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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to Reuters during an interview in Lahore, Pakistan, in March 2023.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Hard Numbers: Imran Khan faces new sentence, Russia gets economic upgrade, Philippines and Vietnam join hands in South China Sea, Germany makes big Bitcoin seizure

10: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister ShahMahmood Qureshi were sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for leaking state secrets. While Khan is already serving a three-year term on corruption charges, this is Qureshi’s first conviction. The new ruling comes just a week before general elections on Feb. 8. Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, called it “a sham case” and plans to challenge the decision in a higher court.

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Ian Bremmer: Why Rogue Russia was predicted as Eurasia Group's 2023's top risk
Ian Bremmer: Why Rogue Russia was predicted as Eurasia Group's 2023's top risk | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer: Why Rogue Russia was predicted as Eurasia Group's 2023's top risk

Evan Solomon: Risk number one in 2023, rogue Russia. Tell us why, Ian.

Ian Bremmer: Well, look at how unhappy Putin looks in that graphic, first of all, I mean, that drives a risk just by itself. Look, this is the biggest misjudgment made by any leader on the global stage since we've been covering this stuff in the 90s. Unfortunately for Putin, he has no way to claw back anything like his life pre-status quo ante in February 24th. I mean, at least the Cuban missile crisis you talk about there's this incredible chance of Armageddon and then both sides stepped back, and they were able to do business as usual. That can't happen, right? Putin, he's destroyed his military. He's got an economic position, a country which is being forcibly decoupled from the West, that's not coming back. NATO's expanding. Ukraine is now going to be the best trained, best armed, most effective intelligence, best army in Europe facing Russia. All of that is happening while Putin is failing at every one of his war aims.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Reuters

Russia’s economy (finally) feels the burn of sanctions

It took a little while, but Russia’s economy is finally starting to unravel thanks to hard-hitting Western sanctions, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

For much of the past year, there has been a seeming disconnect between the state of Russia’s economy and the scope of punitive measures imposed on Moscow by the US and its allies. But the slow burn of sanctions – many of which only came into force over the past few months after lengthy negotiations among allies – is now finally being felt by the Russian economy.

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A view shows graves of killed Ukrainian defenders, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a cemetery in Kharkiv, Ukraine January 31, 2023.

REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi

Hard Numbers … after a year of war in Ukraine

300,000: Human losses on both sides of the conflict are mounting (and disputed), but there have been a whopping 300,000 military and civilian deaths on both sides, according to high-end estimates.

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Russia's resilient economy won't fall apart anytime soon
Russia's Resilient Economy Won't Fall Apart Anytime Soon | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia's resilient economy won't fall apart anytime soon

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How badly has the Russian economy been affected from the war in Ukraine?

Well, I mean, badly in the sense that half of Russian military capabilities, uh, in terms of things like ammunition and ballistic missiles and, you know, even standing army that's capable has been chewed up by a year of war. So Russia is gonna have to now rebuild that, and that does mean that their exports to other countries, they were the second largest defense export in the world, is gonna seriously take a hit. But near-term, less than 4% GDP contraction in 2022, which means that Russia's position of having all of these critical resources that everyone else in the world still really needs gives them a lot of resilience in terms of their economy. They're not gonna fall apart any time soon.

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Ian Bremmer: Risk of nuclear crisis in 2022 is too high
Ian Bremmer: Risk of Nuclear Crisis In 2022: Too High | Asia Society | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer: Risk of nuclear crisis in 2022 is too high

The White House believes that there is a 20% chance of another Cuban Missile Crisis "in the next eight weeks" with Russia, Ian Bremmer said at an event at the Asia Society in New York on Monday. While Bremmer doesn't see as high a chance that Putin would risk using nuclear weapons, he added, "Either way, those numbers are way too freaking high." The even bigger risk, he points out, is that not enough is being done to manage the unprecedented danger from Russia in the medium term.

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