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Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in St. Petersburg.

Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin via REUTERS

Russian revenge vs. Ukrainian resolve

Vladimir Putin responded on Monday to Kyiv's (alleged) involvement in blowing up part of the only bridge connecting Crimea to Russia by unleashing fire and fury against Ukrainian cities.

Although some feared that attacking Crimea would push Putin to go nuclear, his retaliation was swift but conventional — and somewhat measured in terms of the actual damage done by an aggressor capable of wanton bloodshed. Also, Russia’s president blamed the blast on Ukrainian "terrorism," not the West, which means he doesn’t want to pick a direct fight with NATO.

How did we get here? Will it be a turning point in the war? And what might Putin do next?

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British PM Boris Johnson looking frazzled.

Reuters

What We're Watching: Johnson faces moment of truth, Russia hits Kyiv, Summit of the Americas kicks off

Will Boris Johnson survive confidence vote?

Conservative lawmakers on Monday dealt a massive blow to British PM Boris Johnson by triggering a no-confidence vote that could remove him from the top job after nearly three years in office. Johnson’s popularity, both among the British electorate and within his own Conservative Party, has been waning for months, in large part because of the ongoing Partygate saga, which saw Downing Street repeatedly host rowdy parties in violation of COVID lockdown rules while Brits were often hit with fines for minor indiscretions. Earlier this year, Johnson became the first-ever British PM to be fined for breaking the law. The growing cost-of-living crisis has also hurt him: Johnson’s approval rating has plunged to a dismal 26% – a remarkable drop from the 66% he enjoyed at the beginning of the pandemic. In a sign of growing public disdain for the PM, he and his wife Carrie were booed at a recent event marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. So, what happens now? On Monday evening, Conservative legislators in the House of Commons will vote on whether to remove the PM from office. A simple majority – 180 Tory MPs – will need to back the motion to end his tenure as PM. But even if he prevails, Johnson will emerge a diminished figure in British politics. Will the perennial comeback kid survive again?

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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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Russians to Retaliate Against NATO – More Dangerous Than First Cold War | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Eastern European leaders visit Kyiv in unprecedented show of support

With three European leaders visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, that's today, does this signify a stronger EU-Ukrainian alliance? Are Western sanctions against Russia working? With cases surging, got to talk about COVID, is China's zero-COVID policy a complete failure? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

First, with three European leaders visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, that's today, does this signify a stronger EU-Ukrainian alliance?

Oh, you bet it does. And particularly from the Eastern European countries who, frankly, see this as an incredibly important issue and are trying to get the West Europeans and the United States to do even more than they already have in terms of sanctions against Russia. It's unprecedented for the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic to be heading to Kyiv to support Zelensky while it's being bombed. Certainly it shows that Putin and the success of his military campaign is not bringing any of the fruit for Russian security measures in Europe that Putin had clearly hoped for. Where this all goes in terms of a climbdown, we are not close to that. I'm still very unconvinced that negotiations are going to bear fruit, irrespective of that. But extraordinary statement from the East Europeans today.

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Zelensky’s fate and Ukraine’s future

As the war in Ukraine grinds on, the United Nations says 2.8 million civilians have now fled the country. Millions more remain trapped in harm’s way. Cities like Kharkiv, Mariupol, and many others are running out of food, fuel, and electricity. The port city of Odessa is building defenses. But it’s in Kyiv, the capital, where the war is coming to a head. Russian forces are getting ready for a major assault, Ukrainian soldiers are preparing for a fight, and civilians are bracing for impact. On Monday, the city suffered the biggest Russian artillery barrage so far.

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New Iron Curtain Between Russia & The West I Quick Take | GZERO Media

New Cold War: Russia has "permanently" broken relations with EU & US

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: As we head to the weekend, we are sadly into the second week of this Russia war in Ukraine, and no end in sight.

Of course, if you're in Russia, you're not supposed to call it a war. It's actually illegal to call it a war. It's a special military operation. If you call it a war or otherwise, describe fake news on the war as is considered by the Russian government, you face up to 15 years in prison. The level of brutality that the Russians are exerting upon innocent Ukrainians who have done nothing wrong, other than elected an independent and democratic government and want to determine their own future, as well as the brutality that the Russians are increasingly exerting against their own Russian citizens is horrifying and has met with revulsion with most of the world. There was a General Assembly, UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion and four countries in the world voted with the Russians, Eritrea, Syria, Belarus, and North Korea.

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Ari Winkleman

Explainer: Why there’s a Y in Kyiv, but no “the” in Ukraine

Generations of Americans have known the Ukrainian capital, and the eponymous chicken dish, as “Kiev.” But most Western media now use “Kyiv.” Why?

The simple answer is that “Kyiv” reflects the Ukrainian version of the city’s name, while “Kiev” comes from the Russian.

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A glow is seen over Kyiv's skyline during a shelling.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Russia closes in

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, much of the media coverage has focused on the failure of Russia’s military to score quick victories. In part, it has failed because Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have mounted a determined defense. It’s also probably because President Vladimir Putin and his military strategists underestimated the intensity of Ukrainian resistance. This week, Russia has moved more troops and more artillery into Ukraine, and Russian commanders are using them with a greater sense of urgency.

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