When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
In The News

Two Big Signs The Ukraine War Could Last "For Years"

Photo of Ukrainian troops

Ukrainian troops in the east of the country

Emma Albright, Anna Akage and Shaun Lavelle

Two key points in the past 24 hours offer a sense that the war in Ukraine won’t be ending anytime soon. From Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed an unprecedented $33-billion military and humanitarian aid package to Kyiv. Such a financial commitment, which Biden acknowledged was “not cheap,” is part of a shift from the U.S. over the past 10 days to massive support for President Volodomyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian military, in an effort to defeat Russia on the battlefield.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

“The high dollar amount requested also sends a signal to Russia that the United States intends to back Ukraine in the fight for the long run,” writes U.S. news site Politico. “It will also likely boost Ukrainians who say they want to defeat Russia, not merely settle for a long-term stalemate.”

The second bit of perspective on the conflict came from NATO, whose Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was speaking Thursday at a youth summit in Brussels: "We need to be prepared for the long term," Stoltenberg said. "There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years."

Yes, this may be the week where we understood the Ukraine war will last for years.

Sweden And Finland Press Ahead With NATO Membership

File:Flag of NATO.svg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

Finland and Sweden are moving closer to joining NATO as early as this summer, ahead of a summit by military alliance at the end of June. On Friday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderrson announced that if Parliament voted to join NATO, the issue would not be put to the public.

“I don’t think it is an issue suitable for a referendum,” she told reporters, pointing out that national security information is often confidential and that important facts can’t be shared with the public.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that the United States “strongly supports” Sweden and Finland should they decide to seek membership.

Both Sweden and Finland (which shares a border with Russia) have been reassessing long-held beliefs about not provoking Moscow with NATO membership in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.Public support for joining the military alliance increased dramatically following the invasion. A majority of Finns and Swedes now support membership.

Moscow has been vocal in opposing the Nordic countries NATO accession, with Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov calling it an “existential threat” to the country.

Journalist Killed In Kyiv Missile Strike During Guterres Visit

Vera Hyrych/Facebook

Radio Liberty reported Friday that one of its journalists was killed during Russia’s missile strike in Kyiv that coincided with the visit of UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Vera Gyrych, a veteran of Radio Liberty (also known as Radio Free Europe, a U.S.-funded organization) was at her home when the missile hit her building.

Ukrainian officials said 10 people were also injured by two Russian missiles that had struck the capital as Guterres met for talks with UkrainianPresident Volodomyr Zelensky.

The attack, Zelensky said, is new evidence of “Russia’s true attitude to global institutions, about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything that the organization represents.”

Ukraine Launches High-Risk Operation To Evacuate Civilians From Mariupol

Azov handout

Ukraine said it was launching a high-risk evacuation Friday of some of the last surviving civilians in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

Several thousand soldiers and civilians have been holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in the city’s port area, considered the last bastion of the Ukrainian resistance. The evacuation of civilians from Mariuopol was high on the agenda of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during his past two days of visits to Moscow and Kyiv.

Ukrainian University Students Forced To Donate Blood To Wounded Russian Soldiers

Blood drive


Russian authorities in Ukraine’s occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are forcing university students to donate blood for wounded Russian soldiers, reports Kyiv-based news outlet Livy Bereg on Friday.

Lyudmila Denisova, the Verkhovna Rada Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, said that there have been around 700 cases of such forced blood donations, which she says are a violation of the Geneva Conventions on wartime protocol.

Denisova had already reported that Russia had plans to force Ukrainian prisoners of war to donate blood for the wounded Russian soldiers.

Gazeta Wyborcza


Front page of Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza as the gas crisis sparked by Russian demands that its energy exports be paid for in rubles.

Russia Deploys Dolphins In Crimea Port

Satellite images appear to show dolphin pens at Sevastopol Bay in Crimea

Maxar Technologies

Moscow has deployed trained dolphins at the entrance to a key port of Sevastopol in the Black Sea. The use of the sea mammals would be to protect a naval base from potential Ukrainian attacks, according to a review of satellite images by the commercial firm Maxar and U.S. naval institute.

The dolphins would prevent Ukrainian divers from infiltrating the harbor from underwater and sabotaging ships there. Their deep-diving abilities as well as their sonar communication system makes these dolphins more effective than any technological advancement.

Since the Cold War, both Russia and the U.S. have deployed marine mammals to carry out underwater searches.

Wagner Group Step Up Mercenary Recruitment With Higher Pay, Lower Standards

Russia’s controversial Wagner Group mercenary outfit is believed to already have between 10,000 and 20,000 troops in Ukraine, mostly in the eastern Donbas region. But now, the organization, run by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, is multiplying its recruiting efforts to hire new mercenaries to fight in Ukraine

French-daily Le Figaro reports that Wagner is turning to social media, in particular the Russian Telegram channel, to find new recruits with both higher salaries and lower standard requirements to join. Monthly salaries have increased from about 1,900 euros to 2,800 euros and would-be mercenaries no longer have to meet special physical or psychological requirements. “We don’t look at teeth,” one advertisement says.

At the same time, the Wagner Group is particularly eager for sign-ups with specific skills, for example, professional drone pilots.

A Ceramic Rooster That Survived Russian Bombs Becomes Ukrainian War Icon

The kitchen cabinet with a ceramic rooster survived intense Russian bombing in the northern Ukrainian town of Borodyanka in the early days of the war. We know about it from a photograph by Elizaveta Servatynska that showed the surviving kitchen cabinet — a picture that went viral on the Ukrainian internet.

Now the rooster will become part of the Museum Fund of Ukraine, after the Cultural Heritage Headquarters officers dismantled a portion of the wall and the rooster that was designed by artists Valery and Nadiya Protoriev, and handed it over to the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity.

The surrounding area and the ruins of the buildings were also documented, with the help of a drone, to create 3D models. Thanks to detailed photography and video, the location of each detail has been recorded, which in the future will allow to recreate the location and environment in the museum with maximum accuracy.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Three Scenarios Where The U.S., China Or Russia Winds Up Stronger After The Gaza War

Washington, Moscow and Beijing can all, in different ways, emerge stronger from the war in Gaza war, says French geopolitical expert Dominique Moïsi. The U.S. has been more present in the Middle East since Oct. 7 — but so has Russia, while China is keeping relatively quiet.

Photo of Palestinians standing among the rubble, inspecting the damage

Palestinians stand amid the rubble following an Israeli airstrike on the Bureij refugee camp

Dominique Moïsi


PARISThe Great Power Triangle: Washington, Moscow, Peking — this was the title of an excellent book published in 1972 by Michel Tatu, a specialist of the USSR and a journalist for French daily Le Monde.

Looking back at this title today, we can wonder what effect the war in Gaza will have on this particular triangle. The conflict between Hamas and Israel is a zero-sum game: Israel can only come out a victor if it puts Hamas out of contention for good. But this is not the case for Washington, Moscow and Beijing, which can — in different ways — all emerge stronger from the conflict.

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

Since Oct. 7, the U.S. has returned to the Middle East. Its military commitment, symbolized by the presence of two aircraft carriers, is simply spectacular.

Barack Obama's hesitations in September 2013, when he decided not to enforce the red line that he himself had drawn in Syria, are all but forgotten. Of course, Israel is the United States’ last major ally left in the region. Washington can’t afford to “lose” Jerusalem, as neither Cairo nor Riyadh are fully reliable partners.

Israel, the leading regional military power — much more vulnerable than it thought — needs the United States as much as the U.S. needs it. Joe Biden is drawing double lessons from the guilt of the country’s failure to act in Syria in 2013 and the strategically and symbolically catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest