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Paige Fusco

Europe plans for Putin & Trump 2.0

Signal spoke with Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerry Butts about Europe’s future given the uncertainty created by both Russian aggression and America’s volatile politics. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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Ukraine Made German Foreign Policy Go “Out the Window” | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Wolfgang Ischinger: Ukraine made German foreign policy go "out the window"

For Wolfgang Ischinger, former chair of the Munich Security Conference, the state of transatlantic relations is in good shape right now, although whether we'll have the stamina to stay on course is uncertain. In a Global Stage interview with Ian Bremmer, he seems more worried about American war fatigue than the Europeans — although the EU has Viktor Orbán and it's hard for Germany to cut off Russian gas. One lesson Ischinger has learned from the current crisis is that Europe must have America's back on China, especially with Taiwan. And he calls German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent foreign policy U-turns as "going out the window."

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Models of oil barrels and a pump jack are seen in front of EU and Russia flag colors.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We’re Watching: Drawdown pledge, Europe veers away from Russia, Ethiopian peace hopes dashed, a Gulf non-starter

Fighting continues despite Russia’s drawdown pledge

The Pentagon said it believes the Kremlin was starting to reposition some of its troops away from Kyiv. But Russia continued to pound the Ukrainian capital with airstrikes and artillery while maintaining its ferocious bombardment of the besieged port city of Mariupol. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that bilateral peace talks were making “substantial progress,” but Ukrainian officials immediately disputed his claim that Kyiv had accepted the loss of Crimea and the Donbas as a “resolved question.” President Zelensky late Wednesday released a new video in which he said "we don't believe in fancy rhetorical constructions, we believe in what happens on the battlefield."

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Mariupol residents evacuate from the embattled city to Russia.

Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Mariupol filtration camps, Egyptian bread prices, Europe kicks Russian energy habit

Connecting Russia’s bloody dots in Ukraine

For now, the very worst Ukraine war-related horrors the outside world is hearing about are coming from Mariupol, a port city of 430,000 on the Sea of Azov that has the misfortune to lie between the Russian-controlled territories of the Donbas in Ukraine’s east and Crimea on its southern Black Sea coast. The Russian military is determined to connect the two regions at the expense of all trapped in their path. For now, Mariupol is the one major Ukrainian city where Russian soldiers have entered in large numbers and where deadly firefights empty city streets.

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Bundweswehr logo on German soldiers' uniforms.

Imago images/Gerhard Leber via Reuters Connect

In a historic shift, Germany decides to bolster armed forces

The shockwaves from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit Germany hard. For much of the post-World War II era, change in German politics, when it occurred, tended to be gradual. But the horror of war in nearby Ukraine has triggered an abrupt and momentous change of German foreign and defense policies. After years of starving its armed forces of resources and of acquiescence to aggressive behavior by Russia, Europe’s economic powerhouse has announced accelerated plans to beef up its military and backed crippling sanctions against Russia. We spoke to Eurasia Group expert Naz Masraff to get more insight into this dramatic shift and its implications.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Zelensky arrive for a joint press conference in Kyiv.

Irina Yakovleva/TASS via Reuters Connect

Watching the War: Zelensky tsks Germany, economic impact, Mars trip on hold, corporate decisions, Uzbek U-turn

Zelensky blasts Germany. In a spirited address to German legislators on Thursday, the Ukrainian president blasted Europe’s largest economy for its long history of close commercial ties to Putin’s Russia, as well as Berlin’s unwillingness to fast-track Ukraine’s application to the EU. Zelensky’s remarks to the Bundestag were made as Ukrainian rescuers continued to find survivors amid the rubble of a reported Russian airstrike on a Mariupol theater that had been serving as a bomb shelter. Kyiv’s air defenses, meanwhile, worked overtime to repel a barrage of missile attacks in the capital. No major changes were reported from the frontlines on Thursday, but civilian casualties continued to rise.

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Ukrainians in Berlin and Kyiv Tell Their Stories | GZERO World

Ukrainians in Berlin and Kyiv tell their stories

Hour after hour, day after day, trains from the East arrive at Berlin's main station, each carrying hundreds of refugees from the war in Ukraine.

Since Russia's invasion began three weeks ago, close to 3 million Ukrainians have fled, in the largest displacement of Europeans since the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And so far, more than 120,000 of them have made their way here, to Germany.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Europe's nuclear dilemma

Last Friday’s attack by Russian forces on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant triggered outcry over the potential for a Chernobyl-like disaster. The US called it a “war crime,” and the issue was debated in an emergency session of the UN Security Council, where Russia received a global dressing down.

The blaze resulting from artillery use at Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear facility was eventually controlled. But Ukraine’s nuclear regulator told the IAEA on Sunday that it is having problems communicating with staff at the plant, and that a Russian general now controls the facility.

Putin’s next target, according to Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace, could be the three reactors at the Yuzhnoukrainsk power plant, which generates 10% of Ukraine’s electricity and is a major energy supplier throughout southern Ukraine. “Loss of cooling function to the reactor cores and spent fuel pools could lead to a disaster far worse even than the [2011] Fukushima Daiichi [disaster],” Burnie warns.

While the war is threatening Ukraine’s nuclear power operations — not to mention impacting world energy supplies and prices — it’s also raising questions about the safe use of nuclear energy. The continent has been accelerating its nuclear power usage — now officially, and controversially, labeled “green” by the European Commission, despite the threat of accidents and radioactive waste.

But the fast-changing security landscape poses a dilemma for European policymakers. How can they fight global warming while balancing their energy needs with this new security threat posed by Vladimir Putin?

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