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Is This the Beginning of a New Cold War? | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Russian troops into Donbas: Beginning of a new Cold War?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and right from the Bank of England, where we are looking at the beginning of a new Cold War between the United States, NATO, Europe, and Russia. It has indeed been an extraordinary momentous 24 hours. The Russians have decided they are going ahead to recognize the independence of the breakaway Ukrainian territories in the Donbas, sending in troops. Certainly, expected given where the Douma was heading and the statements from Putin over the last week. But nonetheless, this means diplomacy has failed between the United States, its allies and the Russians. It means sanctions are coming on to the Russians and the Russians are likely to respond and retaliate.

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A militant of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic patrols the damaged building of a local school in the Luhansk region, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Setting Ukraine's rebels free?

The pace of Russia-Ukraine news is accelerating. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his troops are pulling back from the border, while Washington, NATO, and Kyiv say they’re not. Russia has expelled the deputy American ambassador from Moscow.

The week’s most ominous developments, however, center on the Donbas, the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian soldiers have been exchanging fire throughout the eight-year conflict. On Thursday, reports emerged that two schools, including a kindergarten, had been hit by shelling. Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over which side fired first, raising concerns that finger-pointing could lead to an escalation. Russia is “actively trying to provoke the Ukrainians into steps that would justify a Russian military intervention,” GZERO Media President Ian Bremmer said on Thursday in Germany ahead of the Munich Security Conference.

But there’s another Donbas development that reminds us of what Putin really wants – and signals what he might do next.

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Russian & Ukrainian Negotiators Discuss Solutions For Donbas Conflict| Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Minsk agreement a path to resolving Ukraine crisis

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe this week from Stockholm.

First, what's happening with the dispute with Russia?

Well, the Europeans, Paris and Berlin, are trying to revive the negotiations over the Donbas issue, the so-called Minsk format. I think that's a distinct sideshow, but of course, it would be good. But otherwise, we are waiting for the answer from Moscow, for the papers that were put on the table by Washington and by NATO, effectively rejecting most of the Russian demands, and they will see what happens thereafter.

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