Russia’s economy is hurting despite the bluster of Putin

Russian War Crimes in Ukraine, Russia’s Unruh, NATO’s Strengths, and the Status of the Organization of Strategic Security Missions in Europe

Russia’s illegal annexation of four territories of Ukraine following unrecognized referendums in September has only underscored Moscow’s problems: it hasn’t been able to establish full control over the lands it now claims as its own.

The one-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Russia’s neighbor by the Kremlin has been marked by Russian President Putin’s remarks. The troops who were in the audience came from the frontlines of Moscow’s ” special military operation” in Ukraine.

Sept. 28: Moscow-backed officials in occupied parts of Ukraine made appeals for the regions to join the Russian Federation. Putin’s approval rating fell 6 points to 77% in a poll by the Levada Center. The U.S. Defense Department, meanwhile, announced $1.1 billion in additional security aid to Ukraine.

The United States was the leading sponsor of the West’s support for Ukraine. The war in Ukraine reinvigorated NATO, even bringing new applications for membership from countries that had been committed to neutrality. It also helped reaffirm the interest of many in eastern European states – former Soviet satellites – of orienting their future toward Europe and the West.

You can read past recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

NATO will hold nuclear deterrence exercises starting Monday. NATO warned Russia against using nukes on Ukraine, but says the “Steadfast Noon” exercises are a yearly activity.

There are military bases inside of Russia. The New York Times reported that drones launched from Ukrainian territory to attack Russia demonstrated Ukraine’s willingness to take the fight deep into Russia and capabilities to attack at a distance.

Russian agents arrested eight people who were suspected of setting off an explosion on a bridge to the peninsula.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said that two men killed 11 people and wounded 15 others before killing themselves in a shooting at Russian troops preparing to go to Ukraine.

Russian troops began arriving in Belarus Oct. 15, which Minsk said were the first convoys of almost 9,000 service members expected as part of a “regional grouping” of forces allegedly to protect Belarus from threats at the border from Ukraine and the West.

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.

There is a new chapter in the impact of the war inUkraine. Some of Putin’s former friends in the far right have turned against him, but not all. The war claims by some far-right politicians and figures in Europe and the US are similar to that made by Putin. Their aim is to leverage discontent as winter comes and heating prices rise.

David Andelman is a commentator on CNN and the author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars that Might Still Happened”, winner of the Deadline Club Award twice. He was a reporter for CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views he expresses are his own. View more opinion at CNN.

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.

“I think this is a pretty grim picture, in part because Putin didn’t feel deterred in the first place,” Hill said. China might be pushing Russia for a break in Putin’s resolve since he feels that he has a lot of support from the rest of the world.

The ability to keep going depends on a number of variables, from the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the winter to the popular will across a broad range of nations.

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.

The Dutch Title Transfer Facility, a benchmark for European gas trading, needs an emergency cap to be put in place. EU gas companies have the authority to create a price band for gas on the international market.

While the French President hailed the summit as being able to maintain European unity, he conceded that there was only a clear mandate for the European Commission to start working on a gas cap mechanism.

Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is skeptical of price caps. The ministers need to work out details about how caps would encourage consumption, which would be a burden on restricted supplies.

These divisions are all part of Putin’s fondest dream. Manifold forces in Europe could prove central to achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint, which amounts to the continent failing to agree on essentials.

Many of these issues have France and Germany at odds. Though in an effort to reach some accommodation, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Vice-President Matteo Salvini, and the United States in the Post-Fascist Era

A new government has been elected in Italy. As Italy’s first woman prime minister, she tried to brush aside her party’s post-fascist image. 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.

The other leading member of the ruling Italian coalition, Matteo Salvini, named Saturday as deputy prime minister, said during the campaign, “I would not want the sanctions [on Russia] to harm those who impose them more than those who are 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.

Comments by DeSantis and other Republicans like House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has warned against a “blank check” to Kyiv, show that while Biden can promise the US is with Kyiv for “as long as it takes,” he cannot guarantee it. The United States has an important election in a year’s time.

The influential Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to open negotiations with Russia to end the conflict while its troops are still in control of vast swaths of the country.

Mia Jacob sent a statement to clarify her comments in support of Ukranian. The Secretary of State called Dmytro Kuleba to discuss renewing America’s support.

Two leading House Republicans called on President Joe Biden to bolster military support toUkraine in order to fight off Russia’s invasion of the country as well as continued funding of the Ukrainian war effort.

Russian sanctions in the era of war: Russian weapons, missiles, defense stocks, and smuggled high-tech technology to Russia

The impact of Western sanctions is poised to develop into a crisis over time. Bloomberg Economics estimates that Putin’s war in Ukraine will slash $190 billion off Russia’s gross domestic product by 2026 compared with the country’s prewar path.

Russian production of hypersonic missiles has all but ceased “due to the lack of necessary semi-conductors,” said the report. 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. The Soviet era ended more than 30 years ago.

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.

The American Dream of Killing the Ukrainians: How the West Can Shape Their Perceptions to Make Russia Suppress Their Nuclear Threats

Pursued firmly and resolutely, these diplomatic “shaping operations” in support of Ukraine’s military campaign can ensure that Russia’s least-bad option aligns with what the vastly more powerful West wants. Accepting red lines is different to this strategy. Revealingly, “red lines” is the mirror image of an earlier metaphor used at the start of the war. When Russia looked strong, many proposed giving Mr. Putin an “off-ramp” to persuade him to stop fighting. Now Russia is weaker, they call for Western restraint to persuade him not to fight more recklessly.

Still, there remain hardliners like Pavel Gubarev, Russia’s puppet leader in Donetsk, who voiced his real intention toward Ukrainians: “We aren’t coming to kill you, but to convince you. We will kill you if you don’t want to be convinced. We’ll kill as many as we have to: 1 million, 5 million, or exterminate all of you.”

Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, 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. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.

Iran acknowledged for the first time providing some drones to Russia months before the war in Ukraine but denied continuing to supply them, on Nov. 5. Zelenskyy claimed that Iran was lying because Ukrainian forces shoot down at least 10 Iranian drones a day.

But to apply the special case of negotiation — with few parameters and a narrow range of outcomes — to a complex, fluid and much wider geopolitical rivalry is a category error. The West does not have to act in a special way that would cause the Russian nuclear danger to escalate. Russia has no red lines: It only has, at each moment, a range of options and perceptions of their relative risks and benefits. The West should continually aim, through its diplomacy, to shape these perceptions so that Russia chooses the options that the West prefers.

In a special report, NPR’s Leila Fadel explores the human cost of Russia’s ambitions, the ripple effects beyond Ukraine’s borders, and the diplomatic and military efforts to stop the war.

If Russia is able to win the war they will cause a new era of instability and less prosperity for the world.

Much of what happens today far from the battlefields still has repercussions there. Saudi Arabia was accused of helping Russia fund the war by increasing oil revenues, when it was decided last month to slash production. (An accusation the Saudis deny).

Israel will not move the systems of NATO and the West to Ukranian because of the sharing of airspace with Russia, according to the Defense Minister.

Grains, oil and cooking oil are exported by Russia and Ukraine to Africa and the Middle East. Turkey and the United Nations brokered a deal last summer to allow Ukrainian grain to pass through Black Sea ports, but Russia is reportedly still hindering shipments. Russia is also a major producer of fertilizer and petroleum. Disruption to the flow of these goods are compounding other supply chain and climate challenges, and causing food and gas prices in places like Chad, Tunisia and Sri Lanka, as well as shortages.

The Pain of Inflation: How Political Leaders Served in Ukraine During the Cold War and Their Expectations to Embrace in Ukraine

Families as well as individual lives are affected by higher prices. When they come with such powerful momentum, they pack a political punch. Inflation, worsened by the war, has put incumbent political leaders on the defensive in countless countries.

And it’s not all on the fringes. The leader of the House may choose to reduce aid to Ukraine after the elections next week, according to Kevin McCarthy. Progressive Democrats released and withdrew a letter calling for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official during the Obama administration, said they’re all bringing “a big smile to Putin’s face.”

Anticipation is mounting for a possible battle for Kherson, a Russian-occupied city in southern Ukraine. Russian officials have evacuated civilians in the event of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

And Ukraine will be watching America’s midterm election results this week, especially after some Republicans warned that the party could limit funding for Ukraine if it wins control of the House of Representatives, as forecast.

The Turkish President will meet with the Swedish Prime Minister on Tuesday. Erdogan insists Sweden must meet certain conditions before it can join NATO.

The U.S. Midterm Elections: A Warning to the United States and to the Antidemocratic Elements in the Republic of Ukraine

The General Assembly of the United Nations is scheduled to discuss an International Atomic Energy Agency report on Wednesday, andUkraine is likely to be on the agenda.

The attacks on the infrastructure left 4 million Ukrainians without electricity, and the Ukrainian President accused Russia of energy terrorism.

Russia rejoined a U.N.-brokered deal to safely export grain and other agricultural goods from Ukraine, on Nov. 2. The deal had been suspended by Moscow after it said that Ukraine had attacked its ships in the Black Sea.

The Pentagon announced $400 million in additional security aid to Ukraine, on Nov. 4, to include 45 refurbished T-72 tanks, 1,100 Phoenix Ghost drones and other vehicles, technology and training.

It was an excellent time for Biden to speak frankly to China about the disagreements between the two countries as democracy is on a more positive footing and the rivalry is getting worse.

Biden pointed out that the results of the midterm elections “sent a very strong message around the world” that the US will remain engaged. But there was a bigger point. The most important signal to the world from the midterms is about the health of America’s democracy. The elections in the US went smoothly and peacefully, but also dealt a blow to the antidemocratic elements in the country.

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

Zelensky’s return to Kyiv, Ukraine: Putin meets Xi in Moscow and Putin meets Wang at the G20 summit in Bali

As Biden and Xi were meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional, triumphant return to the devastated, now liberated city of Kherson, the one provincial capital that Russian invaders had conquered.

Putin and Xi, the world’s leading autocrats, looked ascendant, unstoppable even. Meanwhile, Western democracies appeared unsettled, roiled by sometimes violent protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Putin was about to get a victory. Xi was hosting the Olympics, basking in attention, and preparing to solidify his control of China.

Biden often spoke with the Russian leader to expose him to Europeans and Americans, who were responsible for the disastrous blunders and inhumanity in Ukraine a year after his invasion. He listed strategic consequences of the invasion that drew Kyiv closer to the West and strengthened NATO – exactly the opposite of Putin’s war aims. He ridiculed the former KGB officer, who said his aggression has led to one Nordic state that used to be ruled by the Soviet Union but is now a member of the western alliance.

There is a suggestion of a visit by the Chinese president to Moscow in the coming months. Putin sent his warmest greetings to Xi this week and said that he was ready to welcome the Chinese leader to Moscow, a reference to Wang meeting with Putin this week.

Tellingly, Putin chose not to attend the G20 summit in Bali, avoiding confrontations with world leaders as he increasingly becomes a pariah on the global stage.

Xi, Putin and the Russian Army in the Context of the Epochal War: How China has fought the last of the Cold War

Biden is not the only leader with a strong hand. Xi has just secured an unprecedented third term as China’s leader, and he can now effectively rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about elections, about a critical press or a vociferous opposition party. He is essentially the absolute ruler of a mighty country for many years to come.

The problems faced by the man are daunting. The economy has slowed down so much that China is reluctant to reveal economic data. China’s Covid-19 vaccine, once a tool of global diplomacy, is a disappointment. And partly because of that, China is imposing draconian lockdowns as the rest of the world gradually returns to normalcy after the pandemic.

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.

Nine months in, Russian hopes of a swift seizure have been well and truly dashed, its army largely on the defensive across more than 600 miles of battle lines strung along the eastern and southern reaches of Ukraine.

The only path to victory for the Russian leader is a truce or negotiations, since his manpower and weapons supply are running low.

“The only thing a premature truce does is it allows both parties to re-arm,” Michael Kofman, director of Russian studies at the CNA think tank and a leading expert on the Russian military, told me in an interview.

Experts say Russia is beginning to rearm. “Ammunition availability” was one of the “most determinative aspects of this war,” said Kofman. “If you burn through 9 million rounds, you cannot make them in a month. The issue is the production rate and the ability to mobilize.

Kofman cited available information showing that the manufacture of munitions – which have been the staples of the exchanges so far along Ukrainian front lines – has gone from two, and in some factories to three, shifts a day in Russia. He said that this means they wouldn’t double and triple shifts if they had component parts.

The Russians Need to Seek the War to End Their Wars. Vladimir Putin, the Russians and the Cold War: A Primer on the Status of the Ukraine Crisis

“When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it. General Mark Milley, the US Joint Chief of Staff told them to seize the moment.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said he was confident his country could defeat the Russian invasion within the year if Ukraine’s allies remained united in their support.

The paper said dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. “All efforts must be supported and encouraged if there is to be a peaceful settlement of the crisis.”

“As well as giving the Russians time to regroup and rearm, importantly it would relieve the pressure on their forces at the moment,” General Mick Ryan, a fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me in an email exchange. “They have been at it hard for nine months. Their forces are exhausted.”

That sentiment was voiced last month by Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s top-secret electronic espionage agency GCHQ. “We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out,” said Fleming.

That’s “basically any big command post or ammo dump they pulled back beyond the 80-kilometer range,” he explained. In some cases, just inside Russian territory where the US gives assurances that it won’t use rocket systems against it.

The problem is that the Russians have largely figured this threat out. Chris, who is a senior fellow for the Defense Program and co-head of the gaming lab at the Center for New American, said that Russians have adapted to the presence of American weaponry on the battlefield by pulling their big depots back outside of the range.

This war is not just a territorial dispute, he will give up lightly. He believes thatUkraine is not a country and should be folded into Russia. His survival could be dependent on being seen to have lost. The West says it’s in for the long haul and that Putin is at war in Ukraine since the annexation of the peninsula.

That may be the case. Putin made clear in his speech that there was no chance of the war ending any time soon. He told the Russians the war was critical to their own nation’s existence and part of an attempt by the West to attack Russia and set the stage for months more bloodshed.

But at some point, they’ll also get tired of this war, he added. And the Russian mindset may become “we may not have everything we wanted. We will have a large portion of the Donbas, and we will annex it into Russia and then hold onto the island of Crimea. And I think that’s kind of their bet right now.”

But were the war to resume months or years from now, there’s a real question as to whether the US and its allies would be prepared to return to a conflict that many are beginning to wish was already over.

Russian forces target Ukraine in the Zaporizhzhia outskirts of the eastern Russian-occupied city of Melitopol

Ukrainian authorities have been stepping up raids on churches accused of links with Moscow, and many are watching to see if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy follows through on his threat of a ban on the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosts European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store for a working dinner Monday in Paris.

France is going to co- host a conference withUkraine in the winter in support of Ukrainians, with a video address by President Zelenskyy.

Fans, friends and family are celebrating the return of the basketball player to the US following her release from a Russian prison. Some Republican politicians are complaining about the prisoner swap and other Americans being held by Russia.

Russian oil revenue was targeted by new measures. A price cap and embargo on most Russian oil imports are included.

Ukraine hit targets in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, including a church reported to be used as a Russian military base. Officials said Ukrainian forces used long-range artillery to reach targets in the city in southeastern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region.

Zelenskyy said the city of Bakhmut was turned into burned ruins by Russian forces. Russia is attempting to advance on the city in the eastern region of the country.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Invasion of Kiev, Russia’s First Day of War

President Biden traveled to the Ukrainian capital on Monday in order to show his support for the Ukrainian people as Russia’s invasion heads into a second year. As Russian forces are making a new push to take control ofUkrainian eastern region, Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and announced new aid.

The Russian empire began to expand. In the mind of many Russians, their empire cannot exist without Ukraine. “That’s why they keep coming back,” said Volodymyr Viatrovych, a member of Ukraine’s parliament.

He lives near the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, which the Russians pulverized in the first days of the war. For his family, Viatrovych immediately sent them to westernUkraine after the Russians invaded Ukraine.

The parliament in Kyiv declared martial law after he drove to them. By 2 p.m. that day, he received a rifle so he could join the security forces defending the capital.

It was a day of high drama in a war that’s still playing out. But as an historian, Viatrovych also sees the actions of President Vladimir Putin as part of a pattern of behavior by Russian leaders.

“President Putin shows no sign that he is preparing for peace. On the contrary, he is launching new offensives and targeting civilians, cities and critical infrastructure,” Stoltenberg said in Brussels.

The damaged building of the House of Teachers in Kyiv. 27 during a campaign of 1918 against Russia and Ukraine’s independence from Russia

In 1918, Ukraine became independent from Russia and the office for the Kyiv House of Teachers is located in an elegant whitewashed building in the center of Kyiv.

  1. A military strike killed at least eight people, including two children, when it hit a civilian crossing point outside of Ukranian.

The blast blew out the windows, as well as parts of the glass ceiling in the hall where independence was declared in 1918. The windows are boarded up. There are shards of glass on the floor.

Steshuk Oleh, the director of the House of Teachers, said there were parallels to a century ago. “This building was also damaged in the fighting back then. And now it’s damaged again. Don’t worry. We will rebuild everything.

The Ukraine Crisis: Russia is the Only Real Garant of the Territorial Integrity of the 20th Century and its Future Implications for the Security and Security of the West

The reason why Ukrainians are fighting so hard today is because of the suppression of their protests during the Soviet era, say Andrew Weiss and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He said that “all the wrongs of the last 100 years need to be corrected” because of the hardship thatUkraine experienced in the 20th century.

“I have said it before, but I want to say it again: Russia can be the only real guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Putin said earlier this month.

He tells NPR’s Morning Edition that the majority of the Russian population feel that the conflict is part of a larger struggle between Russia and the West.

Kasparov was still living in Russia 15 years ago when he entered politics and challenged Putin’s hold on power. When it became clear his safety was at risk, he left Russia, and now lives in New York.

Many military analysts feel the war is unlikely to produce a clear outcome on the battlefield. It is likely to require negotiations and compromises.

Zelenskyy vs. Putin in Ukraine: Security, Security, and Cosmology in a Two-Structure Cold War

That isn’t a popular opinion inUkraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and many citizens say they want all Russian troops driven out of the country. Zelenskyy said in the magazine that they were dealing with a powerful state that was unwilling to let Ukraine go.

The former ambassador to the US said if Ukraine joined NATO, the region would be more stable. It is highly unlikely that Ukraine will join the alliance in the near term.

“Being a buffer zone or gray zone is not good from a geopolitical point of view,” he said. “If you are a gray zone between two security blocs, two military blocs, everybody wants to make a step. This has happened with Ukraine.”

An official announcement is expected on a European Union cap on natural gas prices, the latest measure to address an energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Commons Liaison Committee, where the Ukrainian war and other global issues are discussed, is where the British Prime Minister will make his first appearance as prime minister. That follows Sunak’s meeting on Monday in Latvia with members of a U.K.-led European military force.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold virtual talks sometime this month, according to Russian news reports.

The U.S. Helps Ukraine to Retimate the Crimes of Crime: The First Year After the Kremlin Visited Ukraine

Russian and Ukrainians are going into their first Christmas or Hanukkah festivities since the Kremlin launched its full-on invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Nuclear safety and security experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency were going to get to work for the Ukrainian government.

An American was freed from Russian-controlled territory as part of a 65-person prisoner exchange. Suedi Murekezi claims that he was tortured and imprisoned in eastern Ukraine for months.

EU lawmakers approved about $19 billion in financing for Ukraine, Dec. 14, and more sanctions on Russia. Several countries and international organizations have already pledged funds for winter relief for Ukraine, and the aid package is in addition to that.

The Kremlin criticized the trip by the Ukrainian president as he came back from D.C., where he secured billions of dollars in aid.

Dismissing accusations of a proxy war, Sloat says Zelenskyy and Ukraine have made clear that they want a “just peace,” and all the U.S. has been doing is help the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

A Russian history professor has said that the Kremlin has been selling that line to the Russian public.

Moscow had warned last week that it would see the reported delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine as “another provocative move by the U.S.” Does Sloat worry this could provoke a Russian escalation?

It is true that Ukrainians will be able to defend themselves as Russia sends missiles and drones after them to try and kill them. “If Russia doesn’t want their missiles shot down, Russia should stop sending them into Ukraine.”

“It’s like the central nervous system of the human body, if you mess with it, you put all sorts of systems out of whack,” says the director of the Defense Priorities think tank, speaking about Russia’s actions. “It’s not only an inconvenience but an enormous economic cost. It is an attempt to make the civilian population feel pain, to show that the government cannot protect them adequately.

Menon notes, though, that the comments could be applied immediately to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet. For example, the NotPetya malicious software that was released by Russia’s GPRC could easily apply to the comments Menon made. He says the goal is the same even though they are different in the details. “Demoralizing and punishing civilians.”

At the time, Putin insisted his forces were embarking on a “special military operation” — a term suggesting a limited campaign that would be over in a matter of weeks.

On the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Mr. Zelensky offered a broad overview of where the war stood, the challenges Ukraine faced and the opportunities in the months ahead.

The war has ruined Russian life, rupturing a period in which the country pursued democratic reforms, and at the same time, led to financial integration and dialogue with the West.

War Against Ukraine Has Left Russia Isolated and Struggling with More Tumult Ahedrally Ashedral: How Draconian Laws Have Saved Organizations, Human Rights Defenders, and

Draconian laws passed since February have outlawed criticism of the military or leadership. 45% of the people who have been arrested for demonstrating against the war are women, according to a monitoring group.

Lengthy prison sentences have been meted out to high profile opposition voices on charges of “discrediting” the Russian army by questioning its conduct or strategy.

The repressions extend elsewhere: organizations and individuals are added weekly to a growing list of “foreign agents” and “non-desirable” organizations intended to damage their reputation among the Russian public.

The most revered human rights group in Russia, the Nobel Prize co-recipient Memorial, had to stop its activities because of 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.”

For now, the aim is still to target repressions. There are some new laws that aren’t enforced. But few doubt the measures are intended to crush wider dissent — should the moment arise.

The laws that criminalized “fake news” made it so that the leading independent media outlets and a small group of online investigative startups had to shut down or relocate.

Restrictions extend to internet users 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.

Technical workarounds such as VPNs and Telegram still offer access to Russians seeking independent sources of information. But state media propaganda now blankets the airwaves favored by older Russians, with angry TV talk shows spreading conspiracies.


The Russian Exodus: How the War Has Destroyed Russia, and What It Means to the Russo-Suzanne Economy

Many perceived government opponents fled in the war’s early days due to fears of persecution.

Yet Putin’s order to mobilize 300,000 additional troops in September prompted the largest outflow: Hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled to border states including Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia in an attempt to avoid the draft.

Putin argued that it was part of a self-cleaning of Russian society from traitors and spies. Russian officials have suggested stripping those who left the country of their passports. There are some questions of whether Russia can thrive without many of its best and brightest.

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.

The swift intervention of Russia’s central bank, which jacked up interest rates to 20% after the invasion and implemented currency controls to buttress the ruble, was also a stabilizing force. Increasing the production of military goods and replacing items that had come from the West were both needed by factories.

Yet cracks are starting to show and they will widen over the next 12 months. The European Union spent more than $100 billion on fossil fuels in 2021, but has made huge strides in phase out purchases. The bloc, which dramatically reduced its dependence on Russian natural gas last year, officially banned most imports of Russian crude oil by sea in December. It enacted another block on refined oil products this month.

These dynamics place the country’s economy on a trajectory of decline. They will cause Putin to either increase military spending or invest in social goods, both of which would have repercussions for the war and the Russian public.

When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. The Defense Ministry of Russia provides daily briefings. 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 is still a taboo topic at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.

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 security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly,” it said, apparently echoing Moscow’s view the West provoked the war through the expansion of NATO.

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. Both India and China have purchased discounted Russian oil, but have not supported the Russian military campaign.

Putin’s speech made good on an old commitment, the Kremlin repeatedly delayed and then canceled last year’s address amid a trickle of bad news from the battlefield in Ukraine.

An annual December “big press conference” – a semi-staged affair that allows the Russian leader to handle fawning questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media – was similarly tabled until 2023.

The Kremlin has given no reason for the delays. The Russian leader has run out of good news after 10 months of war and no sign of victory.

It was historic and deadly, and was just another year that tried patience and nerves. Russian President Vladimir Putin did what was unimaginable to many, launching the largest land war in Europe since World War II. All too common horrors were unleashed once more on American schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, and in many, many other mass shootings in the United States. And, inevitably, luminaries who brought light to our lives were extinguished.

Top 100 Digital Stories of the Last 15 Years: The Rise of the Underground Railroad and the End of the Iron Curtain for the Chinese Internet, Including the Uvalde Elementary Shooting

CNN has been on TV for over 40 years and has been on digital platforms for 25 years. According to Comscore, more than 165 million people came to CNN Digital every month from around the world.

The other stories among our top 10 most read, watched or listened to were the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, our election night streaming of CNN’s TV coverage of the midterms and our digital pages of up-to-the-second results from hundreds of races.

The events of the last year, including the overturn of the Wade amendment and the numerous shootings and natural disasters, were some of the top stories.

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The Russian-Ukraine War of Choice During the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Key Player for the Interaction Between the U.S. and Ukraine

Thank you for being here with us through it all. We will be present for you for every breaking news story and every piece of joy, delight and triumph.

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. Had red lines been in place, America might have accepted an inferior compromise that weakened its security and credibility.

Sullivan told CNN that his first reaction was to respect the sovereignty of all nations. Ukraine was not attacking Russia. NATO wasn’t attacking Russia. The United States wasn’t attacking Russia. This was a war of choice waged by Putin.

A top Ukrainian national security official said that Russia is ready for a full-on war in Ukraine within the next few weeks.

The Secretary of Ukraines National Security and Defense Council told Sky News in an interview that the war would be defined during the months of August and September.

“Ukrainians are on edge of a very active phase of hostilities,February and March will be very active,” said the representative of the Ukrainian Defense intelligence on national television.

“During the week, military representatives from the two countries will practice joint planning of the use of troops based on the prior experience of armed conflicts in recent years,” the ministry said in a statement.

Zelenskyy and the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Why does the US military support the U.S. militarily? What do western strategists expect in the next war?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise Europe tour, meeting leaders in London, Paris and Brussels, and reiterating his call for allies to send fighter jets to Ukraine.

The world marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. President Biden made a visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the lead up to the event.

“It’s unlikely Russian forces will be particularly better organized and so unlikely they’ll be particularly more successful, though they do seem willing to send more troops into the meat grinder,” a senior British official told CNN.

There is skepticism on the part of the Ukrainian side that the Russian forces are as strong as they are.

The diplomat told CNN that they had enough manpower to bring one or two small cities to the area. “Underwhelming, compared to the sense of panic they were trying to build in Ukraine.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday in Brussels that the US is not seeing Russia “massing its aircraft” ahead of an aerial operation against Ukraine.

“The U.S. and NATO openly say their goal is to see Russia’s strategic defeat. The leader of Russia said that they would be prepared to visit our military bases if nothing happened.

Vice President Harris will head to the Munich Security Conference this week in order to heighten the rhetorical and diplomatic offensive. President Joe Biden will meanwhile visit Poland and a frontline NATO and ex-Warsaw pact state next week, bolstering his legacy of offering the most effective leadership of the Western alliance since the end of the Cold War.

All of this explains why western strategists see the next phase of the war as critical, as Russian forces prepare for an apparent spring offensive and Ukraine awaits the arrival of recently pledged western tanks that it hopes will turn the tide.

Some members of the new Republican majority in the US House are reticent. Gaetz called for an end to aid to Ukraine and the US to demand all sides of the conflict reach a peace agreement. The Senate has a bipartisan majority for saving Ukraine. But it’s not certain Biden can guarantee massive multi-billion dollar aid packages for Ukraine in perpetuity. And US aid might be in serious doubt if ex-President Donald Trump or another Republican wins the 2024 election.

The lack of any diplomatic framework for ceasefire talks has made it very clear that Putin is not considering defeat or an exit from the war.

Fiona Hill, a leading expert on Russia and Putin, who worked in Trump’s White House, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday that there were few signs Putin’s determination is waning.

Even after the flights of Chinese spy balloons in the US this month, there was no chance of China leaning on Putin for an end to the war.

The US has recently begun seeing “disturbing” trendlines in China’s support for Russia’s military and there are signs that Beijing wants to “creep up to the line” of providing lethal military aid to Russia without getting caught, US officials familiar with the intelligence told CNN.

Sherman said at an event that the US is concerned about tightening ties between Russia and China at a time when the United States is locked in battles with each power.

The Human Pain: How Do We Document All the Crimes of the Russians? A Human Rights Defender’s Viewpoint on the Russia-Russia War on Crime and Democracy

On the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China has called for a cease-fire and peace talks as soon as possible.

Territorial and sovereignty integrity of all countries will be respected in China’s proposal, Wang said, adding that Beijing will continue to work for peace.

China is reluctant to alienating European countries more because it did not condemn Russia’s war. In the position paper published Friday, China tried to tread a fine line.

Ursula Von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said on Saturday that she needs more proof that China isn’t working with Russia.

China’s top diplomat will also visit Russia this month, according to its foreign ministry, in the first visit to the country from a Chinese official in that role since the war began.

