end the whole thing quickly.

Hundreds of thousands of Russians have left the country out of principle or to avoid being drafted into the military as a result of the sanctions against them by the West. Rights groups say thousands have been taken into custody. Many others have been forced to leave public life after hundreds of western companies withdrew from Russia and many local and foreign NGOs and campaign groups were shuttered.

There are 40 kilometers of traffic tailbacks at the Georgia border with CNN unable to verify Russian figures, but the perception is that Putin is losing his touch at reading Russia’s mood, and long lines at border crossing into the other countries speak to that.

Kortunov says he doesn’t know what goes on in the Kremlin but that he understands the public mood over the huge costs and loss of life in the war. “Many people would start asking questions, why did we get into this mess? Why, you know, we lost so many people.”

The same thing happened when he annexed Crimea in the same way that he threatened nuclear strikes if the Ukrainians tried to take it back.

Western leaders are in a battle of brinksmanship with Putin. The US national security adviser told NBC last Sunday that the US would respond harshly if Russia deployed nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

The aftermath of the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage in Danes and Swedes: Russian naval vessels, NATO, and Russia

Both Danish and Swedish seismologists recorded explosive shockwaves from close to the seabed: the first, at around 2 a.m. local time, hitting 2.3 magnitude, then again, at around 7 p.m., registering 2.1.

The Danes and Germans sent warships to secure the area after roiling patches of sea were discovered.

The Nord Stream pipeline sabotage could, according to Hill, be a last roll of the dice by Putin, so that “there’s no kind of turning back on the gas issues. And it’s not going to be possible for Europe to continue to build up its gas reserves for the winter. So what Putin is doing is throwing absolutely everything at this right now.”

Russian naval vessels were seen by European security officials in the area in the days prior, Western intelligence sources have said. NATO’s North Atlantic Council has described the damage as a “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible act of sabotage.”

After Europe rushed to replenish gas reserves ahead of the winter while dialling back demands for Russian supplies and searching for replacement providers, the Nord Stream 1 was throttled back by Putin.

The bottom line is that this is a result of the Ukrainians gaining traction on the battlefield, and of Putin losing it, so he’s trying to adapt to the circumstances and get every advantage.

Having failed in the face of Western military unity backing Ukraine, Putin appears set to test Western resolve diplomatically, by trying to divide Western allies over terms for peace.

Putin is supposed to tell France and Germany that they need to end the war and that they need to put pressure on the Ukrainians to do so.

Putin knows he is in a corner, but doesn’t seem to realize how small a space he has, and that of course is what’s most worrying – would he really make good on his nuclear threats?

Putin and the Cold War: Rejoind a Russian Campaign on Channel 1 News of the Week on the Day After Lyman-Novikov Fall

On Russia’s flagship Sunday political show, “News of the Week,” on Channel 1, the fall of Lyman wasn’t even mentioned until after more than an hour of laudatory coverage of Russia’s growth from 85 to 89 regions in an annexation most of the world views as illegal.

A day earlier, two powerful Putin supporters railed against the Kremlin and called for using harsher fighting methods because Lyman had fallen just as Moscow was declaring that the illegally annexed region it lies in would be Russian forever.

But the soldiers interviewed on the Sunday broadcast said they had been forced to retreat because they were fighting not only with Ukrainians, but with NATO soldiers.

These are no longer toys in this area. The unnamed deputy commander of a Russian battalion told the war correspondent on the show that they were involved in a systematic and clear offensive by the NATO forces. The soldier said his unit was intercepting discussions by the other soldiers on their radios, not Ukrainians.

The broadcast seemed to suggest that Russians with doubts or anger over the war would be blamed by the West for any hardship they may suffer, even if it wasn’t because of the war.

The father of a prominent nationalist commentator who was killed by a car bomb in August talked about the idea that Russia was fighting a broader campaign in an interview.

Some people were asked to reflect on the first anniversary of the invasion, while others were asked not to. The views expressed in this commentary are their own.

Mr. Putin has also accused western countries of damaging the Nord Stream gas pipe, which was damaged last month when underwater explosions occurred.

He said that the West accuses them of blowing up the gas line. We need to understand that our war with the West is on the scale and extent of which it is unfolding. We need to join this battle with the enemy who is not going to hesitate to use any means, including exploding the gas lines.

The nonstop messaging campaign may be working, at least for now. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s senior fellow is from Russia, and he said that many Russians feel threatened by the West.

Whether it’s going through with a wedding in the aftermath of a rocket attack, pitching in to make Molotov cocktails, shifting classes to a Kyiv subway station as missiles fly or keeping a family business open against all odds, one thing Putin’s invasion has done is galvanize the Ukrainian people like never before.

The David v. Goliath Battle: How the Israeli Women Manifested March Against Crime in the Second World Trade War

A former CNN producer and correspondent, Ghitis is a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. Her own views are expressed in this commentary. View more opinion on CNN.

On Sunday, almost by accident, two groups of demonstrators came together in London. One was waving Ukrainian flags; the other Iranian flags. They cheered and said, “All together we will win.”

The West was united by the bravery of the people of Ukraine. Even in polarized United States, significant majorities came together in support of Ukraine despite the best efforts of some.

These David v. Goliath battles show bravery that is almost unimaginable to the rest of us – and is inspiring equally courageous support in places like Afghanistan.

The death of a young woman in Iran last month prompted some people in the country to take action. Known as “Zhina,” she died in the custody of morality police who detained her for breaking the relentlessly, violently enforced rules requiring women to dress modestly.

In scenes of exhilarated defiance, Iranian women have danced around fires in the night, shedding the hijab – the headcover mandated by the regime – and tossing it into the flames.

It’s why women are climbing on cars, waving their hijab in the air, like a flag of freedom, and gathering crowds of supporters in city streets, and in universities, where security forces are opening fire to try and silence them.

Putin’s first trip outside the Soviet Union since the invasion of Ukraine was to Iran: a lesson learned from the example of Mahasa Amini

Russian President Vladimir Putin entered the war in Syria to help save the dictator, like Iran did.

Yesterday, Russia hit at least 11 Ukrainian cities with missiles in its broadest aerial assault against civilians since the invasion’s early days. But even amid destruction, many people sheltered for only a few hours. Some went back to their lives immediately. Megan Specia, a foreign correspondent for the Times, was reporting from a shelter in the city of Kyiv when she saw residents riding scooters.

The repressive regimes in Moscow and Tehran are now isolated, pariahs among much of the world, openly supported for the most part by a smattering of autocrats.

Is it any wonder that Putin’s first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the start of his Ukraine war was to Iran? Russia is believed to be getting advanced drones from Iran, which is thought to have trained Russian forces to kill Ukrainians.

These are two regimes that, while very different in their ideologies, have much in common in their tactics of repression and their willingness to project power abroad.

Niloofar Hamedi, the first journalist to report what happened to Mahasa Amini, was a critic of the regime in Iran. Journalists in Russia are very dangerous as well. Analyzing Putin is also criticizing it. After trying and failing to kill opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Putin’s people manufactured charges to keep him in a penal colony indefinitely.

People in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon have more interest in the low likelihood that the Iranian regime will fall than they do in the high chance it will fall. It would be transformative for their countries and their lives, heavily influenced by Tehran. Iran’s constitution calls for spreading its revolution.

The Putin Legacy of the Cold War: CNN’s Peter Bergen on the “The Cost of Chaos” and How the US Helped the Afghans to Back the Soviets

Freedman writes that Putin is “a tragic example of how the delusions and illusions of one individual can be allowed to shape events without any critical challenge. The media and the autocrats are able to command their subordinates to follow foolish orders.

Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a vice president at New America, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. Bergen is the author of “The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World.” The views that are expressed in this commentary are of his own. View more opinion on CNN.

With even his allies expressing concern, and hundreds of thousands of citizens fleeing partial mobilization, an increasingly isolated Putin has once again taken to making rambling speeches offering his distorted view of history.

(Indeed, his revisionist account defines his rationale for the war in Ukraine, which he asserts has historically always been part of Russia – even though Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union more than three decades ago.)

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, they planned to install a puppet government and get out of the country as soon as it was feasible, as explained in a recent, authoritative book about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, “Afghan Crucible” by historian Elisabeth Leake.

The US was initially hesitant in increasing support for the Afghan resistance, fearing a larger conflict with the Soviet Union. It took until 1986 for the CIA to arm the Afghans with highly effective anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, which ended the Soviets’ total air superiority, eventually forcing them to withdraw from Afghanistan three years later.

American weapons are once again playing a major role in Russian fortunes on the battlefield. The United States initially shied from deeper involvement in the conflict in Ukraine because of fears that there would be a bigger conflict with the Russians.

But the US put those fears to rest relatively quickly, and American-supplied anti-tank Javelin missiles and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), GPS-guided missiles, have helped the Ukrainians to push back against the Russians.

Putin, the Romanov Monarchy, and the Holocaust: A Tale of Two Cities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, After the Soviet Union Collapse

Putin is also surely aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was hastened by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan two years earlier.

The Russian loss in the 1905 war weakened the Romanov monarchy, according to the history books. Czar Nicholas II’s feckless leadership during the First World War then precipitated the Russian Revolution in 1917. The Romanov family was killed by the Bolsheviks.

The US President, who had always been fond of Putin, made a statement two days before Russia invaded that the Russian autocrat was a genius and savvy for declaring two areas in eastern Ukraine independent.

Before last February, Russia’s budding middle class could benefit from Putin’s social contract: Stay out of politics, and you’ll enjoy life in a European-style Moscow or St. Petersburg. Now that the bargain is out the window. Russia is further than ever from Europe, and it remains to be seen if support for an open-ended war can be sustained.

Putin’s loyalty among Russians who remember chaotic times following the collapse of the USSR has been ruined by the economic damage.

Bociurkiw moved from Canada to Ukraine in the summer. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russian terrorist attacks on a key infrastructure project: The city of Zaporizhzhia in Kiev, Ukraine, during the two-day October 11 attack

A series of explosions, including along a key bridge connecting Russia to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, have put into question Russia’s ability to defend its own strategic infrastructure.

The significance of the strikes on central Kyiv, and close to the government quarter, cannot be overstated. Western governments should see it as a red line being crossed on this 229th day of the war.

The area around my office in Odesa remained quiet during the air raid sirens, with reports that three missiles and five drones were shot down. Normally, at this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be filled with customers and chatter of upcoming weddings and parties.

Just a few hours before Monday’s attacks, Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit with multiple strikes on apartment buildings, mostly while people slept. At least 17 people were killed and several dozens injured.

After Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on a social networking site that another type of Russian terrorist attack was targeting energy and critical infrastructure. Since Oct. 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country.”

In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, which has seen more bombardments than Kyiv, residents shifted to war footing and stocked up on canned food, gas and drinking water. At the Typsy Cherry, they entertained themselves. The owner told The Times that the mood was cheerful. “People drank, had fun and wondered when the electricity will resume.” (Power came back hours later.)

Businesses have been asked to switch work to online as much as possible, while millions of people will spend the majority of the day in bomb shelters, at the request of officials.

With so many asylum seekers returning to their home country, the attacks may cause another blow to business confidence.

Russia’s military bloggers were aghast. Russian journalist Sergey Mardan described a huge humiliation of Russia. An account on the Telegram app managed by Russian service members remarked with bitter sarcasm that “we are waiting in the Russian city of Kiev for the president of the Russian Federation, but not for the (President of the) United States.”

Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. Putin opened the longest bridge in Europe by driving a truck across it. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. Two years of delays for the opening of the road bridge.

Ukranian Anti-Putin and the Fourth Amendment: Security and Security Issues after the December 11, 2001 Ukrainian Phenomenon

The reaction among Ukrainians to the explosion was instantaneous: humorous memes lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. Many shared their jubilation with text messages.

For Putin, consumed by pride and self-interest, sitting still was never an option. He responded in the only way he knows how, by unleashing more death and destruction, with the force that probably comes natural to a former KGB operative.

It was also an act of selfish desperation: facing increasing criticism at home, including on state-controlled television, has placed Putin on unusually thin ice.

In late August, Major General of the main intelligence department of the defense ministry of Ukranian stated that by the year end, they had to enter Gaza and be done with it.

What is crucially important now is for Washington and other allies to use urgent telephone diplomacy to urge China and India – which presumably still have some leverage over Putin – to resist the urge to use even more deadly weapons.

The first reason, and one that prompted an immediate response from the West, is the moral and ethical obligation of the world’s democracies to help a nation that is threatened by an authoritarian power. National self-determination has long been a guiding principle of American foreign policy. The U.S. administrations have done it imperfectly and with so many guiding principles. It’s valuable in trying to find a way forward. Europe could return to the turmoil of previous eras due to Mr. Putin violating the principle by sending an armored column towards the Ukrainian government.

High tech defense systems are needed to protect energy infrastructure around the country. With winter just around the corner, the need to protect heating systems is urgent.

The fate of Vladimir Putin and the Italian National Rally after the September 11 attacks: Marine Le Pen’s visit to Moscow during Putin’s first presidential campaign

The time has also come for the West to further isolate Russia with trade and travel restrictions – but for that to have sufficient impact, Turkey and Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board.

On Monday, state television not only reported on the suffering, but also flaunted it. There were empty store shelves and a long-range forecast promising months of freezing temperatures in central Kyiv, when it was shown.

Marine Le Pen has had warm meetings with Putin, and she is no longer able to ignore them. The Putin we see today, she pleads, is “not the one” she met when she visited Moscow as a presidential candidate advocating stronger ties with Russia. Only a year ago, most supporters of her own National Rally (RN) had a positive view of Russia. That number is just 21% now.

The daily images of bombed out schools, hospitals, playgrounds and apartment buildings, and the determined, so-far-largely-successful pushback by Ukraine, has prompted many – though not all – former fans to reconsider their admiration.

The leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy, which is slated to become prime minister, changed her stance toward Putin when she heard that she was going to be a prime minister. Matteo Salvini, who used to wear a shirt with Putin’s face on it, now insists he supports Ukraine.

Their change of heart may be the result of a survey that showed the unfavorable opinions of Putin and Russia have fallen among far- right members. Among Salvini’s Lega backers, confidence in Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs collapsed, from 62% last year to 10% now.

Pro-Russia positions are so poisonous that the RN’s acting president, Jordan Bardella, threatened to sue anyone who suggests there are financial ties between the party and Russia. (Le Pen’s presidential campaign was partly financed by a mysterious multimillion dollar loan from Russia in 2014. French banks refused to give her a loan according to Le Pen.

That’s the case in Germany, where some in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have openly expressed support for Russia, but the leadership has tried to tone it down while mobilizing opposition to Berlin’s policies – on the grounds that it creates hardships for Germans.

A few weeks ago, the CPAC, a conservative political action group, called on Democrats to end the gift-giving to Ukranian government and instead focus their attention on the US. The group deleted the post, apologized and claimed that it didn’t go through proper vetting.

At the far-right America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) in February, days after Russian started bombing Ukraine, AFPAC founder and notorious White nationalist Nick Fuentes bellowed, “Can we get a round of applause for Russia!”

Trump repeated his praise for Putin and claimed that Biden was playing the Russian dictator to death. Donald Trump has not praised Putin as much as in the past. More often using the war to praise himself.)

Even the leaders of the former Soviet Republics who were Putin’s allies in the past are letting him down. Only one, the Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, has stood with the Kremlin.

In the US – where 73% of the people want continued support for Ukraine even after Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons – a few prominent far-right figures still defend him.

Carlson — who declared on his show in 2019 when there was a potential conflict between the neighboring countries that he was “root(ing) for Russia” — did his best in the months before Putin’s attack to paint Ukraine in a negative light. Carlson said that Ukraine was not a democracy and called Zelensky a puppet of the Biden administration.

What Do We Need to Know About Security Assistance to Ukraine? Kevin McCarthy and the Pro-Putin wing of my party, Kevin McCarthy, and “Meet the Press”

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him on the internet. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion on it.

Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments were even more alarming than the callous and inflammatory response of Vance. McCarthy said that if the Republicans win the House they can no longer expect US assistance to be a blank check.

President Joe Biden rightly criticized McCarthy and other Republicans who want to reduce or end aid to Ukraine, remarking last week, “These guys don’t get it. It’s a lot bigger than Ukraine — it’s Eastern Europe. It’s NATO. It’s real, serious, serious consequential outcomes.”

President Zelensky is expected to visit the White House soon and he is expected to get an additional $1.8 billion in security assistance from the US. The significant boost in aid is expected to be headlined by the Patriot missile defense systems that are included in the package, a US official told CNN.

That Kevin McCarthy is the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is stunning. It is dangerous, said Cheney on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

I think he knows better, but he is willing to sacrifice everything for his own political gain, if necessary, because he thinks America will no longer stand for freedom.

Left or Right: Why the U.S. does not need a blank check: CNN’s Marc Andelman Unleashed

Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks that if Republicans win the House in next month’s elections that she will be given a lot of power and a lot of latitude.

Conservative Fox News stars, including Laura Ingraham and especially Tucker Carlson, have been laying the groundwork with members of the Republican base, readying them for the possibility of an end to US assistance for Ukraine.

And just last week, Ingraham derided former Vice President Mike Pence for referring to the United States as the “arsenal of democracy” and suggested our massive military is too depleted to help other countries such as Ukraine. Jim Banks, who is from Indiana, echoed the comments of McCarthy when he said, “We can’t give blank checks to those around the world to solve their problems.”

Biden believes that McCarthy may or may not get it. But there’s one person who fully gets it: Vladmir Putin. Few people will have greater cause for celebration if the GOP wins back control of the House.

Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion.

First, he’s seeking to distract his nation from the blindingly obvious, namely that he is losing badly on the battlefield and utterly failing to achieve even the vastly scaled back objectives of his invasion.

European Union Prolonging War on Energy Markets: Emmanuel Macron and the Kremlin at a Summit in Brussels on Friday night

This ability to keep going depends on a number of variables, ranging from the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the coming winter to the popular will across a broad range of nations with often conflicting priorities.

In the early hours of Friday in Brussels, European Union powers agreed a roadmap to control energy prices that have been surging on the heels of embargoes on Russian imports and the Kremlin cutting natural gas supplies at a whim.

These include an emergency cap on the benchmark European gas trading hub – the Dutch Title Transfer Facility – and permission for EU gas companies to create a cartel to buy gas on the international market.

While French President Emmanuel Macron waxed euphoric leaving the summit, which he described as having “maintained European unity,” he conceded that there was only a “clear mandate” for the European Commission to start working on a gas cap mechanism.

Still, divisions remain, with Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, skeptical of any price caps. Now energy ministers must work out details with a Germany concerned such caps would encourage higher consumption – a further burden on restricted supplies.

These divisions are all part of Putin’s fondest dream. Europe has Manifold forces that could prove to be a key to success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint.

Both Germany and France are at odds over many of these issues. The Chancellor of Germany and the President of France have called a conference call for Wednesday.


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the EU and the U.S.: The crisis in Italy is coming to an end

The new government in Italy took power. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in Saturday as Italy’s first woman prime minister and has attempted to brush aside the post-fascist aura of her party. One of her far-right coalition partners meanwhile, has expressed deep appreciation for Putin.

Silvio Berlusconi, himself a four-time prime minister of Italy, was recorded at a gathering of his party loyalists, describing with glee the 20 bottles of vodka Putin sent to him together with “a very sweet letter” on his 86th birthday.

Matteo Salvini, named deputy prime minister on Saturday, said during the campaign that he didn’t want the sanctions on Russia to harm those who imposed them more than those who were hit by them.

At the same time, Poland and Hungary, longtime ultra-right-wing soulmates united against liberal policies of the EU that seemed calculated to reduce their influence, have now disagreed over Ukraine. Poland has taken deep offense at the pro-Putin sentiments of Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.

This is not easy. Congress’s likely new Speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy, has warned the Biden administration cannot expect a “blank cheque” from the new GOP-led House of Representatives.

Meanwhile on Monday, the influential 30-member Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to open talks with Russia on ending the conflict while its troops are still occupying vast stretches of the country and its missiles and drones are striking deep into the interior.

Hours later, caucus chair Mia Jacob, facing a firestorm of criticism, emailed reporters with a statement “clarifying” their remarks in support of Ukraine. The Secretary of State called his Ukranian counterpart Dmytro Kulba to tell him that the United States was still with him.

This support in terms of arms, materiel and now training for Ukrainian forces have been the underpinnings of their remarkable battlefield successes against a weakening, undersupplied and ill-prepared Russian military.

At the same time, the West is turning up the pressure on Russia. Last Thursday, the State Department released a detailed report on the impact of sanctions and export controls strangling the Russian military-industrial complex.

The report said that the Russian production of hypersonic missiles has ceased due to the lack of necessary semi-conductors. Aircraft are being cannibalized for spare parts, plants producing anti-aircraft systems have shut down, and “Russia has reverted to Soviet-era defense stocks” for replenishment. More than 30 years ago, the Soviet era ended.

A day before this report, the US announced seizure of all property of a top Russian procurement agent Yury Orekhov and his agencies “responsible for procuring US-origin technologies for Russian end-users…including advanced semiconductors and microprocessors.”

The Justice Department also announced charges against individuals and companies seeking to smuggle high-tech equipment into Russia in violation of sanctions.

U.S. versus China: What has happened to Ukraine in the last ten years of the Cold War? And what has happened in Ukraine?

Hardliners still exist like Pavel Gubarev, Russia’s puppet leader in Donetsk, who said that they weren’t coming to kill you, but to convince you. But if you don’t want to be convinced, we’ll kill you. We’ll kill as many as we have to: 1 million, 5 million, or exterminate all of you.”

Biden recalled that he and Zelensky had a call a year ago when the war started. Zelensky heard blasts in the background. The world was preparing for the end of Ukraine, according to Biden.

Judging by the statements from the White House and the Chinese government, that’s precisely what happened. Taiwan’s autonomy and the war in Ukrainian werediscussed by the two sides. And they broached areas of potential cooperation, such as climate change, global health and economic stability.

The contest between the two systems is still going on. When he said that it was important to show that democracy could deliver for the people, Biden was correct.

This was the perfect moment for this meeting to happen, because it was from the standpoint of the United States and for democracy, and also because there was more to this than who controls the Senate.

A triumphant return to Kherson after the Russians failed to recognize Xi Jinping as the ruler of a wonderful country: Covid-19 lockdowns and the failure of democracy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a triumphant return to Kherson, the city that had been destroyed by the Russians, after he met with Biden and Xi.

Putin was thrown into a tailspin as the Ukrainians defended their country with unexpected gusto and as Biden rallied allies in a muscular push to support the country.

By the time Xi and Putin met again in September, China had done little to support Russia militarily, and Putin admitted that Xi had “questions and concerns” about Ukraine. After the Russian President threatened to use nukes, Xi rebuked him.

Putin decided not to attend the G20 summit in Indonesia, fearing that he would become a pariah on the global stage.

Biden isn’t the only leader with a strong hand. Thanks to his third term as China’s leader, Xi can rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t need to worry about elections, a critical press or an opposition party. He is essentially the absolute ruler of a mighty country for many years to come.

Also a mirage was Xi Jinping’s brilliance. After nearly three years of Covid-19 lockdowns, the country saw unprecedented protests demanding an end to the policy and even calls for regime change. Suddenly, Xi lifted all pandemic restrictions with seemingly no transition or preparation.

Also crucial in the epochal competition between the two systems is showing that democracy works, defeating efforts of autocratic countries such as China and Russia to discredit it and proving that unprovoked wars of aggression, aimed at suppressing democracy and conquering territory, will not succeed.

Russian retaliation in the illegal war against Ukraine: the role of the West, and the project for a future combat air system

Polish and NATO leaders believe that an incoming Russian missile was shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile less than a mile away from the city of Lviv. (President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, has insisted the missile was not Ukrainian)

One thing is clear, whatever the circumstances of the missile. Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.

Russian retaliation has expanded as Ukrainian forces continued to push back Russian units and regain control of territory seized in the early days of the war.

That said, a growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled at what they have been asked to do and refused to fight. Amid plummeting morale, the UK’s Defense Ministry believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot retreating or deserting soldiers.

Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.

A leading Russian journalist, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me that he hopes this is not the case, but he is prepared to accept the reality that he will never be able to return to his homeland.

The West wants to prevent the country of Russia from having material resources to pursue this war by making it harder for them to get Russian oil and gas. “We have understood and learnt our lesson that it was an unhealthy and unsustainable dependency, and we want reliable and forward-looking connections,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday.

Putin had a dream that the conflict would drive more wedges into the Western alliance, but it is not true. The French-German project for a next- generation jet fighter at the center of the Future Combat Air System began to move forward on Monday after months of delay.

Putin still does not seem to have learned that revenge is not an appropriate way to act on or off of the battlefield, and that it might be bad for Russia to be isolated and weakened.

A dark fairy tale of a woman nursing a two-month-old son in a war-torsion-ridden country and grieving for her father

In December, we peer into the darkness only to be reassured of the “happily ever after.”

We used to joke that we were kind of like a dark fairy tale with a happy ending. And now it’s over,” says Ievheniia, a displaced Ukrainian woman in Poland who this December is nursing her two-month-old son – and raw grief for the child’s father.

Denys was killed while defending his country against the Russians. The 47-year-old died at the site of some of the war’s heaviest fighting, near the city of Bakhmut in the east of the country. The Ukrainian forces have been holding the line for months and are waist-deep in mud.

In this dark Ukrainian fairy tale, a crucial moment from marriage ceremony to funeral can be seen via video link. In a time of war, this is what love looks like when it is disrupted mid-plot.

Ievheniia is ready to serve in the army of Ukraine for eight years if called upon. “I am not the kind of person who flees,” she explained.

Christmas Fairy Tales in Ukraine: When Ievheniia and the enlisted soldiers found out she was pregnant when she returned to Poland

As we hurry to bring gifts to our loved ones, enchanted by the flickering of Christmas lights, we must remember the country in Europe plunged into darkness by Russia’s barbaric imperialist war.

After driving westwards across the country under Russian bombardment, Ievheniia finally arrived at an enlistment office. After being interviewed on a Friday she was told to return the next day to sign a contract with the military.

On the weekend, she decided to take a pregnancy test, just in case. “With war and evacuation, the ground was slipping under one’s feet,” she said with a laugh. “On top of that, it turned out that I was pregnant.”

The pregnancy test provided that plot twist: the woman who planned to defend her homeland instead joined the flow of refugees looking for safety in Poland.


