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Servicemen of the 12th Special Forces Brigade Azov of the National Guard of Ukraine fire a howitzer towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine April 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova

Washington lifts ban on controversial Ukrainian brigade

The Biden administration haslifted a long-standing ban on funding for Ukraine’s controversial Azov Brigade. Critics of this regiment, not just in Moscow, say some founding members of a volunteer group called the Azov Battalion, formed 10 years ago in response to Russia’s 2014 aggression in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, had links to neo-Nazis, and the US banned all support for the group. Two years later, aUN report accused the Azov group of “looting of civilian property, leading to displacement” in that region.

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Indian Army soldiers participate in a war exercise during a two-day "Know Your Army" exhibition in Ahmedabad, India, August 19, 2016.

REUTERS/Amit Dave

The foreigners doing the dying in Ukraine

In the latest dustup over foreign fighters dying for Russia in Ukraine, New Delhi wants the Kremlin to send home the remains of two Indians killed in the war.

The demands follow earlier complaints from India – which has maintained close ties with Moscow – that Russian recruiters are luring Indian citizens into the fight under false pretenses.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with senior editors from international news agencies at Lakhta Centre business tower in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 5, 2024.

Sputnik/Valentina Pevtsova/Pool via REUTERS

Russia is losing Russians

Russian leaders know their country has a seriousdemographic problem. With a current population of about 146 million, Russia has seen that number shrink in recent years.

“Measures to increase the birthrate are a priority of the government and the president,” said a Kremlin spokesman recently. President Vladimir Putin declared 2024 the “Year of the Family” and is paying subsidies to Russian women who have three or more children.

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint statement to the media in Baghdad, Iraq April 22, 2024.

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/Pool via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Erdoğan cannot bank on change, US asks EU to double down on sanctions, SCOTUS mifepristone ruling may not be final word, Chile’s giant camera, Menendez and his love of steak

5: Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lacks the authority to fire the country’s central bank governor, a move he’s madefive times in the past five years. It’s a remarkable rebuke for a leader who is battling 75% annual inflation and has repeatedly compromised the independence of Turkey’s leading institutions.

50 billion: According to a leaked document, the US intends to organize a$50 billion loan for Ukraine that’s repaid by profits from frozen Russian assets – but only if the EU agrees to indefinitely extend sanctions against Moscow. Washington wants to avoid accepting full responsibility for the loan if the EU lifts sanctions before the end of the war.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Ukrainian people with Orthodox Easter message, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at the Saint Sophia cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine April 23, 2022. Picture taken April 23, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s bloody Easter Sunday, China on the dark side of the moon, Afghanistan loses last woman diplomat, Madonna’s massive show

3: On Sunday, Ukraine marked its third Orthodox Easter under Russian attack, as Moscow’s forces targeted villages in the East with a drone barrage that killed six people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (of Jewish descent) asked his compatriots to be “united in one common prayer” on the steps of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral.

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Protesters, mainly Houthi supporters, rally to show support to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Sanaa, Yemen April 26, 2024.

REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Hard Numbers: Houthis widen strike zone, Americans sour on TikTok, Warsaw synagogue targeted, Russia shows off US tank

300: A Houthi drone launched from Yemen last Friday struck the MSC Orion, a cargo vessel transiting the Indian Ocean, over 300 nautical miles away from the Red Sea, where Houthis have constrained their attacks until now. Striking targets in the Indian Ocean presents a serious escalation, and experts told the Guardian that ships linked to Israel, the US, or the UK would likely need to be rerouted even further from normal shipping lanes to stay safe.

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Ukraine on the path to joining NATO, says deputy Mircea Geoanǎ
Ukraine on the path to joining NATO, says deputy Mircea Geoanǎ | GZERO World

Ukraine on the path to joining NATO, says deputy Mircea Geoanǎ

After two years of fighting and brutal warfare in Ukraine, NATO deputy Mircea Geoanǎ says the stakes of the war could not be higher for the West. Ian Bremmer spoke with Geoanǎ on GZERO World at the Munich Security Conference and asked him to give a sober assessment of the war so far, as political battles and mounting crisis fatigue in the US and EU put military and financial assistance for Kyiv in jeopardy. Geoanǎ says the West can't afford to desert Ukraine in its time of need.

“Ukraine will become a member of NATO, it will become a member of the EU,” the NATO deputy warns, “If they don’t prevail, there is no NATO, there’s no EU.”

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Can Ukraine win the war?
Can Ukraine win the war? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Can Ukraine win the war?

Are NATO allies as united in their support for Kyiv as they were when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine two years ago? That was the question at the top of everyone’s minds at the Munich Security Conference, where world leaders gathered to discuss the biggest challenges to global security. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer sat down with Deputy Secretary General Mirceǎ Geoana on the sidelines of Munich to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and what the conflict means for the future of the NATO alliance.

“Ukraine is more than Ukraine, and Ukraine is more than European security,” Geoanǎ explains, “Ukraine is an indicator of the willingness and the capacity of the West to be able to cope with challenges coming from China or anywhere else.”

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