The United States and its allies have remained steadfast in their support for Ukraine and their people have largely accepted the enormous cost. In the United States, the political resistance has been limited largely to a few voices on the far right and far left. But questions will become only more common as the war drags on. As Representative Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, a Republican and a strong supporter of Ukraine, has warned, “There should be no blank check on anything.”

“This is something that leads me to the question – for whom do we document all these crimes?” The head of the Center for Civil Liberties told us. I’m a human rights lawyer and I document the human pain in order to have all the Russians brought to justice.

Ukranian War on the Cold War: A Challenge for the BRST-dominated World Order in the Light of the Ukraine War

The Foreign Minister of Taiwan said his nation is keeping a wary eye on China and learning from the war in Ukranian.

Expansionist motivation is what they have. They want to continue to expand their sphere of influence. They want to continue to expand their power. And if they are not stopped, then they will continue to march on,” Wu told us.

In the past year, the West has funneled billions in aid and weapons to Ukraine because the outcome has global consequences. Victory by Russia could mean new rules to the world order that global powers have lived by to avoid a third world war.

“We’ve managed to avoid conflict directly between great powers,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NPR. “This system is working for all its flaws.” It’s being challenged now.


The US has seen so far: China and the fight in the era of the SRK-Vova conflict, on the sidelines of a conference call

They tried to flee in the first days of the war, but the family car was shelled, Natalia believes, by Russian forces. Her husband was killed, along with her 6-year-old nephew, Maxim. Vova survived the attack but was hospitalized for months with seven bullets in his body.

Danny Hajek produced the audio for this story. Additional editing and production help from Carol Klinger, Denise Couture and Nina Kravinsky. Hanna Palamarenko and Tanya Ustova provided reporting and translation help.

The officials would not give any details of the intel the US has seen that suggests a recent shift in China’s stance but they said that they have given the intel to allies and partners.

Officials said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue during their meeting on the sidelines of the conference.

A senior State department official told reporters that the Secretary warned about the consequences of China helping Russia, and that it was quite blunt.

The war can’t continue. Wang said at the conference that they should think about what efforts they could make to bring the warfare to an end.

The Russia-Ukraine War and the American Response to the Fox News Report: “I’m all you, my dear, I don’t want to go home”

Multiple sources familiar with the US and European intelligence told CNN that the equipment includes items like flak jackets. But China has stopped short of the more robust military assistance, like lethal weapons systems for use on the battlefield in Ukraine, that Russia has requested because it has not wanted to be seen as a pariah on the world stage, officials said.

“The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support. And we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship,” he added.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee told CNN’s Pamela Brown in an interview that he still thinks bipartisan support for Ukraine is strong.

McCaul was asked if he believed the US is considering sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and he replied, “I hope so,” while pointing to his concern over a drawn out conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Turner equated the resolution to a letter more than two dozen progressive House Democrats sent the White House last fall, asking it to pursue diplomacy between Russia and Ukraine. The letter was taken off the internet.

There are a few on each side who have said they don’t support or who want support to end. There are a wide range of people in Congress. There are likely 400 that are involved in this path and direction.

The American Balloon, the Hypersonic Missile, and the War on the World: The Security Conference – Opening the Munich Security Conference

There were a lot of American parts in the balloon. The hypersonic missile that traveled around the world with precision was built on the back of American technology, according to McCaul.

They take a lot of this from us. We don’t have to sell them technology they can use to destroy Taiwan or the United States of America because they could do it themselves. I think there’s great bipartisanship on this issue,” he added.

McCaul said that the tension between the two countries “is very high right now” and that both Democrats and Republicans are aligned in wanting to confront Chinese threats.

“I think we have a unique opportunity to be bipartisan on this issue of national security against one of the greatest threats to this country, and the world, for that matter,” McCaul said.

“No one, of course, wants a cold war, but that isn’t the issue. What we want is a China that is not going to be an aggressor state, that’s not going to be building up its military and threatening the United States, and certainly not making the negative comments that it’s making instead of just openly apologizing for sending a spy balloon over our most sensitive military sites,” Turner said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy opened the Munich Security Conference, speaking via video link to attendees including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president later told the gathering that Russia had committed “crimes against humanity.”

NATO defense ministers met in Brussels, where Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged a boost in ammunition to Ukraine, warning that the Kremlin is preparing for new offensives and attacks.

Vladimir Putin in Kiev: Defense of the Cold War and the Future of the Russian-Russian Dialogue with the West During the World War II War

The Russian government has a network of at least 40 child custody centers, and they are a potential war crime.

Putin acknowledged Russia’s significant losses in the war and called on those present to stand for a moment of silence in their memory. The Russian leader also promised a range of social support packages for families of the fallen.

Russia’s decline on the battlefield and its apparent inability to remove the elected government inUkraine from power were not mentioned in Putin’s address.

Putin didn’t say how the fighting might end or what Russia’s ultimate goals were, but he did say it would be better for the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is not leaving the New START arms control treaty despite being suspended by Putin, he said.

New Start was in effect for three more years, till 2026. It caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the U.S. can deploy. The two countries have the vast majority of all deployable warheads.

Regular inspections under the agreement, to make sure neither side is cheating, were put on hold in March 2020 during the pandemic. Russia postponed talks to restart those inspections, as relations between Moscow and Washington continued to deteriorate over Ukraine.

Should the US decide to conduct new nuclear tests, Putin told the military and civilian atomic energy agency to be prepared.

Russia’s decision was described as “deeply unfortunate” by the Secretary of State. Russia has been accused of violating the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries.

Putin presented a list of grievances against the West, which he said were caused by its values threatening the children of Russia. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarch Kirill, was seated front-row center in the hall.

The Russian leader again equated Ukraine’s “neo Nazi” government with Nazi Germany, and said Russia was defending itself just as the Soviet Union defended its territory during World War II.

Today’s address also kickstarts a series of connected and choreographed events: Russian lawmakers gather for an extraordinary session of both chambers of parliament Wednesday, when Putin will also address a mass rally at Moscow’s largest stadium.

