scroll to top arrow or icon

{{ subpage.title }}

Russia-Ukraine reality check
Russia-Ukraine reality check | Ian Bremmer's Quick Take

Russia-Ukraine reality check

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off your week. I think it's a good time to talk about Russia. Vladimir Putin, just back from a trip to the Hermit Kingdom. Not many people go there. And those that do frequently don't come back. North Korea. Kim Jong un.

Lots of pomp and showing of very close friendship, engagement, alignment. Kim Jong un said that they're now allies. Putin notedly did not use that terminology, and I'm sure advisedly. So, first time that Putin has been there in decades. And lots of ways to think about it. I mean, on the one hand, you can say that Putin's reduced to traveling to meet the world's worst dictator because there are very few countries in the world that are willing to provide wholehearted support for Russia's illegal invasion into Ukraine. The Iranians will. The North Koreans will. The Syrians and Belarus. And that's kind of about it. And so that doesn't speak very well for Putin being able to get weapons, for example, to continue to fight his war. Even the Chinese won't do that because they're worried about US and other knock on secondary sanctions. So, you know, that's the positive spin that you can put on this from the United States and the NATO position.

Read moreShow less

U.S. army instructor from the Joint Multinational Training Group trains Ukrainian service members to operate with M141 Bunker Defeat Munition (SMAW-D) grenade launcher, supplied by the United States.


What We’re Watching: US troops in Eastern Europe, Peru government reshuffle, Denmark lifts COVID restrictions

US deploys troops to Eastern Europe. A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of “ignoring” Kremlin demands to limit NATO further expansion to the East, the White House sent more than 3,000 troops to alliance members Germany, Poland, and Romania. This was in addition to an order for 8,500 US troops to be ready to deploy to Eastern Europe on short notice. With Russia continuing to mass more than 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads in diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis, raising fears of war. Russia wants guarantees that NATO will not expand further East into what the Kremlin sees as its sphere of influence. But the West refuses to accept that demand, offering instead to commit only to limits on weapons deployments in Eastern Europe. It’s worth noting that none of the 3,000 US troops are being sent to Ukraine — neither NATO nor the US have an appetite for sending troops there. But Putin, it seems, just might …

Read moreShow less

What We’re Watching: Russian and NATO intentions, US strikes Syrian prison, UAE-Houthi escalation

Russian and NATO intentions.To prepare to meet a perceived military threat, planners try to understand both the intentions and the capabilities of the other side. Russia says it does not intend to invade Ukraine, but NATO planners can see it has built the capability for an attack by amassing 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border. In response, the alliance has decided to underline its own capacities. On Monday, NATO announced it had put troops on high alert and ordered the reinforcement of Eastern Europe with additional ships and fighter jets. It has beefed up defense of the Baltic states and is publicly mulling the idea of deploying more troops to southeastern Europe. NATO commanders hope this shift in the alliance’s own capabilities will send Moscow a clear message: Any aggressive military action taken by Russia will come at a steep cost for Moscow. The UK government claims to have exposed a Russian plot to install a pro-Kremlin leader in power in Kyiv in hopes of forcing Russia to abort any such plan. The perceived Russian threat has also reinvigorated debate within Sweden and Finland about possible membership in NATO for those countries. In sum, both sides have boosted their capabilities, and bystanders are considering doing the same. It’s Russian and NATO intentions that Ukraine, and the rest of us, will be watching.

Read moreShow less

Is Putin still Soviet? Wrong question

Thirty years ago this week, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, forced to choose between dissolving the USSR or trying to hold it together by force, decided to lower the flag and end 75 years of Communist rule. Boris Yeltsin became president of something called the Russian Federation, and the Cold War officially passed into history. Many on both sides of the old divide hoped for a clean break from a confrontational past and looked forward to a new, cooperative future.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily