Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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GZERO Wrapped 2023

GZERO Wrapped 2023
Jess Framptom

‘Tis the Spotify Wrapped season! (Or Apple Music replay season, for those of us out of step with the cultural zeitgeist). In the spirit of everyone sharing their most-played tracks of the year, the GZERO team decided to look back at some of our top-viewed articles of 2023. You’ll never guess who wrote our top pick …

Plus, check out GZERO’s totally real and definitely not photoshopped 2023 Spotify Wrapped playlists from some of your favorite politicians.


#5 What should Israel do next?, by Ian Bremmer, October 2023

Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack – and Israel’s subsequent offensive in Gaza – was a giant inflection point for global politics this year, so there’s no surprise that our audience looked to Ian Bremmer for emotion-free analysis amid a trove of disinformation about the war. TL;DR: Ian says Israel has the right to defend itself from attacks on its civilians, but perpetuating a humanitarian catastrophe for the world to see will reduce its moral legitimacy and damage its international standing.

#4 Wagner and Russia’s next moves, by Tasha Kheiriddin, August 2023

This summer (feels like a lifetime ago), Vladimir Putin faced his biggest challenge to date and survived an almost coup. Increasing tensions between the Russian Ministry of Defense and the paramilitary Wagner Group came to a head on June 23, when Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his troops marched toward Moscow. The rebels ultimately turned around before reaching the Kremlin, but Putin couldn’t let this level of public dissent go unpunished. Prigozhin died in a mysterious plane crash two months later, leaving many to question the future of the Wagner Group in Russia and around the world.

#3 Canada caught up in US-China maritime tensions, by Carlos Santamaria, June 2023

With so much going on in the headlines, disputed waters in the South China Sea might not be at the top of many people’s reading lists, but it was for our readers. In June, China sailed a warship very close to a US destroyer and Canadian frigate (which was legally in the area, according to the United Nations) in the Taiwan Strait. Although a somewhat benign incident, it’s important to remember: More intimidation leads to more risk of miscalculation … that could trigger armed conflict.

#2 Cuba tells Russia to back off, by Willis Sparks, September 2023

A story that went a little under the radar this year (but shouldn’t have): Cuba uncovered a human trafficking ring that sought to coerce Cubans to join the war effort in Ukraine. It wasn’t too surprising that Russia was looking for more troops: Putin enlisted citizens from neighboring countries and even recruited prisoners to fight in the war in exchange for their freedom. What was surprising: Cuba’s willingness to publicly release a statement speaking out against its longtime ally, Russia.

#1 The Dollar is Dead, Long Live the Dollar, by Ian Bremmer, April 2023

Economists, analysts, crypto bros, and my overly informed uncle at Thanksgiving dinner have all been guilty of getting swept up in hysteria about the end of US dollar dominance in the global economy. The fear is not unfounded, as countries from time to time discuss diversifying away from the US dollar, and its share in foreign exchange reserves has indeed declined in recent years. But GZERO’s founder and President Ian Bremmer reminded us … the share is still nearly twice that of the euro, yen, pound, and yuan combined. In short: Everyone needs to relax. The dollar is safe … because you can't replace something with nothing.

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