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Russia's narrative win on war in Ukraine - outside the West
Russia's narrative win on war in Ukraine - outside the West | GZERO World

Russia's narrative win on war in Ukraine - outside the West

As tensions between Russia and NATO continue to escalate, Ian Bremmer and former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder discuss on GZERO World the perspective of non-Western countries, who are walking a complicated geopolitical tightrope between the two sides.

Nations like India, Brazil and South Africa have a strong diplomatic and economic ties to both Russia and the West. They're being put in a difficult position of condemning the war in Ukraine without supporting Western-led sanctions, which are creating high fuel prices and rising inflation for their own citizens.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with local officials in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2023.

Sputnik/Russian Presidential Press Office/Kremlin via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Putin in Mariupol, Xi in Moscow, Israeli-Palestinian talks, Trump fearing arrest, Kosovo-Serbia agreement

A defiant Putin heads to Mariupol

Vladimir Putin visited the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, two days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for both him and Russia’s children’s commissioner for the mass abduction of at least 1,400 Ukrainian children. The court claims that some Ukrainian orphans have been forcibly resettled with Russian families, while others were sent to “re-education camps” in Russia with their parents' consent but have not been returned.

This is the closest Putin has gotten to the front lines since the war began in Feb. 2022. The strategic city of Mariupol, which became a symbol of Ukraine’s protracted struggle after Russian forces started pounding the city at the start of the war, was taken last May in a brutal offensive that killed at least 20,000 people.

Putin’s Mariupol visit came a day after his stop in Crimea, where he marked the ninth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the territory — and both publicized visits likely served as symbolic shows of defiance against both the ICC and the West.

While Putin is unlikely to be in the dock anytime soon, the ICC warrant is a major geopolitical blow for the Kremlin. It increases Putin's physical isolation – Germany, for example, has already said he’ll be arrested if he visits -- and it's less than ideal for him to be labeled a war criminal as he tries to keep nonaligned countries onside.

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