It was precisely a year ago that the Russian leader called for the formal recognition of two pro-Russian separatist republics in eastern Ukraine — pronouncing international diplomatic efforts to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity and find a diplomatic solution to a simmering conflict in the Donbas “futile.”

Putin then assembled his National Security Council for a televised session to discuss the independence issue — now famous for the image of the Russian leader holding court across a vast hallway to consult with, in theory, his closest advisors.

“The Russian economy and system of government have turned out to be much stronger than the West believed,” Putin said in a speech to Russia’s parliament Tuesday.

In fact, Russia’s average monthly oil export revenues rose by 24% last year to $18.1 billion, according to the IEA. Yet a repeat performance is unlikely, presaging increasingly tough decisions for Putin.

“The era of windfall profits from the oil and gas market for Russia is over,” Janis Kluge, an expert on Russia’s economy at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, told CNN.

Meanwhile, the ruble has slumped to its weakest level against the US dollar since last April. High inflation can be linked to the currency’s weakness. And most businesses say they can’t conceive of growing right now given high levels of economic uncertainty, according to a recent survey by a Russian think tank.

Russia moved towards self-sufficiency in the aftermath of Putin’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. The government increased domestic food production through a policy called ‘Fortress Russia’. That created a degree of “durability,” said Ash at Chatham House.

Russia was able to send barrels to Europe that would have gone to countries like China and India. The European Union bought an average of 3.3 million barrels of Russian crude and oil products per day as of November and the IEA claims it still buys 2.3 million barrels per day.

Sergey Aleksashenko, who was Russia’s deputy minister of finance, spoke at the event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. That meant the economy experienced a decline, but “not a collapse,” he added.

The price of a barrel of Urals crude, Russia’s main blend, fell to an average of $49.50 in January after Europe’s oil embargo — as well as a Group of Seven price cap — took effect. The global benchmark stood at $82. It suggests that a smaller pool of interested buyers is prompting customers like India and China to negotiate greater discounts. Russia’s 2023 budget is based on a Urals price of more than $70 per barrel.

There are new embargoes and price caps that will make finding new buyers for processed oil products difficult. China and India have their own networks of refineries, and prefer to purchase crude from those, according to an energy consultant.

The Russian Economy and Ukraine’s Second Year of Growth: How Russian Economy is Going Through a Crucial Phase of War? A Remark from an Oxford Economics Expert

“Whatever energy resources are obtained, they’ll be spent on military needs,” said Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, acting director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London.

The International Monetary Fund still expects Russia’s economy to expand by 0.3% this year and 2.1% the next. Yet any outlook is contingent on what happens in Ukraine.

The war could determine whether or not the economy shrinks or expands in 2023, according to a note to clients written by an Oxford Economics economist. Shortages of workers tied to military conscription and emigration pose a key risk, she noted.

Sectors that rely on imports have been particularly vulnerable. Domestic car makers, such as Avtovaz, have had difficulty with shortages of components and materials.

Russia’s auto industry was already weakened after companies such as Volkswagen

            (VLKAF), Renault

            (RNLSY), Ford

            (F) and Nissan

            (NSANF) halted production and began to sell their local assets last year. Chinese firms have increased their presence in other areas. Even so, sales of new cars dropped 63% year-over-year in January, according to the Association of European Businesses.


The U.S. and its Nuclear Forces aren’t Prominent, but the US-Russia Nuclear Threat Is Necessary

“In normal times, we might have said that the population would protest against that,” Sharafutdinova said. These are not normal times.

Biden’s dramatic visit to Kyiv Monday amid wailing air raid sirens and his soaring speech in Warsaw a day later reinforced the West’s remarkable support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russia and directly repudiated President Vladimir Putin.

Putin, who welcomed Wang with outstretched arms as the Chinese diplomat entered the meeting room, said relations between Russia and China were “reaching new milestones.”

There are always opportunities for both nations to face crisis and chaos,Wang told Putin.

The foreign policy picture is a problem for other countries as well. Rising challenges abroad as well, as the depletion of US and Western weapons stocks as arms are sent to Ukraine, pose questions about military capacity and whether current defense spending is sufficient. Republicans are accusing Biden of snubbing voters facing economic and other problems when he tries to position the Democrats as protectors of working Americans in the upcoming campaign.

And Biden vowed, “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail,” he added.

To Western ears, Putin seems to be living in an alternative reality. And Biden contradicted his claims of Western imperialism, saying, “I speak once more to the people of Russia. Europe and the US don’t want to control or destroy Russia. Putin said that the West wasn’t planning to attack Russia.

The conclusion of the estrangement between US and Russia is almost complete according to Biden.

Russia lacks the resources to start a new nuclear arms race with the United States because of it’s ailing economy and pressure from its conventional forces. But the collapse of one of the last building blocks of a post-Cold War thaw between Russia and the US exemplifies the almost total lack of communication between the rivals.

Even if the war in Ukraine ends, there will be no return to normal between Washington and Moscow because of the Biden administration accusation that Russia committed crimes against humanity.

Any time the top two nuclear powers are not talking is dangerous — one reason why US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday Washington was willing to discuss the nuclear situation with Russia no matter what else was going on.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned that it would cross a US red line but not say what the consequences would be.

The Syrian Refugees in the Light of a Cold War: Why the West Doesn’t Want to Be Afraid of the Cold War

More than eight million refugees have fled Ukraine in what the World Health Organization describes as the largest movement of people in the European Region since the Second World War. Many have been involuntarily relocated by Russia. In Poland and Germany, other people have put strain on resources.

Europe has been the center of a 21st century war that is pushing the world towards realignment. It has forced countries to take sides in ways that have led to increasing tensions and diplomatic shifts. For example, Turkey, despite being a NATO member, has increased trade with Russia since the start of the war and has thrown up objections to allowing Sweden and Finland into the alliance.

Alex Leff and Will Chase were involved in the report. The text and graphics build on previous work by Alina Selyukh, Connie Hanzhang Jin and Nick Underwood.

The Chinese position paper criticized the West’s approach to the war. It calls for the abandonment of the “cold war mentality”, saying that it only creates more problems.

Conflict and war do not benefit anyone. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control,” the paper said.

Cold War Mentality and Cold War Between the United States and the West: China and the Russia-U.S. Co-operation in the Cold War

Western officials are worried that China may supply military assistance to Russia, an accusation denied by Beijing.

Much of the language used in the document appears targeted at the West. In a thinly veiled criticism of the United States, the paper said, “Cold War mentality” should be abandoned.

It also appears to criticize the wide-ranging economic sanctions imposed by the US and other Western countries on Russia. “Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems,” it said. “Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ against other countries, so as to do their share in deescalating the Ukraine crisis.”

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, said the war could end tomorrow if Russia stopped attacking Ukraine.

“China should do everything in its power to stop the war and restore peace in Ukraine and urge Russia to withdraw its troops,” Ukraine’s Chargé d’Affaires to China Zhanna Leshchynska said at the same briefing in Beijing.

“In neutrality, China should talk to both sides: Russia and Ukraine, and now we can see China is not talking to Ukraine,” she said, noting that Kyiv was not consulted before the release of the paper.

Wang said that the changes have to be identified more voluntarily and responded to more actively to strengthen the partnership.

Beijing vs. China: Beijing and the Ukraine crisis after the second visit of the Ukrainian presidency (KYIV) on Friday, April 20

This week, Beijing also sent its top diplomat, Wang Yi, to Moscow where he met with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin among other Russian officials and reiterated the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomatic negotiation.

There’s not much leverage involved. The document lays out broad, general principles, but no real reason why you might want to cease and desist, right? There is not much to appeal to you when you are getting something. Ian Chong, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, said that there isn’t a big cost if you don’t comply.

KYIV, Ukraine — In a wide-ranging, hourslong news conference in a basement in the heart of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that he was confident his country could win the war this year, expressed hope that China would not provide lethal military aid to Russia and implored Israel to get off the fence and side with his nation.

He doesn’t shy away from asking questions or calling out allies if he thinks they could be doing more to help the people of Ukraine.

Asked about reports that Beijing was considering providing Moscow with lethal weapons, Mr. Zelensky initially ignored the question. He said that he wanted to make sure that China did not arm Russia and that was one of his priorities after the second raise.

Mr. Zelensky spoke to the reporter directly, telling her that it was not about geography or geopolitics but basic principles.

Putin, Israel, and Ukraine: Insights from a Cold Cold War between the West and the West, and a Question of Zelensky

China may believe that innocents should not be killed. That a nuclear power plant should not be occupied? That means respect for a nation’s sovereignty should mean an invader should leave.

He switched to English to stress his openness to direct talks with China and explain that he was already starting public diplomatic relations here. We have so many common issues that we have to speak with each other.

Iran is already providing attack drones to Russia, and the West has warned the Moscow is also seeking to acquire ballistic missiles. Mr. Zelensky was asked about Israel. He was asked why Israel andUkraine aren’t stronger allies.

He said that he understood Israel’s long and complex history with Russia but said that he had wished for Israel to take a firmer stance against it since the start of the war.

There were hard questions about possible internal disputes in his government. There was also a journalist from Azerbaijan who simply wanted a selfie with the Ukrainian leader, for his son. (Mr. Zelensky obliged.)

The Ukrainian leader said the worst moment of his war was when he saw atrocities committed by Russian soldiers for the first time. He said it was horrible.

Over more than two and half hours, questions about how and when Ukraine could win the war, were the most frequent — even if that answer would only be determined on the battlefield.

“Neither of these armies look today the way they did at the beginning of the war. Both took big losses. Both have lost a lot of their best people and best equipment,” said Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at the Center for Naval Analyses.

The Russians did not have enough troops to capture and hold large parts ofUkraine, according to analyst Dmitri Alperovitch.

“So if at the beginning, they didn’t have enough troops, but they had plenty of equipment, now it’s sort of the reverse, where they’re flowing more troops in, but they may no longer have enough equipment to actually execute a successful campaign,” said Alperovitch, who heads a think tank, the Silverado Policy Accelerator.

First, it burned through massive amounts of ammunition at an unsustainable rate, according to many analysts. Russia has lost 50% of its tanks according to a recent U.S. Defense Department estimate.

However, because Russia retreated from a good deal of Ukrainian territory last fall, “the Russian military substantially reduced the amount of territory they have to defend,” he said. “That means that as a military, they have far more force density. They have lines that are higher up. They have reserves.

Russia is well placed to defend its current strongholds in the east and south of the country.

He thinks it’s going to be difficult for the Ukrainians to progress quickly. “Unless the Russian line just collapses, I think it’s going to be difficult to see the type of lightning offensives that we saw last year.”

“Neither side, frankly, has demonstrated a great proficiency at combined arms. Neither side has air superiority, which is really important if you’re going to take these fortified positions,” Alperovitch said.

Both sides are widely expected to launch offensives. In fact, a Russian one appears to be underway in the east, and Russian forces have already suffered one resounding defeat around the town of Vuhledar.

The U.S. and European aid has been better than expected. Just last month, Western countries pledged the biggest military assistance package yet, including, for the first time, tanks.

“As the political winds in the U.S. change, I think western support will start to fraying”, Ioffe said.

“You’re seeing a kind of America First feeling of, ‘Why are we in this fight?'” Why are we sending a blank check? We shouldn’t be doing this,'” she added.

The biggest issue is not actually the will to support the Ukrainians on the Western side. It’s the ability to do that. “The rate at which the Ukrainians are expending munitions exceeds the production capacity of even the collective West.”

U.S. lawmakers protesting the Ukraine war with Kremlin-dominated demonstrations on Tuesday ephemeral conditions in the Senate Armed Services Committee

Also Tuesday, U.S. lawmakers will attend hearings about the Ukraine war in both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House subcommittee on defense appropriations.

Some Russians defied the Kremlin’s rule by protesting against the war in several cities, with one independent Russian outlet reporting more than 50 people were detained at different demonstrations where they picketed, laid flowers and wrote messages.

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