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In The News

New Mariupol Ultimatum, BoJo Apology, Netflix Losses

New Mariupol Ultimatum, BoJo Apology, Netflix Losses

Protesters gathered near the Russian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, to express their opposition to Russia's war in Ukraine

Lisa Berdet, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 העלא*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Russia issues a new deadline for Ukraine soldiers to surrender in Mariupol, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson offers a “wholehearted apology” for COVID rules-breaking and Netflix loses viewers for the first time in 10 years. Meanwhile, Livy Bereg looks at the reasons behind Ukraine refusing a visit by German President Steinmeier.

[*Hela - Yiddish]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

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• Mariupol new deadline to surrender: The situation in Mariupol remains critical as Ukrainian troops defend the last holdout of soldiers and civilians trapped in the Azovstal steel plant, which has been targeted by Russian missiles. Russia has issued another ultimatum for Ukraine forces in Mariupol to surrender, by later Wednesday. While Moscow has reportedly agreed to a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the Donbas port city, it remains to be seen if that will be respected. (Read more: War in Ukraine, Day 56)

• Ukraine allies pledge to send more weapons: The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have pledged to send a major new shipment of weapons to Ukraine, as Russian launches its offensive in Donbas. This comes as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country’s military has exhausted the weaponry that it can send to Ukraine, and is trying to work with manufactures to increase production. (Read more: War in Ukraine, Day 56)

• Israel-Palestine tensions: U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged Israel and Palestine to “end the cycle of violence” in calls to Mahmoud Abbas and Yair Lapid as tensions and violence are intensifying for a few weeks now.

• BoJo “Partygate” apologies: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a “wholehearted apology” to MPs in Commons for the “Partygate” scandal. Last week, he received a £50 fine for breaking COVID-19 restrictions in June 2020 and organizing his birthday party in the Cabinet Room.

• Sri Lanka protests: One man was killed and 10 others injured by Sri Lanka police in protest against oil shortages and price inflation.

• Netflix first subscriber loss in years: For the first time in over a decade, streaming platform Netflix lost subscribers, around 200,000. This is partly due to the war in Ukraine, inflation and the suspension of Netflix in Russia. The company says it now intends to charge users sharing their logins and is planning on launching an ad-supported version.

• Thanks, MIT: MIT researchers developed an “Oreometer”, a device for optimally splitting the two halves of an Oreo biscuit, so that the cream amount is similar on both sides when twisting the biscuit.


“Russia storms Ukraine's Donbas,” titles Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, reporting on Russian troops intensifying their attack in eastern Ukraine as it seeks a decisive victory in the port city of Mariupol.


Nannaria swiftae

Dr. Derek Hennen, a Virginia Tech scientist (and Swiftie) named a new millipede species he and his team discovered in Tennessee, U.S., after American singer Taylor Swift. The Nannariaswiftae, or Swift Twisted-Claw Millipede, is a nod to how Swift’s “music helped me get through the highs and lows of graduate school,” Hennen told Rolling Stone. Hennen also named another new species after his wife.


Why German President Steinmeier will never be welcome in Kyiv

Why was German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier disinvited to the Ukrainian capital? The case is being used by the German elite for their own benefit, or rather, for Russia, whose economic and political treasures in Europe are guarded by the same Steinmeier, writes Olexander Demchenko in Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg.

🛑 The German ruling elite was indignant that Ukraine did not give permission to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit Kyiv. Der Spiegel magazine reported that the Office of the President of Germany negotiated with the Ukrainian side for a long time, reaching an agreement, but then the Office of the President of Ukraine suspended any talks on Steinmeier's visit as part of the trip of Eastern European leaders to Ukraine.

🔍 In fact, according to high-ranking Livy Bereg sources, the situation was completely different. There were no official requests to the Ukrainian authorities. Steinmeier himself took such a step because his presidency became unstable due to a series of journalistic investigations into his close relationship with the Kremlin. This situation is understandable given who Frank-Walter Steinmeier is, what role he played in promoting the Kremlin's economic interests in Germany and in Europe in general.

🇩🇪🇷🇺 Over the years, Steinmeier has placed his followers, and therefore the followers and ideas of rapprochement with Russia, in key positions in Germany. Steinmeier himself is a continuation of the policies of ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Putin's main lobbyist. Proof of this are the refusal of the socialist Scholz to provide Ukraine with necessary weapons, as well as the words of the head of the German Ministry of Defense Christine Lambrecht that her nation has run out of weapons for our nation, and much more.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


One day you're Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds, you're Quasimodo.

— U.S. actor Johnny Depp testifying during the high-profile defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp refuted what he called “heinous and disturbing" domestic abuse allegations.

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Putinism Without Putin? USSR 2.0? Clean Slate? How Kremlin Succession Will Play Out

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, political commentators have consistently returned to the question of Putin's successor. Russia expert Andreas Umland foreshadows a potentially tumultuous transition, resulting in a new power regime. Whether this is more or less democratic than the current Putinist system, is difficult to predict.

A kid holds up a sign with Putin's photograph over the Russian flag

Gathering in Moscow to congratulate Russia's President Vladimir Putin on his birthday.

Andreas Umland


STOCKHOLM — The Kremlin recently hinted that Vladimir Putin may remain as Russia's president until 2030. After the Constitution of the Russian Federation was amended in 2020, he may even extend his rule until 2036.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

However, it seems unlikely that Putin will remain in power for another decade. Too many risks have accumulated recently to count on a long gerontocratic rule for him and his entourage.

The most obvious and immediate risk factor for Putin's rule is the Russian-Ukrainian war. If Russia loses, the legitimacy of Putin and his regime will be threatened and they will likely collapse.

The rapid annexation of Crimea without hostilities in 2014 will ultimately be seen as the apex of his rule. Conversely, a protracted and bloody loss of the peninsula would be its nadir and probable demise.

Additional risk factors for the current Russian regime are related to further external challenges, for example, in the Caucasus. Other potentially dangerous factors for Putin are economic problems and their social consequences, environmental and industrial disasters, and domestic political instability.

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