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A soldier takes a photograph of his comrade as he poses beside a destroyed Russian tank and armored vehicles in Bucha, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

What We’re Watching: Russian war crimes, Orbán 4.0, Sri Lankan turmoil

EU sanctions loom over alleged Russian war crimes

After Russian forces withdrew from the outskirts of Ukraine's capital, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government on Sunday accused them of committing war crimes by massacring civilians in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel. Authorities are gathering evidence of the alleged atrocities to build a case against Russian officials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and former ICC chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte wants to issue an international arrest warrant for Putin. To convict, Ukrainians would need to show a pattern of deliberate targeting of civilians. Still, the carnage has convinced the EU to act: it is preparing a wave of fresh sanctions against the Kremlin. It's unclear what the new measures will be, but pressure is mounting on the bloc to finally target Russian oil and natural gas, which many EU states depend on for energy. Late Sunday, Zelensky appeared at the Grammys in a pre-taped message. "Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos," he said, asking viewers to support Ukraine any way they can. Meanwhile, Russia-Ukraine peace talks may resume on Monday in Turkey, and Moscow is saying it’s not yet ready for face-to-face talks between Putin and Zelensky.

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Ukraine War Will Affect EU-China Summit Substantially | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

EU-China summit affected by Ukraine war

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from outside Helsinki, Finland.

How will the Ukraine war affect the EU-China summit?

Well, obviously quite substantially, because with China not taking a clear position against what is an outright, a very clear cut case of aggression it affects not only the atmospherics of the relationship with China but also the substance. There will be a greater reluctance to go into cooperation with China on different subjects where otherwise there might have been possibilities. So that effect it will have.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Beata Zawrzel via Reuters

Viktor Orban’s moment of truth

On Sunday, Hungary’s nearly eight million voters will elect 199 members of the country’s National Assembly, which is now dominated by the Fidesz Party and polarizing Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Europeans will watch closely to see if the EU’s longest-serving head of government and no. 1 gadfly can win a fourth consecutive term. Vladimir Putin will watch to see if his most-trusted ally inside the EU can survive his toughest challenge to date.

Orban’s biggest worry is that six opposition parties, which agree on little beyond a common desire to push Orban out of power, have settled on a single candidate to replace him: Peter Marki-Zay, a 49-year-old mayor from a small city in the southeast.

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Macron shakes hands with Putin, at the French president's summer retreat.

REUTERS/Gerard Julien

Putin invades the year’s big elections

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is shifting politics inside every major country in the world. Here are four countries holding big elections this year — with details on how Vladimir Putin’s war is making a difference in Hungary, France, Brazil, and the United States.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

GZERO Media

Orbán fights for his political life

Just six weeks away from a national election, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is facing the political fight of his life. In recent days, the right-wing populist leader, who has proudly dubbed Hungary an “illiberal democracy,” launched his re-election campaign with a speech rallying against war between Russia and Ukraine. He also voiced support for the EU project despite saying that Brussel was waging “jihad” against his country.

What is Orbán’s game plan, and how are things looking for him and his ruling Fidesz Party?

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Annie Gugliotta

Five choices

We have lots of big elections on deck in 2022. Today we’ll preview five that will feature high international stakes and especially colorful candidates.

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What We're Watching: Viktor Orbán's rival, Pakistan's Taliban making moves, abducted Americans in Haiti

Can this guy defeat Viktor Orban? Hungary's opposition movement of odd bedfellows has finally settled on the person they think has the best chance of defeating PM Viktor Orbán at the ballot box: Péter Márki-Zay, a politically conservative small-town mayor from southeastern Hungary, who beat out left-leaning European Parliament member Klara Dobrev in a weekend poll. Márki-Zay has a lot going for him: as a devout Catholic and father of seven it will be hard for the ultraconservative Orbán to paint him as a progressive threat, even as Márki-Zay reaches out to reassure left-leaning groups that he will protect LGBTQ rights. What's more, Márki-Zay has little political baggage: until recently he was a marketing executive. But can the relatively inexperienced Márki-Zay keep the various opposition factions happy? The stakes couldn't be higher: since taking power more than a decade ago, Orbán has deliberately made Hungary into an "illiberal" state, cracking down on the press, undermining the rule of law, and clashing with the EU. Bonus: if Márki-Zay stays in the news, you get to say "Hódmezővásárhely" the name of the city he currently runs.

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