Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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GZERO 2023 music playlist

It was a bumpy year, so bump and groove your way into the New Year with our 2023 playlist! We scoured the charts from Buenos Aires to Beijing for songs that captured the zeitgeist, from Ice Spice to Fela Kuti — and make you wanna boogie.



Playlist tracks

Inflation - “Expensive shit” by Fela Kuti

French protests – “Paris is a bitch” by Biga*Ranx

West African coups - “Soldier Take Over” by Yellowman

Milei elected - “Desesperada” by Sara Hebe

European migration - “Desaparecido” by Manu Chao

Politics in general - “Liar’s Dub” by Max Romeo

Climate change failure - “Sogno otro mundo” by Apres la classe and Manu Chao

Struggle between Mexico government and drug cartels - “La People” by Peso Pluma

Nigerian election - “I Told Them” by Burna Boy

Xi Jinping wins historic third term as Chinese president - “Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat

25th anniversary of Good Friday agreement - “Jackie Down the Line” by Fontaines DC

War in Ukraine - “Heart of Steel” by Tvorchi

Power Barbie - “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice

George Santos - “Banned in DC” by Bad Brains

UAW/SAG strikes - “Never Cross a Picket Line” by Billy Bragg

China economic weakness - “Made in China” by Higher Brothers and Famous Dex

Ukraine - “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush

Rise of AI - “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1” by The Flaming Lips

Colombia’s new drug policy – “Don’t Sniff Coke” by Pato Banton

US telling on India for killing Hardeep Singh Nijjar – “Exposing me Remix” by FBG Duck

Elon Musk unravels – “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies

Chinese spy balloon – “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

Biden-Xi meeting – "Bad Idea Right" by Olivia Rodrigo

The Black Sea grain deal – "Is It Over Now? (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift

Biden runs for president (again) – “Never Gonna Give You Up” – By Rick Astley

Putin survives Prigozhin revolt -- "Houdini" by Dua Lipa

Putin to Lukashenko – “Lil Boo Thang” by Paul Russell

North Korea fires more missiles for attention – “I’m Just Ken” by Ryan Gosling

Russian service members drive tanks during drills held by the armed forces in the Rostov region, Russia.

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

What We’re Watching: Launch of Russian offensive, China-Iran talks, Macron’s midnight deadline

The Russian offensive has begun

After much speculation about Russia’s next military steps, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that Russia has begun a new offensive in Ukraine. "We see how they are sending more troops, more weapons, more capabilities,” he said during a press conference in Brussels. Russia’s immediate goal, according to Eurasia Group analysis, is to gradually overwhelm outnumbered Ukrainian forces and take full control of the so-called Donbas region of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, two of the Ukrainian regions Russia annexed last September. The early timing of this new escalation suggests Russia hopes to make significant gains before powerful new weapons sent by the West arrive in Ukraine. It’s also possible that Ukrainian forces will respond to Russia’s incremental escalation by trying not only to repel Russian attacks but to advance south to cut the land bridge Russian forces established last year between the Donbas region and Crimea. The bottom line: This new Russian offensive will offer the first true test of military strength since Moscow mobilized 300,000 more troops last fall. The world will learn a lot about whether the Russian army has greatly improved its training, weaponry, and ability to coordinate a large-scale operation.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky walks outside No. 10 Downing Street in London, ahead of a bilateral meeting with British PM Rishi Sunak.

PA Images via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Zelensky goes to London, French protesters at it again, Korea compensates Vietnam victim, Brazilian wildcats seek help, Russian vodka in Africa

20,000: The UK military will train an additional 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers in 2023, British PM Rishi Sunak announced during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit on Wednesday, his first trip to London since the Russian invasion almost a year ago. The UK is expanding its training program to cover pilots to fly fighter jets, which Zelensky is desperate to get his hands on despite NATO resistance and Sunak's own reservations.

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Demonstrators at a rally in Chambery, France, against proposed pension reform.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: French workers unite, Chile chooses climate over copper, Kazakhstan sets election date, Aus Open marathon

1.7: Strikes in France on Thursday saw more than a million workers protest President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed reform to the pension system. The government points out that there are now just 1.7 workers per retiree in France, down from a ratio of 4-1 half a century ago, which is putting increasing pressure on state resources.

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