Denys, Ieveniia, and the Dust: A Fairy Tale Tale about the Death of a Ukraine Soldier

War separated Ievheniia and Denys, which meant they had to prove their partnership to the state. Ukrainian servicemen have been allowed to marry via video call after the war was over, as the country at war was at work. “Instead of (by) boring civil servants, we got married remotely by a handsome man in a uniform. I had nothing to complain about,” Ievheniia said.

Over the following months, Denys kept the magic alive via the Internet, with flower deliveries and professional photoshoots ordered for Ievheniia from the trenches.

When one morning she did not pick up the phone, Denys raised the alarm all over Warsaw and a rescue squad found Ievheniia unconscious in her rented flat. A delay could have resulted in death. A section from the Caesarean section followed. Because the baby was born two months early, the father was able to meet his new son.

Ukrainian men are not allowed to leave the country under martial law. Yet as is appropriate for a fairy tale, Denys got permission, crossed the border, and spent five days with his family.

It was a magical time filled with ordinary things. Then he left. Ievheniia said that they sent him greetings on his birthday. He was killed the next day.


“Consolatory” fables – time to act instead of being deluded by the narrative logic of a fairy tale

Italo Calvino, the celebrated Italian journalist and editor of folktales, among other works, called them “consolatory fables” because it is that a rare fairy tale ends badly. If it does, that means time is not yet right to console the person. Instead, it is time to act.

And we must not be deluded by the narrative logic of a fairy tale. The kid will not use magic to defeat the monster. Ukrainians need military aid to bring a win over Russia rather than just prolonging the fight with huge sacrifice. Our collective efforts will determine the outcome of Ukrainian victory.

“As a teenager, I was reading a lot of fantasy books and wondering how I would act in a fight against absolute evil. I wondered if I could turn away to continue with my daily life. I was told by Ievheniia. “Today, all of us have a chance to find out.”

Zelensky’s Crisis in the Light of World War II: The Conversation with Putin at the Élysée Palace during the February 11 Russian Reaction

Zelenskyfaces a new dilemma as the war grinds into a new year. How to balance growing pressure from outside for a ceasefire and negotiations with Russia and expectations for a full Russian withdrawal to pre–2014 lines.

In Paris at the time, I witnessed how Zelensky pulled up to the Élysée Palace in a modest Renault, while Putin motored in with an ostentatious armored limousine. (The host, French President Emmanuel Macron, hugged Putin but chose only to shake hands with Zelensky).

Zelensky was in danger of falling out of favor with the populace in the days leading up to Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Zelensky learned to respond to bullies in the rough and tumble areas of central Ukraine, where he grew up.

After being bullied by Putin, he knew what he needed to do, and it was just his gut feeling, according to the founder of the think.

This, after all, is the leader who when offered evacuation by the US as Russia launched its full-scale invasion, quipped: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

There’s a long way to go since Zelensky thanked his supporters for a landslide victory at a campaign function in a dingy nightclub in the middle of war. Standing on stage among the fluttering confetti, he looked in a state of disbelief at having defeated incumbent veteran politician Petro Poroshenko.

As Russian troops began to amass on Ukraine’s borders in the weeks preceding the February assault, around 55% of Ukrainians said they didn’t trust Zelensky to lead them into war. It was a rating likely influenced by him not keeping some of his campaign promises, especially failing to launch an effective fight against corruption in the judiciary.

He had a TV comedy group called Kvartal 95, and many people from that group are in his bubble. Even during the war, there was a press conference held on the platform of a metro station with perfect lighting and camera angles to emphasize a wartime setting.

I remember how comforting his nightly televised addresses were when there were air raid sirens and explosions in Lviv, as well as the fact that he was comforter in chief.

Zelensky: Changing the course of the Russian-Israel War with the world – a talk at a cultural and political point of view

Zelensky is projecting confidence and competence to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such, by wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the youthful, egalitarian uniform of Silicon Valley, rather than suits.

Journeying to where her husband can’t, Zelenska has shown herself to be an effective communicator in international fora – projecting empathy, style and smarts. She met with King Charles at a refugee assistance center during a visit to London. (Curiously, TIME magazine did not include Zelenska on the cover montage and gave only a passing reference in the supporting text).

There are signs that Zelenskys international influence could be waning despite the strong tailwinds. For example, last week, in what analysts called a pivotal moment in geopolitics, the G7 imposed a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian crude – despite pleas from Zelensky that it should have been set at $30 in order to inflict more pain on the Kremlin.

At least 76 missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian critical power infrastructure occurred on Friday as the economy continued to suffer from the effects of war. Ukrainians are enduring long periods of no heat, electricity or water during the winter. Many say that if they win the war they will endure hardship for another two to five years, proof ofUkrainian resilience since the start of the war.

But the highly public nature of Zelensky’s visit, and the expected announcement regarding Patriots, also risks further provoking Putin when he is signaling that, as disastrous as the war has been for Russia’s troops, he’s in for the long haul, betting the West’s commitment will eventually ebb.

Zelensky achieved a thing Putin wanted to achieve but didn’t; he used a patriotic war in order to distract from his failures at home. According to Michael Popow, who is a New York-based business and political analyst, Putin thinks that it must be painful to be shown up by a comedian.

Zelensky said in a recent address that when the world is united, it is the world that determines how events develop.

Western nations have been trying to change the course of the war by bringing arms and equipment to Ukranian. The image of American support for Zelensky was offered by Biden when he visited in person.

When Zelensky arrives in Washington, he might well experience the same revelation that Churchill did over the capital’s blazing lights at Christmas after months in the dark of air raid blackouts back home.

His visit is unfolding amid extraordinary security. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t even confirm the early reports that she’d welcome Zelensky to the US Capitol in an unexpected coda to her speakership, saying on Tuesday evening, “We don’t know yet. We just don’t know.”

Zelensky was coming to Washington on a specific mission according to a Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who visited Ukraine earlier this month. He is trying to show a correlation between our support for the Ukrainian people and the future of the country.

One of the most capable long-range air defense systems on the market is the US Army’s Patriot, which has been requested by the Ukranian government many times.

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Wesley Clark said that Zelensky’s trip reflects a critical moment when the destiny of a war that Ukraine cannot win without upgraded US support could be decided before Russia can regroup.

His upcoming visit to Congress will play an important role in the debate on Capitol Hill over whether or not to aid Ukraine, with Republicans set to take over the House majority in the new year. Some pro-Donald Trump members, who will have significant leverage in the thin GOP majority, have warned that billions of dollars in US cash that have been sent to Ukraine should instead be shoring up the US southern border with a surge of new migrants expected within days.

Zelensky and the Battle of London: Two Days of Infame in the War of 1941: When Hitler and Germany Met, and Britain Rejoined

Zelensky in March invoked Mount Rushmore and “I have a Dream Speech” during a virtual address to Congress. He referred to two days of infamy in modern times when Americans were terrified by aerial bombardment.

“Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it,” Zelensky said. Remember September 11, 2001 when evil tried to turn the cities and territories into battlefields. When innocent people were attacked, attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same every day.”

The wartime British leader sailed to the United States aboard HMS Duke of York, dodging U-boats in the wintery Atlantic and took a plane from the coast of Virginia to Washington, where he was met on December 22, 1941, by President Franklin Roosevelt before their joint press conference the next day.

Over days of brainstorming and meetings – fueled by Churchill’s regime of sherry with breakfast, Scotch and sodas for lunch, champagne in the evening and a tipple of 90-year-old brandy before bed – the two leaders plotted the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and laid the foundation of the Western alliance that Biden has reinvigorated in his support for Ukraine.

While on his visit to the US, he said he felt far from his family and country, even though he knew it was the key to defeating Hitler.

The Ukrainian leader is likely to appreciate the historical parallels. He gave an emotional speech to British members of parliament and said that one of the most famous speeches of the war was his.

The War Between Ukraine and the US: What is the bill for a Russian victory in the Cold War? An analysis by Biden and Kremler

There are two key headline deliverables: first, the Patriot missile systems. Complex, accurate, and expensive, they have been described as the US’s “gold standard” of air defense. NATO preciously guards them, and they require the personnel who operate them – almost 100 in a battalion for each weapon – to be properly trained.

More precision weapons are crucial in order to make sure Ukraine hits its targets and not any civilians remaining nearby. And it means Ukraine does not go through the hundreds or thousands of shells Russia appears to burn through as it blanket bombards areas it wants to capture.

A new deal is most likely to include the supply of JDAMs, which can be used by Ukraine to shoot unguided missiles or bombs. This will increase their accuracy and the rate in which Kyiv’s forces burn through ammunition. A lot of the funds will be used for replacements and stocks.

Moscow is struggling to equip and rally its conventional forces and is running out of new cards to play. China and India have joined the West in open statements against the use of nuclear force, which has made that option even less likely.

Biden wants Putin to hear figures in the billions and not be able to ignore them, to get Russian resolve, and to make up for the lack of assistance from European partners.

Some members of Trump’s party have questioned how much assistance the US should be giving to eastern Europe.

Realistically, the bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this dark and lengthy conflict is relatively light for Washington, given its near trillion-dollar annual defense budget.

