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Kremlin Confirms Annexation Of 18% Of Ukraine, Putin Doubles Down On Escalation
In The News

Kremlin Confirms Annexation Of 18% Of Ukraine, Putin Doubles Down On Escalation

Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign the annexation Friday of four occupied regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced this morning.

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The Kremlin will host a ceremony on Friday where agreements will be signed on the annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Peskov said the ceremony would take place on Friday at 3 p.m. local time. Taken together the regions in the east and south make up 18% of Ukraine’s territory. The move follows the 2014 annexation of Crimea, which many consider the less violent pre-cursor to Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine.

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2022 Kharkiv Pride Parade​
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Cuban Marriage, Kharkiv Pride, Trump’s Gaffe — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Pro-Russians Claim 99% Victory In Referendums - What Happens Now?
In The News

Pro-Russians Claim 99% Victory In Referendums - What Happens Now?

The so-called referendums that have been going on for the past five days in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine have come to an end. With all votes reportedly counted, the results show exactly the kind of majority in favor of joining Russia that has prompted many to consider the referendums a “sham” that violated international law.

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The head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said on his Telegram channel that 99.23% of votes cast were for "joining the Donetsk People's Republic to the Russian Federation.” Elena Kravchenko, the head of the election commission of the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), said 98.42% favored annexation by Moscow. In Kherson, 87.05% were in favor of the motion; and in Zaporizhzhya, the head of the election commission said the final tally was 93.11% voting to join Russia.

James Kariuki, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, has urged the United Nations to reject the results of the referendums in Ukraine. Speaking during a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the war, Kariuki called the votes "an egregious violation" of the principles of the UN Charter.

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photo of young men walking on the road
In The News

Tracking Massive Russian Exodus, From Finland To Mongolia

Russia’s neighbors — from Finland in the west to Mongolia 3,100 miles (5,076 km) to the east — are being flooded with the arrival of men fleeing the national draft announced last week as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine falters. Some 2,000 miles to the south of Helsinki, at the border with Georgia, there are reports of long lines of cars and bicycles trying to leave and Russian crackdowns on men trying to flee.

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In the first two days after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization, 261,000 men of conscription age have left the country. Observers believe that has likely doubled since. The most popular destinations are the neighboring countries where one can enter without a visa or even without an international passport, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

But Finland too has reported a major uptick, with nearly 19,000 arriving, compared to 9,000 crossing in the opposite direction. "The arrival rate is about double what it was a week ago," Mert Sasioglu of the Finnish border guard told AFP.

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Mobilization Sparks Protests And Wave Of People Trying To Flee Russia
In The News

Mobilization Sparks Protests And Wave Of People Trying To Flee Russia

In response to Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization, protesters flocked to the streets in outrage across Russia. By Thursday morning, Russian independent monitoring group OVD, puts the number of arrests as a result of the protests at 1,300.

Perhaps more telling for both public opinion and the potential effectiveness of the mobilization are mulitple indications of Russian trying to leave the country. Travel sales websites inside the country indicate that all direct flights to nations that do not require Russian visas are sold out until Friday at least.

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photo of an Armenian soldier looking at a damaged wall.
THE CONVERSATION

How Russia's Setbacks In Ukraine Could Reignite Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

Azerbaijan’s recent shelling of Armenia is the worst hostilities since the war in 2020 over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. While in the past, Russia, a historic ally of Armenia, sought to restore peace, the Kremlin may make a different calculus this time.

-Analysis-

Almost two years ago, what is now referred to as the “Second Karabakh War” broke the uneasy truce which had been in effect between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1994. After 44 days of intense fighting – with thousands of dead on both sides – it ended in a precarious, Russian-mediated ceasefire on November 10, 2020.

The nine-point document setting out the terms of the ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of the South Caucasus largely cemented the gains made by Azerbaijan during the war. Among others, it provided for a withdrawal of Armenia’s troops from Azerbaijan and the restoration of economic and transportation links between the two countries.

This is particularly important for Azerbaijan, whose access to its Nakhchivan exclave is separated by Armenia’s Syunik province. The agreement also included arrangements for the stationing of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh until at least 2025.

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Commuters in Tokyo
Economy

Abenomics Revisited: Why Japan Hasn't Attacked The Wealth Divide

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to tackle wealth inequality and help struggling workers. But a year after he came to power, financial traders are once again the winners.

-Analysis-

TOKYO — Panic on the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market. Almost a year ago, at the end of September 2021, traders went into a panic in Tokyo. On Sept. 29, Fumio Kishida had just won the general election for the country's main conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party. He was about to be named Prime Minister, succeeding Yoshide Suga, who'd grown too unpopular in the polls.

Kishida had won through a rather original reform program, which was in stark contrast with years of conservative pro-market politics. In his speeches, he had promised to generate a “new capitalism”. A phrase that makes investors shudder.

While he did not completely renounce his predecessors’ strategy called “Abenomics” — named after free-market stalwart Shinzo Abe, who was killed last July — Kishida declared that the government needed to tackle the issue of the redistribution of wealth in the island nation.

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Archive photo of ​Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by photographers in Rome in 1961
Society

Cover Queen: Elizabeth II’s Life In 38 Magazine Covers

From infancy to marriage, from coronation to globetrotting, through until her death, Queen Elizabeth graced the covers of countless magazines. Here's an international collection, from 12 countries around the world, from her baby cover of TIME magazine in 1929 to being bid farewell from Brazil last week.

Queen Elizabeth II’s life encompassed so many aspects, from time-honored royal tradition to behind-the-scenes family drama to public acts of kindness. But the Queen was also a tour deforce of modern celebrity management. Seventy years of royal apparitions and iconic looks from her British throne to consistent globetrotting made her the most famous woman in the world — decade after decade — without it ever going over the top.

Like her 1952 coronation, one of the first public events to be covered live on television, her death on Sept. 8 at 96, and Monday’s funeral, were those rare moments when the world came together to celebrate the life of a single person.


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Photo of a rainbow near Buckingham Palace after the announcement of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: The Queen’s Mixed Legacy, Acceptance On Ukraine Frontlines — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Front Pages For A Queen: 37 World Newspapers Mark The Death Of Elizabeth II
Society

Front Pages For A Queen: 37 World Newspapers Mark The Death Of Elizabeth II

"The world weeps", "Farewell, my Queen", "The rock Britain was built on".... were among the headlines as front pages from virtually every newspaper in the world were dedicated to the passing of the iconic monarch. Here is a selection of 37 newspaper front pages from 29 countries.

The world has been living a bonafide global moment since the news arrived Thursday afternoon that Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, had died at the age if 96, surrounded by her family in her Scottish home of Balmoral Castle.

It was the poignant bookend on another shared media moment 70 years ago, when her 1952 coronation became one of the major televised events of the 20th century, as BBC cameramen were allowed inside Westminster Abbey, inaugurating a long and complicated history between the British royal family and the media.

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Putin’s About-Face Suddenly Puts Grain Deal At Risk
In The News

Putin’s About-Face Suddenly Puts Grain Deal At Risk

Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he wanted to reopen terms of the grain deal signed just over a month ago, which has allowed Ukraine to export its grain via the Black Sea. Speaking at an economic forum in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, Putin accused Kyiv and the West of using the terms of the deal to deliver goods to the European Union and Turkey at the expense of developing countries.

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This sudden reversal puts at risk what was the first major breakthrough in negotiations between the warring parties, and seen as key to limiting a potential worldwide food crisis.

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“Palpable” Nuclear Fears As Artillery Fire Returns To Zaporizhzhia
In The News

“Palpable” Nuclear Fears As Artillery Fire Returns To Zaporizhzhia

Below is an extract from a rare on-the-ground report from Nikopol, across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

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“The presence of the IAEA task force is apparently not a deterrent,” writes Francesco Semprini for Italian daily La Stampa. “In recent days shelling intensified, including in surrounding areas. As in the Nikopol district, on the other side of the Dnipro River, exactly five kilometers from the plant. On Tuesday the electric towers were reached.

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