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The Royal Mint unveiled the first coins featuring the portrait of King Charles.
In The News

Ukraine Convoy Attack, Kabul School Blast, The King’s Coins

👋 Akkam!*

Welcome to Friday, where an attack on a line of civilian cars kills at least 25 in Ukraine, a suicide bomb attack in Kabul leaves 23 dead, and the first coins with King Charles’ portrait are unveiled. Meanwhile, Timour Ozturk reports from Istanbul for French daily Les Echos on how the historic Turkish city becomes the prime destination for Russians fleeing military conscription.

[*Oromo, Ethiopia]

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The head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya Region pose in front of a plane after landing in Moscow
In The News

Russia Announces Annexation, Aung San Suu Kyi Jailed, MIA Liz Truss

👋 Ia Orana!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russia announces it will formally annex four Ukraine regions, Myanmar’s former leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is sentenced to three years in jail, and the inventor of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker gets rewarded. Meanwhile, Persian-language Kayhan-London looks at the Iranian regime's tools in crushing opposition, in the light of recent mass unrest in the country.

[*yo-rah-nah - Tahitian]

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Leaders of CSTO member states
Geopolitics

One By One, The Former Soviet Republics Are Abandoning Putin

From Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, countries in Russia's orbit have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war. All (maybe even Belarus?) is coming to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the Soviet empire.

-Analysis-

KYIV — Virtually all of Vladimir Putin's last remaining partner countries in the region are gone from his grip. Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war, because they've all come to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the empire, where their own sovereignty is lost.

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

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Before zooming in on the current state of relations in the region, and what it means for Ukraine's destiny, it's worth briefly reviewing the last 30 years of post-Soviet history.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was first created in 1992 by the Kremlin to keep former republics from fully seceding from the former Soviet sphere of influence. The plan was simple: to destroy the local Communist elite, to replace them with "their" people in the former colonies, and then return these territories — never truly considered as independent states by any Russian leadership — into its orbit.

In a word - to restore the USSR.

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Nord Stream Sabotage, Hurricane Ian Heads To Florida, Record Melting Glaciers
In The News

Nord Stream Sabotage, Hurricane Ian Heads To Florida, Record Melting Glaciers

👋 Guuten takh!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where a potential sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines is under investigation, Hurricane Ian knocks out power across Cuba and heads towards Florida and two British cities are battling to host the 2023 Eurovision competition. Meanwhile, Ukrainian media Livy Bereg’s journalist Sergiy Gromenko looks at Vladimir Putin’s past, to show that the Russian president hasn’t in fact “turned” evil but has always been the sinister figure revealed by the Ukraine invasion.

[*Cimbrian, northeastern Italy]

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Nord Stream Leaks, Abe Funeral, High-Speed Space Crash
In The News

Nord Stream Leaks, Abe Funeral, High-Speed Space Crash

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Japan honors former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a controversial state funeral, unexplained gas leaks are reported on Nord Stream pipelines and NASA’s Dart mission succeeds, at high speed. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt looks at how European countries are dealing with the prospect of a winter energy crisis and the potential repercussions on their support for Ukraine.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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Photo of Bolortuya Bekh-Ochir, right, and Jargalsuren Tungalagzaya fill a trough with water for a herd of goats outside of Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi province, Mongolia, June 5, 2022.​
Green

As More Land Turns to Desert, Fights Over Water Erupt In Mongolia

There are too many animals for the available water supply in the Gobi desert region. The situation worsens each year.

DALANZADGAD — The scorching sun glares at them from directly above, and everything under their feet is parched, dusty and barren. The sheep and goats squeal and squeak, their nostrils sunken, their eyes glazed. Batbaatar Tsedevsuren, a herder with more than two decades of experience, knows this is how his animals behave when extremely thirsty.

