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Albanese addresses supporters in Sydney after winning Australia's election.

REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

What We’re Watching: Australia elects new PM, Poland hearts Ukraine, Saudis stand by Russia

Albo takes over in Oz

After his Labor Party won Saturday's parliamentary election, Anthony Albanese, known popularly as Albo, is set to become Australia’s new prime minister. But it remains unclear whether Labor has a parliamentary majority: if his party falls just short in the end, it'll be a minority government, so Albanese will need some support from the Greens and climate-focused independents to get laws passed. In a gesture toward both, Albanese announced Sunday that he wants to make Australia a renewable energy superpower — a sharp departure from Scott Morrison, aka ScoMo, his coal-loving conservative predecessor. While mail-in ballots are still being counted, Albanese was sworn in Monday as acting PM in order to attend the Quad Summit in Tokyo on Tuesday. Albanese will need to hit the ground running because Australia is also in the AUKUS security partnership, which China doesn’t like one bit. Just weeks after Beijing inked a deal with the neighboring Solomon Islands that'll allow the Chinese to gain a military foothold in the Pacific, expect the China question to continue dominating Australian foreign policy under the new government.

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From Russia’s bombs to Poland’s 'war on women'

More than two million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in Poland since the Russian onslaught began on February 24.

Poland, historically hostile to migrants, has been praised for welcoming fleeing Ukrainians with open arms. But many Ukrainian women who’ve reached Poland, though now safe from Russian cluster bombs, are finding themselves trapped in a country with scarce access to contraception and abortion. Having escaped Russia’s war of conquest, they now find themselves navigating Poland’s war against women.

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Models of oil barrels and a pump jack are seen in front of EU and Russia flag colors.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We’re Watching: Drawdown pledge, Europe veers away from Russia, Ethiopian peace hopes dashed, a Gulf non-starter

Fighting continues despite Russia’s drawdown pledge

The Pentagon said it believes the Kremlin was starting to reposition some of its troops away from Kyiv. But Russia continued to pound the Ukrainian capital with airstrikes and artillery while maintaining its ferocious bombardment of the besieged port city of Mariupol. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that bilateral peace talks were making “substantial progress,” but Ukrainian officials immediately disputed his claim that Kyiv had accepted the loss of Crimea and the Donbas as a “resolved question.” President Zelensky late Wednesday released a new video in which he said "we don't believe in fancy rhetorical constructions, we believe in what happens on the battlefield."

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Unity From All Europeans to Come From Biden’s Trip to Europe | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden's Europe trip to show strengthened alliance against Russia

What do you expect to come from Biden's trip to Europe? Why was Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, sentenced to nine more years in prison? Will China's worst passenger jet crash in years derail President Xi's re-election? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

First, what do I expect to come from Biden's trip to Europe?

I expect to see a hell of a lot of unity from all of the Europeans. He's going to Poland. Of coursethe Polish government has... they've got 2 million refugees already from Ukraine sitting in Poland. And they're also among the most assertive in terms of more sanctions against the Russians. Particularly like cutting off energy, for example. I think Biden's going to try to bridge that up with the Europeans and wants to be seen as a strong ally that's leading this process. I expect it's going to be one of his better trips so far. There's no question, because there is so much alignment on the Russia issue.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Where Ukrainian refugees are going

Millions of refugees have fled Ukraine. While most have landed in Poland, many are going further afield — some as far away as Japan and the US. We take a look at where the bulk of these refugees are headed within Europe.

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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An injured serviceman looks out of an ambulance following an attack on the Yavoriv military base.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Watching the War: Russian airstrike too close for NATO comfort

The war in Ukraine inched dangerously close to spilling over into NATO territory on Sunday after a Russian airstrike hit a Ukrainian army base just 15 miles from the Polish border. At least 35 people were at the Yavoriv facility, which in the past has been used by NATO instructors to train Ukrainian soldiers.

What’s more, the airstrike, which struck west of Lviv, signals the most westward expansion of the Russian assault since the war began, a region that has thus far avoided the worst of the Kremlin’s military campaign. It’s also close to one of the main routes used by more than a million Ukrainians to flee to Poland, upping the risk of refugees getting caught in the crossfire.

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Illustration of a pump jack in front of a "stop" sign, US and Russia flags.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We're Watching: Ukraine war bulletin, Hong Kong vs COVID, Pakistan's PM on the ropes

Oil ban, Churchill, Polish MiGs, Putin's fixes

Biden bans Russian oil, alone. The US president banned imports of Russian oil on Tuesday in a bid to increase economic pressure on the Kremlin. It’s not clear how effective this will be, given that the US accounts for less than 10% of Russia’s daily exports. Meanwhile, Europe, which slurps up almost half of those exports, has refused to join the oil ban for now, and there is virtually no chance of major customers like China or India turning down Russian crude. Meanwhile, Biden’s move carries political risks at home, as average national gas prices have already hit a record high of $4.17 per gallon — and that's months before the annual price rise normally associated with summer “driving season.” Taking more oil off the market could push pump prices even higher. As we head towards the midterm elections, how much economic pain will Americans take on behalf of Ukraine?

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