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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with local officials in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2023.

Sputnik/Russian Presidential Press Office/Kremlin via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Putin in Mariupol, Xi in Moscow, Israeli-Palestinian talks, Trump fearing arrest, Kosovo-Serbia agreement

A defiant Putin heads to Mariupol

Vladimir Putin visited the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, two days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for both him and Russia’s children’s commissioner for the mass abduction of at least 1,400 Ukrainian children. The court claims that some Ukrainian orphans have been forcibly resettled with Russian families, while others were sent to “re-education camps” in Russia with their parents' consent but have not been returned.

This is the closest Putin has gotten to the front lines since the war began in Feb. 2022. The strategic city of Mariupol, which became a symbol of Ukraine’s protracted struggle after Russian forces started pounding the city at the start of the war, was taken last May in a brutal offensive that killed at least 20,000 people.

Putin’s Mariupol visit came a day after his stop in Crimea, where he marked the ninth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the territory — and both publicized visits likely served as symbolic shows of defiance against both the ICC and the West.

While Putin is unlikely to be in the dock anytime soon, the ICC warrant is a major geopolitical blow for the Kremlin. It increases Putin's physical isolation – Germany, for example, has already said he’ll be arrested if he visits -- and it's less than ideal for him to be labeled a war criminal as he tries to keep nonaligned countries onside.

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Aid delivery remains a challenge in northwest Syria | GZERO World

Northwest Syria's aid dilemma: the aftermath of devastating earthquakes

The two devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey near the Syrian border on February 6 have exacerbated the already-difficult challenge of getting humanitarian aid into a region plagued by conflict and political instability. In an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, explains how aid delivery remains a challenge in northwest Syria, which is controlled by armed opposition group.

Although two new cross-border points opened after the earthquake, the IRC hasn't seen an increase in aid flows.“It's still very tough to get aid across the border," says Miliband. Humanitarian assistance for northwest Syria needs to travel across the border with Turkey because aid sent directly to Damascus stays with President Bashar al-Assad's government. Miliband notes that the situation was already dire in the region before the earthquakes, and the disaster has only compounded the crisis in Syria, with a lack of adequate medical care, cholera outbreaks, and freezing temperatures posing major risks to the population.

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What obligations do rich nations have when it comes to refugees? | GZERO World

What obligations do rich nations have when it comes to refugees?

The recent tragedy of the migrant boat that sunk off the coast of Italy and killed 64 people raises an important question: are European leaders taking the right approach to prevent migrants from risking their lives in the first place? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer and David Miliband, the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, discuss the complex and urgent nature of the migrant crisis and the need for effective solutions.

Miliband notes that migration is not just a European issue but a global one, with people “on the move more than ever before” due to persecution, war, and disaster. He emphasizes the need to “balance fairness with humanity” and “fulfill legal as well as moral obligations for people who have been driven from their homes.”

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Ian Explains: earthquakes compound political turmoil in Turkey and Syria | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Earthquakes compound political turmoil in Turkey and Syria

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on February 6th, followed by a 7.5 magnitude quake shortly after, causing widespread devastation and over 50,000 death in Turkey and Syria. The disaster is compounded by multiple crises in the region, including the Syrian civil war, the refugee crisis, and financial turmoil in both countries, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.
The earthquake also highlighted the complicated relationships between the countries' leaders, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the rest of the world.

Syria is still devastated by a over a decade of civil war, a conflict that’s killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions, and decimated northwest Syria, where the earthquakes struck. Western leaders wary of sending aid directly to Assad's government, which has a history of withholding assistance from citizens in rebel-controlled areas.

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Challenge of survival/Problem of governance: Aid for Turkey & Syria | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Challenge of survival/Problem of governance: Aid for Turkey & Syria

The recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have highlighted the challenges of providing aid in a region plagued by conflict and political instability. In conversation with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, the International Rescue Committee's President and CEO, David Miliband, explains that aid delivery remains a challenge, particularly in the northwest of Syria controlled by armed opposition groups.

The earthquake has compounded the ongoing crises in Syria, as lack of adequate medical care, cholera outbreaks, freezing temperatures, and continued border skirmishes pose major risks to the population. Miliband notes, “If you live there, it's very hard for people to keep any hope at all.”

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Migrants walk along a railway line after they have crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Podcast: Survival is success: IRC’s David Miliband responds to “double crisis” in Turkey & Syria

Listen: As the world watches the aftermath of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, we are confronted with a sobering reality: delivering aid in a region rife with conflict and political instability is an immense challenge. On the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer and David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, discuss the dire situation in Turkey and Syria —especially in the northwest of Syria, where delivering aid remains an uphill battle.

As if the pre-existing crisis wasn't enough, the earthquakes have worsened the situation, leaving people without medical care as the region deals with a deadly cholera outbreak and freezing winter temperatures. Meanwhile, in Turkey, the earthquake has sparked a debate about corruption and poor governance, with the response likely to become a major issue in the upcoming election. Right now, the most urgent need is ensuring aid and humanitarian assistance continue to reach the people who desperately need it.

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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.

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Putin Pulling Out of START Can Further Break US-Russia Relationship | World In :60 | GZERO Media

China to shake up Russia-Ukraine war

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

How big of a deal is Russia pulling out of New START?

Well, this is of course is the nuclear agreement that the Americans and others have already been accusing the Russians not of being in compliance with. The nature, of course, of the US-Russia relationship right now is completely broken. There's no high level engagement or diplomacy. It is notable that Putin said in his annual State of the Union speech, the one that he essentially canceled last year, that he is suspending Russian participation in START, but not withdrawing. I don't think it's a nothingburger. I think it matters because generally nuclear temperatures have been going up over the past months, but this is not a particularly large issue.

Is China's potential support of Russia in Ukraine a "red line" for the West?

Yes, this is a much bigger issue. We are talking about a peace deal that the Chinese are saying that they're going to announce in short order. President Xi planning a big speech on February 24th, which is the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion. That's unprecedented for China to suddenly be taking a leadership role, a public leadership role, on an issue that is not of primary national security concern to the Chinese self.

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