He has walked with his 700 animals for several days in Mongolia’s Gobi desert in search of water and green pastures, when suddenly Batbaatar sees a well, and a fellow herder sitting on its edge. He comes closer with a smile, he later recalls, but the herder doesn’t reciprocate. “There is no water in the well,” the other herder quickly says. Batbaatar knows that isn’t true, and that the herder is just acting stingy. But he can’t afford a fight.

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Women attend a pro-government protest in Tehran as tension grows across the country
In The News

Russian School Shooting, Iranian Protests Continue, Super Bowl Singing Comeback

👋 Tere!*

Welcome to Monday, where a school shooting in Russia kills at least 13, far-right leader Giorgia Meloni is poised to become Italy’s first female prime minister, and get ready for a superstar comeback at the next Super Bowl half-time show. Meanwhile, Chinese-language digital media The Initium visits the city of Guiyang, where a tragic crash of a bus carrying quarantined residents exposes the darkness of China’s zero-COVID policy.

[*Estonian]

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​A woman casts her vote at the Embassy of the Donetsk People's Republic in Moscow as the first polling stations open in Russia.
In The News

Occupied Ukraine Votes, Iceland Terror Attack Thwarted, Cancer-Killing Virus

👋 নমস্কার!*

Welcome to Friday, where annexed Ukrainian regions begin voting on joining Russia, Iceland arrests four in country’s first terror plot, and a cold sore virus shows promising results in the fight against cancer. Meanwhile, Firouzeh Nordstrom in Persian-language media Kayhan-London shows how the killing of Mahsa Amini by Iran’s “morality police” betrays a deeply violent and misogynistic society.

[*Nômôskar - Bengali]

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Fifty-five Russian servicemen arrive in Russia, after a mass prisoner swap with Ukraine
In The News

Surprise Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap, Inflated Trumps, Kale In The Womb

👋 Cześć!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine and Russia announce the war's largest prisoner swap, the Trump family faces a lawsuit for fraud and Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon is now legally a “person.” Meanwhile, Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra reflects on his struggles as a stay-at-home father with a three-year-old and what it says about himself, and society’s evolving ideas about masculinity.

[*Polish]

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Russia’s New Troop Mobilization, Deadly Iran Protests, 230 Stranded Whales
In The News

Russia’s New Troop Mobilization, Deadly Iran Protests, 230 Stranded Whales

👋 Bwakeye!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Vladimir Putin announces a “partial mobilization” of reservists that may mark a major escalation in the Ukraine war, Iran acknowledges the first deaths in street protests, and 230 whales are found stranded off the coast of Tasmania. Meanwhile, Yann Rousseau for French daily Les Échos takes stock of the economic impacts of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s first year in power.

[*Kirundi, Burundi]

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World Comes To New York, Myanmar School Attack, Vegan Bite
In The News

World Comes To New York, Myanmar School Attack, Vegan Bite

👋 Goedendag!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where world leaders start gathering in New York for the first in-person UN General Assembly since the pandemic, Iran faces growing protests after a young woman died following her arrest by the “morality police” for violating the hijab law and a group of scientists manage to estimate the total number of ants on Earth. Meanwhile, Jan Grossarth for German daily Die Welt unpacks the potential of “hempcrete,” i.e. bricks of hemp used as building material.

[*Dutch]

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Photo of Prince Charles visiting the Caribbean
Geopolitics

Commonwealth Countries Will Now Decide To Keep Calm, Or Move On

A difficult colonial history shared by 52 of the 56 current members of the Commonwealth was deftly obfuscated by pomp and circumstance. With the Queen’s passing, tensions may now bubble to the surface.

-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — Turning 21 on April 21, 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth in a broadcast from South Africa dedicated her life to the Commonwealth and Empire, declaring that her “whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”.

Four and a half years later, she was proclaimed queen and spent the first few decades of her reign watching that "imperial family’" shrink rapidly. In 1957, Ghana and Malaysia became the first colonies to seek independence after her accession; Britain’s last colony, Hong Kong, was returned to China in 1997. In the intervening four decades, Empire crumbled, leaving only memories of the time when Britannia ruled the waves.

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