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Putin would rather die than admit defeat in Ukraine, says former Croatian president

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović knows a thing or two about Vladimir Putin, who she met multiple times when she was Croatia's president. So, how does she see the future of Russia's war in Ukraine?

It's not looking good.

In a Global Stage livestream conversation held at United Nations headquarters, Grabar-Kitarović says that Putin is unlikely to back down from a "special military operation" driven by what the Russian leader sees as Western humiliation during the Cold War.

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Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification playoff semi-final soccer match between Scotland and Ukraine.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Ukraine eyes a Qatar ticket, CAR abolishes executions, Croatia gets into the ‘Zone, Conservatives romp in South Korea

1: With their homeland ravaged by war, Ukraine’s national soccer team is putting up a stunning fight of its own at the World Cup qualifiers – the “yellow-blues” are now just one win away from qualifying for a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year. They play Wales on Sunday.

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Annie Gugliotta

What We’re Watching: Ethiopian emergency, Euro bubbly war, US Fed vs inflation

Things go from bad to worse in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's embattled PM Abiy Ahmed has imposed a state of emergency and called on ordinary citizens to take up arms, after a swift advance by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front put the rebels within striking distance of the capital, Addis Ababa. For a year now, Abiy's forces have been at war with the TPLF over the militant group's demands for the Tigray region to have more autonomy from the central government. The TPLF ran all of Ethiopia for decades, but they lost power after a popular uprising led to Abiy's appointment in 2018. The current conflict has seen possible war crimes by all sides, but the allegations against Ethiopian government forces in particular have prompted the US to revoke the country's preferential trade status, effective next year. All of this puts Abiy in a very tough position: last November he launched what he thought would be a quick war to squelch the TPLF, but now he is losing ground badly and could soon lose a critical source of economic support. Does he pull out the peace pipe or look for bigger guns? It seems like ages ago this guy won a Nobel Prize, but no heroes are safe these days. And with neighboring Sudan in political turmoil as well, things are looking dicey in the strategically-significant Horn of Africa.

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