Zelensky’s historic address on Ukraine, the fight against Putin and Russian aggression and the “regime in Kyiv”

“He’s the first folk hero (in) many years,” Zygar said. “He’s a hero for the most ultraconservative – the most, I would say, fascist – part of Russian society, as long as we don’t have any liberal part in Russian society, because most of the leaders of that part of Russian society have left, he’s an obvious rival to President Putin.”

The speech “connected the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our own feelings that we want to be warm in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to get us to think about all the families in Ukraine that will be huddled in the cold and to know that they are on the front lines of freedom right now,” Clinton said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Wednesday.

She said Zelensky’s historic address “strengthened both Democrats and Republicans who understand what is at stake in this fight against Putin and Russian aggression and now with their ally, Iran, as well.”

“I think around now, what [Putin] is considering is how to throw more bodies, and that’s what they will be – bodies of Russian conscripts – into the fight in Ukraine,” Clinton said.

“I hope that they will send more than one,” she added. She noted there’s “been some reluctance in the past” by the US and NATO to provide advanced equipment, but added “We’ve seen with our own eyes how effective Ukrainian military is.”

Clinton, who previously met Russian President Vladimir Putin as US secretary of state, said the leader was “probably impossible to actually predict,” as the war turns in Ukraine’s favor and his popularity fades at home.

Moscow said the war in Ukraine was getting closer and that the war was set for a long confrontation with Russia.

Russia condemned what it called the “monstous crimes” of the “regime in Kyiv” after US President Joe Biden promised more military support toUkraine during the Zelensky summit at the White House.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West provides to the Ukrainian government, “they will achieve nothing.”

Zakharova said that the tasks set within the framework of the military operation would be fulfilled because of the situation on the ground.

Peskov said there were no calls for peace. During his address to the US Congress on Wednesday Zelensky stressed the need for peace, reiterating the 10-point plan devised by Ukraine.

Peskov told journalists, however, that Wednesday’s meeting showed the US is waging a proxy war of “indirect fighting” against Russia down “to the last Ukrainian.”

She believes that the Putin regime has done a good job of forcing out viable alternatives, and then on the other side you have fear of violence if there is no clear path forward.

“Everyone who is against the war saw their lives simply destroyed,” she told CNN. We can’t complain now that someone will tell you that no one is interested in you. The Ukrainians suffered the most. Of course, they are in much worse conditions now. That doesn’t mean we’re okay.

CNN uses a pseudonym for a woman because they do not want to endanger her personal safety. Speaking to foreign journalists about her involvement in the demonstrations – and even the use of the word “war” as opposed to the Kremlin-approved term “special military operation” – puts her at risk of arrest and potentially a lengthy prison sentence.

Draconian laws passed since February have outlawed criticism of the military or leadership. According to a leading independent monitoring group, 45% of people who demonstrate against the war are women.

What Russia really wants from Iran: Olga, a long-term resident of the shadow state of the Kremlin era

He is also on Russia’s wanted list after being accused of spreading false information about the Russian military and law enforcement. He denies the charges and says he was simply reporting the truth about the actions of the Russian government in the run up to and during the invasion of Ukraine.

Technical workarounds such as VPNs and Telegram still offer access to Russians seeking independent sources of information. Older Russians prefer the state media because of it’s propaganda on TV and on the air.

The US border patrol had over thirty thousand encounters with Russian citizens. More people were expelled by the border force in the previous fiscal years than in the prior two years, according to the number.

The surveys done by OK Russians suggest those leaving are younger and more educated than the Russian public as a whole.

“If you take the Moscow liberal intelligentsia, and of course, I’m talking only about the people I know and I know of, I would say that maybe 70% left. The people who got closed down are journalists, schools, artists, and people who have clubs in Moscow.

“If you are losing the educated middle-class portion of the population, then it matters for your economic prospects, but it also matters for the potential political reconstitution of the country,” said Kristine Berzina, a Russia expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. When a large amount of liberal, educated Iranians left the country after the 1979 revolution, it was seen as an example of what can happen.

Maria said she remains determined to stay in Russia, even though all of her friends and her son have left. Her elderly mother can’t – and doesn’t want to – travel abroad, and Maria is not willing to leave her. “If I knew for sure that the borders would not be closed and I could come at any time if my mother needed my help, it would probably be easier for me to leave. But knowing that something else could happen at any moment scares me,” she told CNN.

She is struggling to see hope for the future but still believes her work is important. Like Olga, she described her own life as a perpetual cycle of panic, horror, shame and self-doubt.

“You’re constantly torn apart: Are you to blame? Did you do enough? Can you do something else or not, and how should you act now?” She said something. There aren’t any prospects. I’m an adult, and I didn’t exactly have all my life figured out, but all in all I understood what would happen next. Now nobody understands anything. The people don’t understand what will happen tomorrow.

The man said he had begun to question his own identity. The memory of the Second World War became completely compromised when Putin made the baseless claim that Russia was DenyingUkraine, he said.

“It’s part of the Russian national identity that the Russian army helped to win the war (against Hitler’s Germany) and now it feels absolutely wrong because this message was used by Putin. You start questioning the history,” he said, adding that the favorable reaction by some parts of the Russian society to the invasion prompted him to research pre-war rhetoric in Germany.

Maria is a historian by training and has spent many years taking part in anti-government protests. I knew a person from the KGB wouldn’t be a good leader of our country. It is too deeply rooted with horrors, deaths and all that,” she said.

Berzina said that the notion of an immediate wave of protests on the streets in the West does not correspond to reality in Russia.

“Almost all opposition leaders and opinion leaders are now either in prison or abroad. She said that people could do political action, but there were no leaders or power bases to back them up.

Despite the fact that the contest between democracy and autocracy is not over, autocracy has lost its appeal due to the public display of its fatal flaws. When you can’t tell leaders they’re wrong, they will make mistakes – even catastrophic ones. Even if the leader leads his nation towards a cliff, no one will dare to challenge his wisdom because of his power.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens have been forced to quit their traditional values in the wake of the Ukrainian invasion of April 24th, 2019, or the end of the Cold War?

Putin claimed his forces were embarking on a ” special military operation” which would last for a few weeks.

Their lives are changed within a matter of hours. On the following day, Russian President Vladimir Putin begins an invasion of Ukraine.

Yet the war has also fundamentally upended Russian life — rupturing a post-Soviet period in which the country pursued, if not always democratic reforms, then at least financial integration and dialogue with the West.

Even Russia’s most revered human rights group, 2022’s Nobel Prize co-recipient Memorial, was forced to stop its activities over alleged violations of the foreign agents law.

The state has also vastly expanded Russia’s already restrictive anti-LGBT laws, arguing the war in Ukraine reflects a wider attack on “traditional values.”

Repressions are targeted at the moment. Some of the new laws are still unenforced. But few doubt the measures are intended to crush wider dissent — should the moment arise.

Leading independent media outlets were forced to shut down or relocate abroad because of new “fake news” laws that criminalized revealing information that was contrary to the official government line.

Internet users have restrictions as well. American social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook were banned in March. Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin’s internet regulator, has blocked more than 100,000 websites since the start of the conflict.

Economic Mismanagement During the Russian Invasion and the Political Debate Across Europe: Putin’s Cold War and its Implications for Central Asia

Thousands of perceived government opponents left the war in the early days because of fears of persecution.

Meanwhile, some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus predict their economies will grow, even as the swelling presence of Russians remains a sensitive issue to former Soviet republics in particular.

Russia’s banking and trading markets appeared shaky at the start of the invasion. Hundreds of global corporate brands, such as McDonald’s and ExxonMobil, reduced, suspended or closed their Russian operations entirely.

Ultimately, President Putin is betting that when it comes to sanctions, Europe will blink first — pulling back on its support to Ukraine as Europeans grow angry over soaring energy costs at home. He announced a five-month ban on oil exports to countries that abide by the price cap, a move likely to make the pain more acute in Europe.

There is no change in the government’s tone regarding Russia’s military campaign. Russia’s Defense Ministry gives daily updates on their successes. Putin, too, repeatedly assures that everything is “going according to plan.”

Yet the sheer length of the war — with no immediate Russian victory in sight — suggests Russia vastly underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.

The true number of Russian losses – officially at just under 6,000 men – remains a highly taboo subject at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.

Russia’s invasion has backfired in its primary goals, as the NATO alliance looks set to expand towards Russia’s borders with the addition of long-neutral states.

Longtime allies in Central Asia have criticized Russia’s actions out of concern for their own sovereignty, an affront that would have been unthinkable in Soviet times. India and China have eagerly purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped short of full-throated support for Russia’s military campaign.

The Most Memorable Moments of the First Year of World War II: Putin and the Battle of the Azovstal, Israel and Gaza

A state of the nation address, originally scheduled for April, was repeatedly delayed and won’t happen until next year. The annual “direct line” in which Putin fields questions from ordinary Russians, was canceled completely.

An annual December “big press conference” that allows the Russian leader to handle questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media was tabled until 2023.

