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China

This Happened—November 23: People's Republic Comes To The UN

Following a long series of voting, and two decades after its founding, the People's Republic of China finally gains recognition and joins the United Nations.

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Geopolitics
Anna Akage

A Ukrainian In Belgrade: The Straight Line From Milosevic To Putin, And Back Again

As hostilities flare again between Serbia and Kosovo, the writer draws connections between the dissolutions of both the USSR and Yugoslavia, and the leaders who exploit upheaval and feed the worst kind of nationalism.

-Analysis-

At high school in Kyiv in the late 1990s, we studied the recent history of Yugoslavia: the details of its disintegration, the civil wars, the NATO bombing of Belgrade. When we compared Yugoslavia and the USSR, it seemed evident to us that if Boris Yeltsin or Mikhail Gorbachev had been anything like Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, bloody wars would have been unavoidable for Ukraine, Belarus, and other republics that instead had seceded from the Soviet Union without a single shot being fired.

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Fast forward to 2020, when I visited Belgrade for the first time, invited for a friend's wedding. Looking around, I was struck by the decrepit state of its roads, the lack of any official marked cabs, by the drudgery, but most of all by the tension and underlying aggression in society. It was reflected in all the posters and inscriptions plastered on nearly every street. Against Albania, against Kosovo, against Muslims, claims for historical justice, Serbian retribution, and so on. A rather beautiful, albeit by Soviet standards, Belgrade seemed like a sleeping scorpion.

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Geopolitics
Sushil Aaron

The Price Of India's UN Vote On Ukraine Will Be Paid In Washington

The Modi government chose to abstain on the UN Security Council condemnation of the Russian invasion, but it underestimates how much India will be condemned on the wrong side of history in the minds of American leaders for years to come.

-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — President Barack Obama once described India-US ties as one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. That relationship unexpectedly got into choppy waters last week after India got a couple of reminders from the United States on its position about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how it should vote on the draft UN Security Council resolution – which India ultimately abstained on, along with China and the UAE.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that he had spoken to external affairs minister S. Jaishankar – and indicated the “importance of a strong collective response to Russian aggression.” Blinken effectively drafted lines that the Ministry of External Affairs was struggling to compose suggesting that “Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is a clear violation of the rules-based international order."

President Joe Biden mentioned in a press conference that the issue of being fully in sync with India on the issue wasn’t resolved completely. Then US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said this while introducing the resolution: “vote yes if you believe in upholding the UN Charter … Vote no or abstain if you do not uphold the Charter.”

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Geopolitics
Vita Golod and Dmytro Yefremov

China May Be Set To Turn Against Russia For Its Epic Miscalculation In Ukraine

China did not expect a protracted and bloody war in Ukraine, which is causing global upheaval and thus major problems for Beijing's interests. There are growing signs that the Chinese government's policy of "strategic neutrality" is reaching its limit.

-Analysis-

KYIV — China's neutral stance on the war in Ukraine looks to many like tacit support for Russia's behavior. Before the invasion and in its early days, statements by the Chinese Foreign Ministry contained pro-Russian hints about NATO as a vestige of the Cold War, “indivisibility of security,” “understanding of Russia’s legitimate concerns about its security,” and non-acceptance of the “unilateral use of sanctions” by Western countries.

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However, a certain distance from the situation remained in other statements (“respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries”) and attempts were made to avoid political or economic involvement (a call to resolve the “conflict” by dialogue and negotiations).

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Bertrand Hauger

Taliban & United Nations, China’s Green Pledge, Tale Of Tails

👋 Laba diena!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Afghanistan's Taliban demand to speak at the United Nations, China takes a bold ecological stand and we find out why monkeys kept their tails and humans didn't. Business magazine America Economia also looks at how Latin American countries are looking to attract a new generation of freelancers known as "digital nomads" in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[*Lithuanian]

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In The News
Anna Akage, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

The Quiet-But-Hostile Opening Of Donetsk People's Republic Embassy In Moscow

The self-proclaimed republic is not recognized by the international community, and Russia's decision to open its embassy sends an aggressive message to Ukraine and the world.

On February 21, Vladimir Putin launched into an hour-long Kremlin lecture on the history of Ukraine and a call to the carpet for the Russia’s top officials to speak out in support of his views. He then stepped forward to sign a decree recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LNR and DNR), the very territories of Ukraine that were occupied in 2014.

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Three days later, Putin launched his all-out invasion of Ukraine.

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Sudan Coup, Drug Lord Busted, Bulls Are Back

👋 Здравейте!*

Welcome to Monday, where an apparent coup is underway in Sudan, Colombia's most-wanted drug lord gets caught, and Michael Jordan's rookie sneakers score an auction record. We also focus on a report that the Thai government is abusing the country's centuries-old law to protect the monarchy from criticism (lèse-majesté) to target pro-democracy activists and protesters.

[*Zdraveite - Bulgarian]

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

All Eyes On Southern Ukraine, Baghdad Clashes, Pumpkin Ride

👋 Da'anzho!*


Welcome to Tuesday, where Ukraine launches a counteroffensive to retake Kherson in the south of the country, deadly clashes rock Iraq after cleric al-Sadr resigns, and the world record for pumpkin paddling (you read that right) gets broken. We also turn to Ukraine’s news platform Livy Bereg to see how Russian propaganda plays out across European countries.



[*Eastern Apache]

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In The News
Irene Caselli, Anne-Sophie Gominet, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

A Donbas Quagmire? Running Out Of Water, Supplies, Men

As Russian forces continue their offensive in Donbas without securing any significant territorial gains, the situation on the ground is growingly dire for civilians left behind.

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Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg reports on significant water, food and other supply shortages in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic. Tap water has been scarce since the beginning of Russian occupation on February 24, and it is now available only every three days. Residents collect rainwater or otherwise buy it when they can afford to.

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Geopolitics
Amyn Sajoo

Russia, Ukraine And The West's Double Standard On International Law

With a passion that recalls the aftermath of World War II, politicians and commentators are demanding a global order that takes seriously the rules of the United Nations Charter — notably on respect for sovereignty and fundamental human rights.

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the immediate spur, China’s conduct in the Indo-Pacific region has prompted similar calls.

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It’s more than a fight between autocracies and democracies, Fareed Zakaria recently argued in the Washington Post. This moment requires a rules-based international order that has inclusive global appeal beyond western interests.

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This Happened
Laure Gautherin

This Happened—November 2: A Modern Emperor

Do you know the man who fought Mussolini and is still an icon for rastafari around the world?

The emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, Haile Selassie sought to modernize the country, most notably by introducing its first constitution and abolishing slavery. But he also became a modern Messiah for the likes of Bob Marley.

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Ideas
Sonia Koshkina

How To Stop Thinking About Russia — A Message From Eastern Europe To The West

David Stulik, senior research analyst at the Prague-based European Values Research Center, explains the risks of continuing to calculate all our choices according to hypothetical fears of and future compromises with Russia.

-Analysis-

KYIV — There’s a school of thought among some in Europe that the energy crisis is due to the war “between Ukraine and Russia,” not because of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s a subtle, but important difference in language — and one that reveals the partial success of Russia's non-stop propaganda and disinformation campaign.

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Even some very pro-Ukraine politicians consistently use the phrase “the war in Ukraine” for saying what caused energy prices to increase, or why household incomes in the West are going to drop.

It is of course unfair to blame Ukraine for these problems.

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