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A woman holds a sign at a rally supporting Ukraine on Sudbury Common in the US state of Massachusetts.

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Is the war in Ukraine a fight for democracy itself?

Just three days after Russian rockets began raining down on his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the world that Vladimir Putin’s invasion was the “beginning of a war … against democracy.”

The message quickly caught on.

French President Emmanuel Macron says the war has called democracy into question “before our very eyes.” US President Joe Biden has since called it a “new battle for freedom.” US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has even said that Ukrainians are fighting not only for their own democracy but for America’s as well.

Well, are they right? Is Ukraine on the frontlines of a global battle to preserve self-rule, human rights, and respect for the rule of law both at home and abroad?

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Is Democracy a Charade? | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Is democracy a charade?

After a long day at the Autocracy Summit, Putin and pals unwind with a parlor game — but guess who shows up to ruin the laughs?


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The US Can Advance Democracy Without Being the World's Sheriff | The Red Pen | GZERO Media

The US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff

In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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Fighting for Democracy in Hungary and Hong Kong | GZERO World

Fighting for democracy in Hungary and Hong Kong

Former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes sees parallels between Hungary's politics and what happened in the US under Trump, and believes the EU has been too lenient towards Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's autocratic tendencies. Rhodes, who met with democracy activists in Hungary and Hong Kong when researching his book, "After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made," observes that Hungary's opposition groups have been strengthened by banding together to form a united front against corrupt politicians. There's less reason for hope in Hong Kong, says Rhodes, and one reason is that the US never made it a priority. "At every stage of the last 30 years, a commercial interest, or a security interest, or a geopolitical interest was always above what our interests were on an issue like Hong Kong," Rhodes tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Is American democracy in danger?

Ben Rhodes: US Can’t Say It Defends Democracy and Then Cozy Up to Saudis, Egypt | GZERO World

Ben Rhodes: US can't say it defends democracy and then cozy up to Saudis, Egypt

For former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, if America wants to be taken seriously on promoting democracy abroad, it's time to walk the talk on standing up to autocrats. That means America "cannot have the relationship that we have with a Saudi Arabia or Egypt, period." Catch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the upcoming episode of GZERO World. Check local listings for US public television.

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