The Kremlin has given no reason for the delays. Many suspect it might be that, after 10 months of war and no sign of victory in sight, the Russian leader has finally run out of good news to share.

He said it was truly February 24 of this year when he said Russia would come in, but that his country was hopeful for victory.

The attack on the maternity hospital, the intense fighting at the Azovstal steel plant, and the destruction of the Russian bridge to Gaza are just a few of the notable moments from the war.

“This year has struck our hearts,” he said, according to a translated transcript posted on his official website. “We’ve cried out all the tears. All the prayers have been yelled. 311 days. We have something to say about every minute.”

What does Russia do and what does it teach us about the US and the European Union? A key to how the West has responded to Ukraine’s crisis in 2022

Mr Zelensky said all Ukrainians are participating in the defense of their country. And although 2022 could be called a year of losses, he said that was not the right way to think of it.

The world has rallied around Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky said, from the main squares of foreign cities and their halls of government to the top of Google’s search results.

And finally, to those who felt nuclear saber-rattling was an oxymoron in 2022 – that you could not casually threaten people with nukes as the destruction they brought was complete, for everyone on the planet.

Europe has not welcomed in an era of greater security. While Russia is revealing itself to be less threatening, calls for more defense spending are louder and more well-received.

Russia has met a West that was willing to allow Russia’s weapons to go to the eastern border. Russia has a limited number of non nuclear options, so it appears that its red lines are constantly changing. None of this was supposed to happen. So, what does Europe do and prepare for, now that it has?

There is a key to how unified the West has been. Europe and the US have been speaking from the same script, despite being split over Iraq, fractured over Syria and partially unwilling to spend 2% of GDP on security that the United States wanted of NATO members. At times, Washington may have seemed warier, and there have been autocratic outliers like Hungary. The shift is towards unity, not disparity. That’s quite a surprise.

The prospect of a Russian defeat is in the broader picture: that it did not win quickly against an inferior adversary. Mouthpieces on state TV talked about the need to “take the gloves off” after Kharkiv, as if they would not be exposing a fist that had already withered. Revealed almost as a paper-tiger, the Russian military will struggle for decades to regain even a semblance of peer status with NATO. The years of effort made to rebuild Moscow’s reputation as a smart, asymmetrical foe have evaporated in six months of mismanagement.

The New START limited the number of missiles that the US and Russia could have deployed and gave both countries the right to inspect each other’s nuclear sites. With Putin’s move to suspend his nation’s participation in the program, the last remaining nuclear deal between the two nations is effectively dead and we have returned to a dangerous era of nuclear dysregulation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it well, that the decision of Putin is deeply unfortunate and irresponsible.

America has done this before. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most dangerous nuclear confrontation so far, the Soviet Union’s position shifted in a matter of days, ultimately accepting an outcome that favored the West. America might not have accepted the compromise that it did, if red lines had been in place.

The Last 16 Years of Democracy: When Autocracy and Populism Discovered Their Own Feasibility and Successes

Notice that it was an open question. Many thought that autocracy would be the better system and that it would win. How many believe that today?

How many believe Russia, China or Iran offer a better model than an open society with all its foibles and challenges? How many of you believe that the US would be better off with a more authoritarian president?

In 2022, democracy fought back with astounding determination, conviction and, yes, idealism. The autocrats went on the defensive. populism began to fail. Many of the positive trends were forged with a lot of effort and are currently looking promising.

With the headway democracy just made – a poor showing for election deniers in the US midterm elections, an exodus of Russians from their own autocratic country, an upsurge of support for embattled Ukraine – democratic leaders need to show they can navigate the economic challenges of the coming months. All the while, they will face the continuing efforts of ambitious autocrats such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to regain the upper hand.

The autocracy brothers want the world to think they are superior and that would make any doubts at home go away. According to the non-partisan democracy monitor, democracy has been losing ground for 16 consecutive years. Only 20% of the world’s population lives in “Free countries.” That’s according to research by the organization.

While these global strongmen struggled, self-assured “geniuses” like Musk – who more than once appeared to side with autocrats – revealed their own weaknesses, and the populations that had been under oppression demanded change.


“Woman, Life, Freedom” vs. “Russia’s Cold War”: The Case for Women’s Rights in a Cold World

The invasion made NATO stronger in a way it hadn’t been in decades. Even Sweden and Finland – countries that had long cherished their neutrality – wanted to join.

The rules that were in place for the previous three years were thrown away. But China had not used the time to push for increased vaccination or stock up on certain drugs. Reports say that hundreds of millions of people have been hospitalized in China, and various models predict over a million deaths.

The women’s rights activists of “Woman, Life, Freedom” continued to defy the regime and its brutality. How far will they go? How far will the regime go to snuff them out? Will the world respond?


Donald Trump, Margarita Le Pen, Brexit and Bolsonaro: What have we learned in the last three years? Why have we not learned so much about Brazil?

Trump began a new presidential campaign. It was what the British called a “damp squib,” a lead balloon. He’s becoming an increasingly isolated, rather pathetic figure after many of his top choices failed in the midterm elections and election deniers fared badly. Even his calls for Republicans to unite behind Kevin McCarthy as the new House Speaker was not enough to quell the rebellion this week. And while the struggle over the speakership may have seemed dysfunctional, it was democracy, in all its messy wrangling, on display. And of course, Trump’s legal troubles seem endless.

In Brazil, Trump’s doppelganger, Jair Bolsonaro, lost his bid for reelection. He didn’t admit defeat or attend the inauguration of the man who defeated him. Bolsonaro instead decided to move to Florida.

Boris Johnson lost the UK’s premiership and after an embarrassment, the non-populist centrist, Rishi Sunak, became PM. Back when Johnson was leading his country out of the European Union, populists across Europe wanted their own versions of Brexit. We don’t hear that anymore. Like other European populists, Marine Le Pen had to choose between her record of support for Putin and her opposition toMacron.

The night of February 23: Putin war, ukraine has wrapped russia’s opinions on the ctpr/index.html

It’s the evening of February 23, 2022. In Kyiv, the boss of a news site relaxes with a bath and candles. A young woman is going to bed to plan for her husband’s birthday in the morning. A journalist postpones his travel plans to Kyiv.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in a single year. It has unleashed unfathomable atrocities, decimated cities, driven a global food and energy crisis and tested the resolve of western alliances.


Invasion of Hungary in 2022: The Beginning of a Cold War with the Russovskaya Militia

February 23, 2022, is Zaporizhzhia. I thought that I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. My husband was running his own business. Our daughter was at school and became good friends there. We were lucky to have arranged support services and found a special needs nursery for our son. I had time to work. I was happy.

We are trying to live in the here and now. We are devastated, but the truth is. We have our hearts in Ukraine, even though we are in Prague.

One of my husband’s job opportunities was given to Ukrainians by the Czech Republic. I found special needs classes for my son. He now attends an adaptation group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter is studying in her Ukrainian school while she is in a Czech school.

The senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is Andrei Kolesnikov. He is the author of several books on the political and social history of Russia, including “Five Five-Year Liberal Reforms.” Origins of Russian Modernization and Egor Gaidar’s Legacy.”

That morning we woke up to learn that the invasion started. I wrote an open letter denouncing the war, which was co-signed by 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures. Soon it was published, and tens of thousands of Russian citizens added their signatures.

We left Russia on the third day. I believed that it was a moral obligation. I could no longer stay on the territory of the state that has become a fascist one.

We moved to Berlin. Thousands of Ukrainians had been arriving at the refugee camp next to the main railway station every day while my husband was volunteering there. I started writing a book. It begins like this.

“This book is a confession. I am guilty for not reading the signs much earlier. I was responsible for the war between Russia and Ukraine. As are my contemporaries and our forebears. Regrettably, Russian culture is also to blame for making all these horrors possible.”

This whole year has been full of tears and worries. People who were close to me were killed by Russians, and I read about it.

Time and again since the Russian invasion started, I’m haunted by the darkness in my father’s eyes during the re-telling of chilling dinnertime stories of relatives shipped off to the Soviet gulag, never to return. Stories of millions of Ukrainians who starved to death in Stalin’s manmade famine of 1932-33.

What’s changed since Russian missiles first began falling on February 24, 2022? The Ukrainians are angry because the fear they felt has been replaced with anger.

One year into the invasion, my passport is a novel in stamps. In London I teach Ukrainian literature, and in Ukraine I get my lessons in courage.

My former classmates from Zaporizhzhia whom, based on our teenage habits, I expected to perish from addictions a long time ago, have volunteered to fight. My hairdresser, who was supposed to be a sweet summer child, fled with her mother, grandmother, five dogs, and her mom through the forest from the Russia-occupied town of Bucha.

“That dark night one year ago, the world was literally at the time bracing for the fall of Kyiv,” Biden told Zelensky at a news conference flanked by the Stars and Stripes and Ukraine’s distinctive blue and yellow national flag. The event itself carried its own symbolism – it did not feature two leaders cowering in a bunker, but went ahead in an ornate room like any other leaders’ press conference in any other capital.

It seems that since February 2022 we have experienced several eras. After a time when his ratings were stagnant, Putin suddenly got more than 80 percent approval from the population.

By aborting the past, he canceled the future. Those who were disoriented, preferred to support Putin: it is easier to live this way when your superiors decide everything for you, and you take for granted everything you are told by propaganda.

For me personally and my family, what happened was a catastrophe to which it is impossible to adapt. As an active commentator on the events, I was labeled by the authorities as a “foreign agent,” which increased personal risk and reinforced the impression of living in an Orwellian anti-utopia.

On the evening of February 23 I washed my dog, cleaned the house, took a bath and lit candles. I have a cozy, one-bedroom apartment in a northern district of Kyiv. I loved taking care of it. I loved the life I had. The struggles, as well as the small routines and the struggles. The last time my life mattered was that night.

The next day, my phone was busy with messages and missed calls. There is a headline in all caps on the Kyiv Independent website.

The Great Patriotic War: The Memories of Alexander Baunov and the History of Crime in Ukraine, from 1917 to 1992, with the support of the International Law Enforcement Agency

I recall trying to assemble an army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. I wanted to make sure my parents were aware of the buying of supplies.

The life I knew started falling apart soon after, starting with the small things. It no longer mattered what cup I used to drink my morning tea, or how I dressed, or whether or not I took a shower. Life itself no longer mattered, only the battle did.

The pre-war era was hard to remember, just a few weeks into the full-scale invasion. I didn’t relate to being upset about my boyfriend. It was stolen from me on February 24, and my life hasn’t changed since.

In addition to the obvious battles, there was another one to fight which was trying to claim my life back. The life Russia stole from me and millions of Ukrainians.

I wasn’t interested in my personal ambitions anymore. The most important goal was raising our flag to show we are fighting even under these circumstances.

I couldn’t enjoy my victories on the track. They were only possible because so many defenders had laid down their lives. But I got messages from soldiers on the frontline. They were so proud of us, and I had to keep going in my career.

Life values have changed. Every chance I get to see or talk to people, I enjoy it. And like other Ukrainians, I believe in our victory and that all of us will return to our beloved country. We need the world to help us.

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is fond of a phrase, “the wonderful Russia of the future,” his shorthand for a country without President Vladimir Putin.

Since last February’s invasion, Putin has shrugged off protests and international sanctions. Human rights groups and independent media have been branded as foreign agents.

On February 2, Putin paid a visit to the southern Russian city of Volgograd to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory at what was then called Stalingrad, a crucial turning point in what the Russians call the Great Patriotic War.

Those who draw the European countries, including Germany, into a new war with Russia and those who think they’ll win it on the battlefield don’t understand that a modern war with Russia will happen.

Baunov noted that Russia has just set its sights on the new strategy and that a return to rapid warfare with tanks ruins it. “New people may also be needed to hold the front, and this is risky.”

Exactly why this is risky should be clear: The first mobilization caused major tremors in Russian society. The Russians voted with their feet. Police faced off against anti-fascist demonstrators in several cities when protests erupted in ethnic minority regions. Russian social media saw a surge in videos and complaints about the lack of equipment for new recruits.

But Wagner’s methods are also a flashback to a bleak chapter of Soviet history. Prigozhin has recruited thousands of prisoners with the promise of amnesty or a pardon, a practice that mirrors Stalin’s use of penal battalions and convicts to take on desperate or suicidal missions in the toughest sectors of the front, using human-wave attacks to overwhelm enemy defenses, regardless of the human cost.

Recent speculation has centered on whether rivals within Russia’s power elite have been trying to clip Prigozhin’s wings. Russian analyst Tatiana Stanovaya offered a skeptical take on the rise of Prigozhin that factors in some of the considerations. In a recent article published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she noted that Prigozhin has rivalries with Russia’s power ministries and doesn’t have much showing in polls.

Some Russians have decided to take refuge in a form of political apathy. CNN spoke to a group of people about how their lives have changed since last year because of the risks of publicly speaking out against the government.

“There have been a lot of changes (in Russia), but I can’t really make a difference,” said Ira, a 47-year-old who works for a business publication. I try and keep an internal balance. I don’t think it is going to happen.

Ira said that she felt anxiety immediately after the invasion. She was worried that she wouldn’t have enough money to repay her mortgage, because she had just bought an apartment.

“It got a lot worse in the spring,” she said. “Now it seems we’ve gotten used to a new reality. I started to meet and go out with girlfriends. I bought a lot more wine.

The restaurants are now full, she said, but added: “The faces look completely different. What is the jargon for the people who are known as the hicks? There are fewer of them.

Russian Prime Minister Olya says the economic crisis is not going to stop. But she will do what it takes to make the most of her time in Europe

Olya’s family decided to take more domestic holidays. Europe is largely closed to direct flights from Russia, and opportunities to travel abroad are more limited.

Life carries on, Olya said, even though there is a war on. She said she didn’t have the ability to influence the situation. “My friends say, we do what we can, what’s possible. It doesn’t help to get depressed.”

Helping matters for the Russian government is the unexpected durability of parts of the Russian economy, despite heavy Western sanctions. The war has been costly for the government – the country’s Finance Ministry recently admitted it ran a higher-than-expected deficit in 2022, in large part due to a 30% increase in defense spending over the previous year – but the International Monetary Fund is projecting a small return to GDP growth for Russia in 2023 of 0.3%.

Those who reorganized quickly are seeing growth, he said. “In January we concluded an unusual number of deals, and most of our activity usually picks up in February.”

“In terms of everyday life, practically nothing has changed,” he said, talking about the cutoff of Western imports. “If we’re talking parts for a (Mercedes Benz) G-Class, it might be trickier.”


Biden’s trip to Ukraine during the 1991–1996 Soviet Union was viewed as an administrative unit of the Russian Federation: what did he think?

Georgy said he was skeptical of state media, saying he looked for other sources of information. He admitted that he could possibly be called up in the next wave.

I should explain. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chechnya was one of the two autonomous republics of the newly independent Russian Federation that claimed independence. (The other one was Tatarstan.) But world leaders were by then quite fed up with the discovery that all those union republics that they had for decades regarded simply as administrative units of Russia — Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan and others, still harder to pronounce — appeared to be real things. Ichkeria didn’t have the best chance of being recognised due to the West’s shock at the new geography.

As Biden was briefed over several months on the planning for a potential visit, the person said that Biden only once expressed concern about the risk of a visit to Ukraine – but that was about the extent to which his visit could endanger others, rather than about his own safety. Other officials were very worried about Bidens safety and prepared contingency plans for the trip.

On Saturday evening, before he departed, Biden went out to dinner with his wife in Washington. He wasn’t seen in public again until arriving in Kyiv on Monday morning.

“It’s just something unbelievable that at a time like this the President of the United States is coming to Kyiv,” Andrei Ketov, a 48-year-old Ukrainian service member, told CNN.

Jake Biden and his visit to Ukraine: A reminder of the importance of the United States for the security of the Ukrainian people and the prospects of stability in the coming months

National security adviser Jake Sullivan is one of the most important people in Biden’s life.

Reporters weren’t told on Sunday that Biden wasn’t in Washington. The official White House schedule was released Sunday evening and he still left at 7pm on Monday.

Biden has been itching to visit Ukraine for months, particularly after several of his counterparts in Europe all endured lengthy train journeys to meet with Zelensky in Kyiv. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, as well as former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have all made visits to the country to demonstrate their support.

Even Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, paid a surprise visit on Mother’s Day last year to a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine. She met with Zelenska at a former school that was converted into temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians, including 48 children.

How the war advances in the coming months will depend in large part on the continued support of the United States, which Biden pledged Monday would be unceasing. If his message was meant as a reassuring one for Ukrainians, it was also intended as a reminder to Americans that the stakes of the conflict extend well beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Zelensky may or may not be willing to accept certain parameters in a peace negotiation, and the US continues to refuse to state what a settlement may look like before Zelensky makes a decision.

The First American Foreign Minister to Visit Ukraine since the Invasion of Crimea: A Report on Joe Biden in Washington after the Russian-Prussian War

The US has recently begun to see disturbing trends and American officials have told CNN there are indications that Beijing is about to give lethal military aid to Moscow in order to stay out of trouble.

The officials would not give details on what intelligence the US has seen to suggest a change in China’s posture, but said that they had given the intel to allies and partners at the conference.

Wang, who was named Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month, is expected to arrive in Moscow this week, in the first visit to the country from a Chinese official in that role since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Around 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night, President Joe Biden was out in Washington on a Valentine’s week date-night, lingering over rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu before returning with his wife to the White House.

The last time he was seen in public was 36 hours later when he went out of the St. Micheal’s Cathedral in Kyiv into a bright winter day.

Cloaked in secrecy and weighted with history, Biden’s trip was the work of months of planning by only a small handful of his senior-most aides, who recognized long ago the symbolic importance of visiting the Ukrainian capital a year after Russia tried to capture it.

It was the risk of not having significant US military assets in the war zone that compelled Biden to go.

In conversations behind closed doors at the Mariinsky Palace on Monday, Biden sought to engage President Volodymyr Zelensky in a detailed and urgent discussion about the next phase of the war, which US officials describe as having arrived at a critical juncture.

This is much bigger than just one country. It is about freedom and democracy in Europe, it is about democracy at large, he said, wearing his blue-and-yellow tie.

American President Joe Biden’s trip to Kyiv: a proposal for a trip to an Air Force Base in the Western Hemisphere

The trip was fluid and part of that was the reason for that. Even as a small circle of White House officials looped in on the plan, it was difficult to imagine a presidential visit to a war zone where the US would not control the air space.

CNN has reached out to the Kremlin, which has not yet publicly commented on Biden’s trip. But Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed the trip, accusing the US of warmongering support for Ukraine.

Biden had just gotten off a larger Air Force C-32 plane at Joint Base Andrews, instead of the usual plane that is associated with Air Force One.

There would be a stop to refuel in Germany before the flight into Poland. As he jetted eastward, Biden’s focus was plotting out his conversations with Zelensky, hoping to use his limited time wisely in discussing the coming months of fighting.

“I’m here in Poland to see firsthand the humanitarian crisis and quite frankly, part of my disappointment is that I can’t see it firsthand like I have in other places,” Biden said then. They will not allow me to cross the border to look at what is going on there.

This time around, with an expanded set of US air assets overhead keeping close watch at the Polish border, he would make the trip. The group of people that traveled with Biden boarded the train in the center of the country for a trip of around 10 hours.

It was culmination of a process that began months earlier, as Biden watched as a parade of his foreign counterparts each made their way into Ukraine

In the planning stages for this trip, Biden was presented with a range of options for a visit to Ukraine but decided that only the capital Kyiv made sense as a venue, a person familiar with the matter said.

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the risk was taken by Joe Biden. “It’s important to him to show up, even when it’s hard, and he directed his team to make it happen, no matter how challenging the logistics.”

Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to Biden, declined to discuss whether Biden had to overrule Secret Service and military officials in order to proceed with the trip.

He was given a full presentation of an effective operational security plan. He heard that presentation, he was satisfied that the risk was manageable and he ultimately made a determination (to go),” Sullivan said.

Joint Biden-Kyiv Visit: Prospects for World Warfare, Russia’s Threat, and the War on the Warped Front

The president of the United States, in overcoat and shades, strolled through Kyiv in daylight, visiting a historic church as air raid sirens wailed and standing exposed alongside President Volodymyr Zelensky in the city’s vast, open and iconic St. Michael’s Square.

Biden’s words might have lacked the poetry of “Ich bin ein Berliner,” or “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” It went down in history as Biden’s visit and two other defining trips to Berlin by Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were flashpoints of the Cold War and each of which sent their own image of US resolve to the Kremlin.

But by not visiting Ukraine, Biden would have been implicitly admitting that there were some things that Putin could prevent him from doing – in effect showing US weakness.

“President Biden has claimed the upper hand … and tomorrow Putin will have to reply to what happened today,” Rudik said, referring to a speech in which Putin is expected to rally the Russian people on Tuesday.

Biden has so far declined to agree to the request, which gets to the heart of a dilemma that defines his war strategy: How far to go to help Kyiv win while avoiding a direct clash between the West and Russia.

Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, complained on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Washington had taken too long to send game-changing weapons to Ukraine in the past and should not make the same mistake with warplanes. Asked if the Biden administration was now considering the dispatch of F-16 fighter planes, the Texas Republican replied: “I hope so,” and added, “I think the momentum is building for this to happen.”

They would make it easier for Ukraine to hit Russian jets and air defense systems inside Russia. Even with Ukrainian pilots, the use of NATO aircraft in such operations could prompt the Kremlin to conclude that the alliance has directly interfered in the war, increasing the possibility of a disastrous escalation of the conflict.


Joe Biden, the Nazi Nazis, and the Kremlin: Attacks On Putin and the Ruin of Crime against Democracy and Democracy in Ukraine

A grueling and dangerous journey that required energy and endurance felt like a jab at critics who question whether Biden should be contemplating a reelection race at the age of 80.

His stagecraft caused the most extreme wings of the Republican Party to dislike him, which Biden has said is a danger to US democracy and values. Other Republican figures accused Biden of caring more about Ukraine than the US, when he went there, and he was blasted by Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The thing is incredibly insulting. On our President’s day, the president chose Ukraine over America, and forced the American people to pay for the war in that country. I can’t say how much Americans hate Joe Biden.

If there is a president who stood for the values of freedom and democracy, and the right to resist tyranny, it would be him.

“Biden in [Kyiv]. Demonstrative humiliation of Russia,” Russian journalist Sergey Mardan wrote in a snarky response on his Telegram channel. There may be some tales of miraculous hypersonics for children. Just like spells about the holy war we are waging with the entire West.”

Biden could have traveled to the frontlines of eastern Ukraine and avoided being killed, according to a former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.

Hardline military blogs, such as Girkin, which have hundreds of thousands of followers and provide analysis in the conflict for a large swaths of the Russian population, have criticized what they consider to be a soft approach on the battlefield by Putin’s generals.

The current deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Medvedev, is well known for making statements that could be seen as being nationalist in nature.

The debate over Bidens visit will make Putin less interested in the invasion when he speaks to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday.

The Russian military operation will have participants in attendance but not foreign guests or representatives, according to the Kremlin.

The trip to a war zone on Monday was a shot in the arm to a population that has been devastated by Russian attacks, because it was a powerful symbol of American support.

Recall that in the early days of the invasion, Ukraine said it found Russian forces had brought along their dress uniforms apparently expecting a victory parade.

The Wars Between Russia And Russia: The Orphans of a Cold War? A Conversation with Biden about the Case of the Zelensky Experiment

Biden is 80 and walks with a stiff gait. He has both courage and competence, at least when it comes to the sound of air raid sirens.

Biden showed how the plan was in place before the war started to make it look like it was a result of a Ukrainian provocation. He rallied the NATO alliance, which he had derided by former President Donald Trump.

Who can forget the infamous phone call after which Trump was impeached, when Zelensky implored the US President for help to deter an aggressive Russia? Trump wanted to try to push Ukraine to investigate Biden, despite the fact that he thought Biden was weak.

A joyous Zelensky said Biden’s visit “brings us closer to victory,” adding it will “have repercussions on the battlefield in liberating our territories.”

The author of the book “OK Boomer, Let’s talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind” is a journalist based in New York. She can follow her on social media. She has her own opinions on this commentary. View more opinion on CNN.

For Americans who came of age after the end of the Cold War, this renewed threat of nuclear annihilation is both new and terrifying; for those who lived through the original Cold War, this is no doubt a hair-raising reboot.

Biden is correct that this is indeed a battle between freedom and oppression. It’s worth nothing, though, that Putin’s emphasis on cultural and gender warfare is also correct, in its own way.

He’s lying when he says that the West wants the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion and the abuse of children are declared, and when he says that same-sex marriage will make the world a better place. It is true, though, that there is a clear historical and contemporary relationship between conservative religiosity and autocracy on the one hand, and liberal tolerance and democracy on the other.

The previous era of Russian autocracy, which was particularly irreligious, proved that Conservative religiosity is not required for autocracy. Beijing’s autocrats are not bringing conservative Christian principles to China because they are expanding their own nuclear arsenals.

But they are embracing traditionalism, hypermasculinity and a backward-looking national identity. Among analysists of global authoritarians, a familiar refrain has emerged: Make [x country] Great Again. Evan Osnos writes about the New Yorker’s report that the Chinese president is attempting to make the country great again. “Putin set out to ‘Make Russia Great Again,’” Gen. David Petraeus told CNN earlier this month. We all know the American version.

It is enlightening that so many right-wing Americans believe that Putin wants to bring in a strongman to rebuild the old order, especially since they think the West is getting old.

The most important part of the divide is not between East and West but between the people who want liberal democracies that allow everyone to live freely regardless of religious beliefs and the people who want autocratic strongmen who use the law to impose conservative values.

The Divide Between Russia and the United States Is Not Just a Boundary Between Conservatives and Free-Conserving Libertarians

Donald Trump praised and trashed NATO while in office, elevating the dictator’s status among pro- Trump conservatives. Republicans in the US had a better opinion about Putin than they did of Biden, Harris, Pelosi and the Democrats.

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that NATO supplied neo-Nazis in Ukraine with powerful weapons and extensive training to use them.

Putin has positioned his Russia as the leading light for Christian nationalists worldwide, standing against Western secularism and decadence. And many Christian nationalists, including in the United States, have gotten in line.

This is not just a divide between Russia and the US. It’s a divide within Russia itself, as the nation’s feminists, LGBTQ rights advocates, and democracy activists continue to push (often at great personal risk) for a freer and fairer country. The US has a divide between the people who want liberal democracy to thrive and people who want their ideology to rule us all.

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