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Annie Gugliotta

Victory Day in Russia?

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, speculation has grown about how Vladimir Putin will use the May 9 Victory Day celebration, which commemorates the Soviet triumph over Nazi invaders in 1945. Each year, Russia’s president makes a speech to mark the occasion. For obvious reasons, this year’s address will be analyzed line by line across Russia and around the world.

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An Inside Look Into How Russians See Putin’s War | GZERO World

An inside look into how Russians see Putin’s war

Given Putin’s crackdown on free press inside Russia, and the steady stream of propaganda coming out of his state-controlled media outlets, it can be hard to gauge how Russians themselves are viewing this war. According to Moscow-based sociologist Greg Yudin, many Russians still adhere to the official narrative that there is no war happening in Ukraine. But cracks, he says, are beginning to show. Especially as economic sanctions make life harder and harder within Russia. And protests across the country are growing, despite steep repercussions.

Greg Yudin speaks from experience, having been bloodied and arrested at a recent war protest in Moscow’s Pushkin Square. GZERO’s Alex Gibson talked to Yudin—who joined from an undisclosed location—to get a sense of how domestic perceptions are changing as Putin’s war drags on.

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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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The limits of a China-Russia partnership

Whenever China and Russia shake hands, alarm bells ring in Washington. It's an old story given new life by increasingly contentious US relations with both countries and a new round of glad-handing by senior Chinese and Russian officials. What if China and Russia were to form some kind of axis of revisionist powers, Americans (and others) wonder? How dangerous might that be for US interests and for global democracy?

China and Russia have obvious overlapping interests. Start with trade. China is the world's largest importer of oil and natural gas. Russia is the number two exporter of oil and the top for natural gas. It's a natural partnership.

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Putin Worried By Massive Protests In Russia | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Putin worried by massive protests in Russia

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe as Russian protests continue:

Is Vladimir Putin worried about protests in Russia?

You bet he's worried. I mean, what we've seen during the last week is all, sort of, the PR gimmicks in order to try to diffuse the tension and spread sort of disinformation on the nature of that particular palace. And then, of course, a massive, massive repression yesterday as we saw repeated protests all across Russia, primarily in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But as we saw last weekend as well, all over the place. So, Putin is distinctly worried.

Coronavirus Politics Daily: Refugees resettled, Moscow checks your digital code, measles set to surge

Greece relocates migrant children: Amid growing concern over migrant populations' vulnerability to a coronavirus outbreak, Greece this week began transferring dozens of unaccompanied migrant children from crowded Greek refugee camps to dwellings elsewhere in the EU. Some have been sent to Luxembourg, while others are expected to go to Germany and Switzerland. Over 5,200 migrant children, many from war-torn Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, currently live in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands, where infectious disease is rife, and sanitation is extremely poor. Greece, which has long complained about bearing the brunt of migrants fleeing conflict in Africa and the Middle East, says it hopes to relocate some 1,600 unaccompanied migrants to other EU countries in the months ahead. About a dozen states, including Italy and Portugal, have said they are willing to absorb them. But with many EU countries now crippled by massive coronavirus outbreaks themselves, it remains to be seen whether they will follow through.

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What We're Watching & What We're Ignoring

WHAT WE ARE WATCHING

Jair Bolsonaro, Smut Lord – This is NSFW unless your W is covering global affairs. Last Thursday, the Brazil's president asked, in a tweet, "what is a golden shower?" This after he'd posted video in which a half-naked man dances lewdly atop a bus stop in Rio de Janeiro and then allows another man to urinate on him. Bolsonaro – a social ultraconservative posted the vid, it seems, as evidence of his country's moral degeneration, a plague he blames on the Brazilian left. He then recorded a Facebook Live video in which he criticized (and showed) sex education textbooks that feature illustrations of genitalia. We're watching to see if Bolsonaro's polarizing passion for culture wars gets in the way of the economic reform and anti-corruption promises which were major reasons many people voted for him.

Impeachment Talk – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Washington, said that impeaching President Trump would be too divisive and that "he's just not worth it." Other Democrats, especially those running, or considering running, for president will now have to respond. This response will be among the most strategically important political decisions they will make this year. Impeachment is an issue that can, in principle, fire up the Democratic base, but it risks alienating moderates while handing Trump an issue that, in turn, inflames his own most fervent supporters.

WHAT WE ARE IGNORING

Russian police arresting balloons – Over the weekend, thousands of Russians protested new laws that tighten state control over the internet. The demonstrations, among Russia's largest in recent years, illustrate the risks that the government faces as it tries to curtail internet freedoms that Russians have become accustomed to. Though authorities permitted the demonstrations, police in Moscow arrested half a dozen activists for flying "unmanned aerial devices" without a license. The devices in question? Small blue helium balloons. We're ignoring this flagrant war on joy, but we're also heading over to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew our balloon flying licenses. Back in a few hours…

Assurances that killer robots won't kill us – In response to some bad press that the US army is working on "AI-powered killing machines" the Pentagon has updated a request for companies that can help it build a new gun system that can "acquire, identify, and engage targets at least three times faster than the current manual process." Everyone can calm down, according to the Pentagon: the not-at-all-sinisterly named Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) will abide by US Department of Defense Directive 3000.09, which requires human input into any decision to kill. We're ignoring this fracas, because "lethality" is an overused military buzzword [KAK1] because this totally doesn't sound like the beginning of a bad made-for-cable movie or anything.

GZERO World S1E19: From Vlad to Worse

From Vlad to Worse

The Beach Boys aren't the only ones picking up good vibrations.

According to former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, Russian surveillance of his Moscow residence was so intense that officials could eavesdrop on his private conversations by monitoring audio vibrations on windows.

And when it came to meddling in his home country's 2016 elections, McFaul makes it clear that the Russians were no less dedicated.

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