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Russia-Ukraine War: How We Got Here | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Russia-Ukraine war: How we got here

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and happy Monday to you all. Plenty going on. Of course, still very much focused first and foremost, on the war in Ukraine, the Russians continuing to fight, shifting the battle ground primarily to the southeast around Donbas but of course, engaging in bombing and artillery all over the country and negotiations frankly nowhere close to resolution.

But I wanted to talk a little bit about how we got here, why this happened. And it goes without saying, but still needs to be said that of course, the direct responsibility for this invasion is on President Putin 100%. There was no justification, you could not remotely claim that Ukraine's government needed to be denazified. There was no act of genocide being committed against Russians on the ground in the occupied territories. This was all fake and Putin is responsible for the atrocities on the ground for the damage to the Ukrainian economy, for the incredible loss of life we see happening across the country, including to his own forces. He's responsible for all of that.

But how did we get here? Why did it happen? And if you want to have that conversation, you can't just talk about Russia, you have to talk about the West. And I think it's worth spending a little time on that.

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New Iron Curtain Between Russia & The West I Quick Take | GZERO Media

New Cold War: Russia has "permanently" broken relations with EU & US

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: As we head to the weekend, we are sadly into the second week of this Russia war in Ukraine, and no end in sight.

Of course, if you're in Russia, you're not supposed to call it a war. It's actually illegal to call it a war. It's a special military operation. If you call it a war or otherwise, describe fake news on the war as is considered by the Russian government, you face up to 15 years in prison. The level of brutality that the Russians are exerting upon innocent Ukrainians who have done nothing wrong, other than elected an independent and democratic government and want to determine their own future, as well as the brutality that the Russians are increasingly exerting against their own Russian citizens is horrifying and has met with revulsion with most of the world. There was a General Assembly, UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion and four countries in the world voted with the Russians, Eritrea, Syria, Belarus, and North Korea.

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The US Is at War With Russia: 4 Scenarios From Here | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The US is at war with Russia: 4 scenarios from here

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a world at war over Ukraine. A lot to talk about. I think the first thing which is really important is to recognize that we are at war right now with Russia. We do not have American troops fighting on the ground in Ukraine and will not. That is true also for all of NATO, but there is an enormous amount of military equipment being sent to help the Ukrainians defend themselves. And that is of course being used against Russia, which has invaded Ukraine and also the wide and deep sanctions that have now been taken by the Americans and by the Europeans against Russia, particularly in terms of freezing a big piece of their sovereign debt, as well as actions to remove their top banks from SWIFT and the financial transaction system. This is meant to cripple the Russian economy. It is meant to force the Russians towards capitulation on Ukraine and barring that to undermine the Russian government.

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Is This the Beginning of a New Cold War? | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Russian troops into Donbas: Beginning of a new Cold War?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and right from the Bank of England, where we are looking at the beginning of a new Cold War between the United States, NATO, Europe, and Russia. It has indeed been an extraordinary momentous 24 hours. The Russians have decided they are going ahead to recognize the independence of the breakaway Ukrainian territories in the Donbas, sending in troops. Certainly, expected given where the Douma was heading and the statements from Putin over the last week. But nonetheless, this means diplomacy has failed between the United States, its allies and the Russians. It means sanctions are coming on to the Russians and the Russians are likely to respond and retaliate.

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President Richard Nixon Shaking Hands with Chairman Mao Tse-tung in Zhongnanhai, Beijing.

US National Archives

Quiz: Nixon goes to China

February 21 is the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon's historic visit to China, which began the normalization of US relations with the world's most populous Communist state — instantly shifting the Cold War balance of power. This bold move by a US president who had made his political reputation as an anti-Communist crusader shocked many at the time, but it helped set the stage for deeper ties between what are now the world's two most powerful nations and largest economies.

How well do you know the details of Nixon's week-long trip? Take our quiz to find out.

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Jess Frampton

The US and China are too busy to fight

At the dawn of the US civil rights movement, Atlanta mayors William Hartsfield and his successor Ivan Allen promoted Georgia’s capital as “the city too busy to hate.” Whatever the reality of race relations at the time, both men wanted Atlanta to avoid the confrontations plaguing other southern US cities, and to open their city as the commercial hub of the “new South.”

In recent decades, US and Chinese leaders have relied on a similar approach to relations between the two countries. The risk of conflict was obvious, given differences in their interests and political ideologies, but there was much money to be made and stability to be gained as long as they protected their mutually profitable business opportunities.

But over the past five years, US and Chinese words and deeds have taken on a harder edge. As US post-Cold War dominance of the international system has eroded, and as Xi Jinping has more explicitly offered China’s leadership as an alternative to the West’s global rule-setting, Washington and Beijing have seemed headed toward a digital-age Cold War. Former US President Donald Trump pushed for a more open confrontation between the two powers, and current President Joe Biden has done little to change course.

There is good news, however, for those who believe that a US-China Cold War would be catastrophic for both countries and the world. In reality, both countries are far too busy to transform rivalry into hate. But it isn’t just business opportunities that now preoccupy them. It’s also major domestic challenges and distractions, particularly for China, that demand something close to their full attention.

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Should We Still Be Worried About the Nuclear Threat? | GZERO World

Should we still be worried about the nuclear threat?

Everyone loves to say that nuclear weapons are so destructive that they've kept us all safe for decades. But, have they? Nukes expert Kelsey Davenport recalls how during the Cold War the US and the Soviet Union came very close to attacking each other with nukes, and America once almost accidentally detonated a nuke on its own soil. "We've really been quite lucky to have avoided an intentional or accidental nuclear exchange at this point. And my fear is that one day, our luck is going to run out." Despite all that, Davenport says nukes no longer make headlines because they feel "very abstract" for people. Davenport spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Nuclear weapons: more dangerous than ever?

Paige Fusco

It's not the end of the world

A few weeks ago, a Signal reader emailed me to ask why so much of our coverage of the world is so damn dark. Aren't there any good news stories out there?

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