{{ subpage.title }}

Russia cares more about Ukraine than the US does

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and kicking off the week with more concerns about rising tensions between the United States, NATO, and Russia over Ukraine.

We saw from the Biden press conference last week, which feels already like a month ago, that he believes the Russians are "going in." That doesn't mean full invasion and overthrow of the Ukrainian government, which would impose massive costs on the Russians. But some form of direct Russian escalation that the United States would respond sharply to and wants to convince its NATO allies that they need to as well.

Read Now Show less

What would a Russian invasion of Ukraine actually look like?

No one knows whether Russian President Vladimir Putin plans on invading Ukraine. But the president of the United States sure seems to think this is a real possibility, saying Wednesday that Putin will likely "move in" in the near term. Biden, prone to political gaffes, was then forced to awkwardly walk back comments that Russia would face milder consequences from the West in the event of a "minor incursion."

The timing of this blunder is... not great. It comes just as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares to meet his Russian counterpart on Friday in hopes of lowering the temperature after recent diplomatic efforts in Geneva were deemed a failure by Moscow.

Indeed, with the Kremlin having amassed at least 100,000 troops surrounding Ukraine on three sides, the growing threat is impossible to ignore. So what would a Russian military offensive into Ukraine actually look like, and how might the West respond?

Read Now Show less

Russia-Ukraine: Don’t expect full-on invasion, but Putin isn’t bluffing

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Happy Tuesday after the long weekend for those of us that had a long weekend. I thought I would kick us off with the first major foreign policy crisis of the Biden administration. And that is of course, Russia-Ukraine. Afghanistan, of course, was a debacle, but not exactly a global crisis. This of course has the potential to really change the way we think about European security and about US relations with the other major nuclear power in the world. So, I would say that the level of concern is even higher and there are a lot of things we can say.
Read Now Show less

What We're Watching: Musk irks China, Abbas meets Gantz in Israel, Putin requests Biden call

A scent of Musk in US-China space spat. Pull up! pull up! Beijing earlier this week accused the US of creating danger in space after Chinese astronauts commanding their country’s sparkling new space station nearly crashed into a satellite launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Beijing says the US government has to ensure that Musk’s satellites honor a 1967 treaty on safety in space. Given that SpaceX plans to launch thousands more satellites as part of its Starlink global internet access project, an already cluttered orbit is going to get even more dangerous. Governments will have to sort out who is responsible for policing private spacecraft. In the nearer term, we wonder whether this week’s near-miss space spat will have implications for Musk back on earth: China is currently the only country outside the US where his Tesla electric car company runs a factory (Germany is next, beginning early next year.) Chinese social media has reportedly lit up with criticism of Musk, with anecdotal accounts of calls for a Tesla boycott. That could hurt. Last year, Tesla sold $3 billion worth of cars in China, more than a fifth of its overall sales.

Read Now Show less

Biden's rocky first year

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

It's been a very tough week in the United States, both because in New York, and, of course, the glad tidings of New York very quickly come to a theater near you, are increasingly concerns about breakthrough COVID cases. The potential for hospitals to get overwhelmed, even if omicron turns out to be significantly milder than previous variants. If you have 10X the number of cases and one-third the hospitalizations, you're still going to overwhelm hospitals. And what happens in New York does not stay in New York. It's not like Vegas here. It goes to the rest of the world and it goes across the country.

Read Now Show less

Biden's Summit for Democracy gets slow start on tech concerns

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

What is the goal of the Summit for Democracy?

President Biden ran his campaign for the soul of the nation and wanted to show the world at the same time that America is back. So the idea of having better cooperation between democracies is one with growing support, especially given the rise of authoritarianism, but also attacks on civil society and the use of technologies for repression and harm to democracy directly.

Read Now Show less

The Graphic Truth: Are you democratic enough for Joe Biden?

The Summit for Democracy, which the Biden administration has been playing up for months, kicks off Thursday. The invite-only event with representatives from 110 countries is Biden’s baby: it’s a chance for the US president to “rescue” democracy, which is in global decline. What’s less clear, however, is why some states with poor democratic records have a seat at the table, while others with better democratic bona fides don’t. Is this a real stab at strengthening democracy, or rather a naked attempt to alienate those who cozy up to foes like China and Russia? We take a look at a selection of invitees, as well as some who didn’t make the cut, and their respective democracy ratings based on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index.

Biden and Putin to talk tough on Ukraine

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

I want to talk about Russia. And you will, of course, be hearing all of the stories about Russia gearing up for a war with Ukraine, taking more territory. The Americans saying don't do it, but not setting up any clear red lines. What's actually going on here? Well, it's worth going back to the last that Biden and Putin met with each other. That was in Geneva back in mid-June. And you'll remember that Biden snapped at the end of the meeting and the press conference. He was asked by someone, "How come you trust Russia, you trust Putin?" And he said, "I don't trust Putin. We'll see what happens over the coming months." Now at that point, Ukraine was not the big topic that was being discussed.

This was on the back of the attacks, the cyberattacks against Colonial Pipeline in the United States, clearly coming from criminal gangs in Russia, operating with the full knowledge of the Kremlin. And the big takeaway from the meeting, from the summit, from Biden was telling Putin, "look, you need to put a stop to this because if you don't, they're going to be direct consequences." A stop to what? A stop specifically to cyberattacks emanating from Russia, even if not directly from the Kremlin against critical infrastructure in the United States. Not espionage, which the United States does as well, of course. Not attacks, malware attacks against noncritical infrastructure, which is an annoyance, which the American would like to put an end to. But which Biden was not saying was a red line, but specifically critical infrastructure. And indeed, it's been several months now, almost six months and there has been movement. There has been some progress.

Read Now Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

Latest