{{ subpage.title }}

Russia's President Vladimir Putin smiles with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019


BRICS: Party planning problems ...

That’s the vibe in Cape Town on Thursday as foreign ministers of the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — meet to discuss, among other things, what to do if Vladimir Putin accepts the invitation to attend a BRICS summit in South Africa in August.
Read moreShow less

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa


South Africa in the middle

South Africa’s army chief traveled to Moscow for meetings with his Russian counterparts on Tuesday just days after the US ambassador to Pretoria alleged that arms bound for Russia had been loaded onto a ship near Cape Town.
Read moreShow less
Russia's narrative win on war in Ukraine - outside the West | GZERO World

Russia's narrative win on war in Ukraine - outside the West

As tensions between Russia and NATO continue to escalate, Ian Bremmer and former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder discuss on GZERO World the perspective of non-Western countries, who are walking a complicated geopolitical tightrope between the two sides.

Nations like India, Brazil and South Africa have a strong diplomatic and economic ties to both Russia and the West. They're being put in a difficult position of condemning the war in Ukraine without supporting Western-led sanctions, which are creating high fuel prices and rising inflation for their own citizens.

Read moreShow less
Ian Explains: Putin's partners & allies | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Putin's partners and allies

Does Vladimir Putin have any friends left? Despite Russia's international isolation after invading Ukraine, there are still countries supporting Moscow, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

There are the loyalists, like Belarus, Syria, North Korea, and Eritrea, which have all voted against UN resolutions condemning Russia's actions. There is China, a partnership both Vladimir Putin and Xi Xinping refer to as "a friendship without limits." And there are the countries farther away, like Iran, which is directly supporting Russia's war in Ukraine by supplying Moscow with drones and ammunition.

Read moreShow less

Emergency workers extinguish fire in vehicles at the site of a Russian missile strike, amid Russia?s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 9, 2023.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

What We’re Watching: Russian air strikes, South African economic squeeze, day of resistance in Israel

Russia pummels Ukraine

On Thursday, Russia launched a wave of early-morning air strikes with missiles and Iranian-made drones on Ukrainian cities, its worst attack targeting civilians in a month. At least six people died, and almost half of Kyiv residents were left without electricity. Meanwhile, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — Europe's largest — was knocked offlinefor the sixth time and is now operating on diesel power. It's unclear why Moscow did this or has waited so long, but perhaps the Russians are running so low on weapons and ammo that it's much harder to carry out coordinated attacks. For their part, Ukrainians living in urban areas have become so accustomed to the barrages that they are hardly intimidated, which is the whole point for Vladimir Putin. On the battlefield, Russia is still struggling to conquer Bakhmut, a key town in eastern Ukraine, amid an ongoing rift between the Russian military and top mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Read moreShow less

picture of Planet Earth.

Annie Gugliotta

Ukraine’s war and the non-Western world

A new poll provides more evidence that Western and non-Western countries just don’t agree on how best to respond to the war in Ukraine.

Most Americans and Europeans say their governments should help Ukraine repel Russian invaders. Many say Russia’s threat extends beyond Ukraine. People and leaders in non-Western countries mainly want the war to end as quickly as possible, even if Ukraine must surrender some of its land to Russia to bring peace.

Read moreShow less

A woman cooks by a candlelight during one of the frequent power outages in South Africa.

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

South Africa struggles in the dark

Things are dark in South Africa right now, both metaphorically and literally. Though not new, rolling blackouts have worsened in recent months, disrupting every aspect of daily life. With the situation near breaking point, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster in recent days, which allows the government to bypass bureaucratic hurdles to get stuff done.

Why are things so dire in Africa’s most industrialized country, and what’s the government’s plan – if any – to fix it?

Read moreShow less

Image released by the Ministry of Defence of Britain shows file video of UK's Challenger 2 tanks.


What We’re Watching: Tank talks for Ukraine, South Africa’s military moves

Much ado about tanks for Ukraine

For months, Ukraine has been asking its NATO friends for modern tanks. Not Soviet-era relics from Poland, not light armored vehicles from the US and France, but heavy mechanized tanks to fight mighty Russia. But so far, only the UK has agreed to supply Kyiv with Challenger 2 tanks, which are 20 years old but the model most used by the British army. Why? The US, the big boss of NATO, has been slow-walking the Ukrainians on their demand for tanks because the Biden administration fears it might push Russia to escalate. Washington is also citing logistical and maintenance costs as part of the reason for not doing so. Germany, meanwhile, won’t send Leopard tanks — or allow other countries to send German-made tanks — until the US makes the first move by sending M1 Abrams tanks. While the Germans and the Americans try to iron out their differences, NATO defense ministers will likely press the issue on Friday when they meet US Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin in Germany. Russia, for its part, has already warned the West that giving Ukraine tanks would be a very bad idea.

Meanwhile, check out our GZERO field piece on how the tankless Ukrainians are making do with Mad Max-style killer dune buggies.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily