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Putin attends a meeting with Senegal's President and African Union chair Macky Sall in Sochi.

REUTERS

Are the West’s efforts to isolate Russia doomed?

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and Europe have launched a concerted campaign to punish Russia economically and isolate it politically. The West wants to send a strong message to other powers that might be tempted to violate the so-called rules-based international order. But many developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America are reluctant to go along, blunting the effectiveness of this campaign. We spoke to Eurasia Group expert Christopher Garman to better understand the reasons for their skepticism, and what the consequences are likely to be.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Tracking the ruble rebound

The ruble is back on top. Why?

What a wild ride the ruble has had so far this year.

Russia's currency nosedived in late February, losing as much as 30% of its value against the US dollar when Western nations slapped tough sanctions on the Kremlin for invading Ukraine. But then Vladimir Putin pulled out all the stops to save the ruble.

Spoiler: it worked.

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All Russians Lose in Putin's War | GZERO World

All Russians lose in Putin's war

Vladimir Putin claims overwhelming domestic support for Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Is that true?

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who talks to Russians almost every day, says what he's hearing is that there no winners inside Russia, where the war has hurt Putin politically.

Even the oligarchs are unhappy: "There is not a single economic actor in Russia [who] thinks this is good."

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Grading the US Response to Ukraine | GZERO World

Grading the US response to Ukraine

Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, is satisfied overall with how America has responded to Russia's invasion of Ukraine so far — with a couple of caveats.

First, the Biden administration needs to ratchet up sanctions so they don't pile up like parking tickets. And by that he means going after positions, not individuals, as well as offering a way a way to get off the list.

Also, the goal of the sanctions should be to stop the war, not hurt Russia beyond that, McFaul tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
Third, the US should definitely share intelligence with Ukraine — but keep it under wraps.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Thirsty for Russian energy

Much of the world has long relied on Russian energy to power their economies. That makes it very hard for them to punish the Kremlin for invading Ukraine by ditching Russia's plentiful oil, natural gas, and coal in the near term. So, who's most dependent on Russian fossil fuels? We look at a select group of OECD economies.

A Japanese tanker anchored near an LNG plant on Russia's Sakhalin Island.

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Japan’s red line on Russia

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, a lot of attention has focused on if, when, and how Europe might wean itself off of Russian energy flows to cripple Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

But there’s another major world economy that borders Russia, depends on Moscow to keep the power running, and faces tough choices because of its close ties to the US.

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Putin Has "Mummified" Russia | Ivan Krastev On the Putin Effect | GZERO World

Putin has "mummified" Russia: Ivan Krastev on the Putin effect

Vladimir Putin has a much bigger long-term problem beyond Ukraine: Russia's population is shrinking, which for political scientist Ivan Krastev will impact how post-Putin Russia looks like because Putin won't let Russians even talk about it.

That's a big deal, he tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, because the West seems to be primarily focused on isolating Russia while dreaming of a post-Putin world ... without Russia.

Meanwhile, Krastev says the Russians are prepping for a future in which they deal with China instead of the West — which is equally far off for them.

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Models of oil barrels seen in front of a "stop" sign and the EU and Russia flag colors.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Will the EU oil ban hurt Russia?

In what would be Europe’s boldest move yet to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, the European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a plan to ditch all oil imports from Russia in the coming months.

The proposal is part of a broader set of sanctions that would also cut SWIFT access for Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and ban Russian state broadcasters from operating in the EU.

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