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A Russian service member stands next to a mobile recruitment center for military service under contract in Rostov-on-Don.

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

The script for conscripts: Inside Putin’s (partial) mobilization

Russia is raising the stakes in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s call for the partial mobilization of Russian reservists — along with holding referenda in occupied parts as well as threatening to use nuclear weapons — has come in the wake of his troops suffering stunning losses at the hands of Kyiv. While the referenda are expected to be sham votes, and nukes are way up the escalation ladder, the mobilization edict is the most immediate of Putin’s three latest moves.

It’s also already affecting the cost, politics, and operations of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: Russia's tactical nukes

Vladimir Putin is upping the rhetoric on using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. But analysts are predicting that if push comes to shove — and that’s a tall order — he’ll likely opt for tactical nukes, smaller atomic weapons that won’t take out entire cities. Tactical nukes, which have been around since the Cold War, have smaller yields, meaning they’re designed to win the battle, not the war. They were developed as politically more acceptable devices, geared to target soldiers and not civilians. However, many of the tactical nukes in Russia’s arsenal — and America’s too — have an an explosive yield many times higher than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mobile and easy to launch from conventional platforms, this “small enough to use” branding can make these atomic weapons even more dangerous than the larger strategic ones. We feature which of these weapons and launchpads the Russians might use.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in Veliky Novgorod.

Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS

Russia’s sound and fury

It’s been a dramatic week for Russia and Ukraine.

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Putin Cornered| Quick Take | GZERO Media

Putin cornered

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. I wanted to talk to you for a couple of minutes about the staggering news that's come out over the last 24 hours from President Putin on the Russian war in Ukraine. He gave a big speech announcing, among other things, referenda for annexation of Ukrainian territory into Russia, a mobilization of Russian civilians to fight in the Ukrainian war, and threatening even nuclear strikes against those that decide to come against attack Russian territory.

I want to take all of this in order to talk about what it means for you briefly. First of all, very important point that Putin has been trying to avoid taking these measures for months now. Remember, it's a special military operation according to Putin. It's not a war. You can get up to 15 years in prison in Russia if you call it a war. He's not been performing well on the ground militarily. They sent in 190,000 troops to begin with back in February. They tried to take Kyiv. They failed. They tried to overthrow Zelensky. They failed. They lost a lot of territory. They then narrowed the scope of military operations to the land bridge from Russia into Crimea and also the extended Donbas.

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Putin Believes He Can Escalate Out Of This Situation. Experts Don’t. | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia struggles in Ukraine, Putin escalates

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Seoul, South Korea.

What's the European reaction to what Mr. Putin has just announced?

Well, it's fairly obvious that Mr. Putin is under substantial pressure, from his military failures on the front line with Ukraine, and from his diplomatic failures on the global political front. And he believes that he can escalate himself out of this situation. I mean, experts don't really believe that's possible, certainly not on the diplomatic front and most probably not on the military front either. So what's happening is that he's is in a hole and he is digging. And it is not going to end well, this particular story. The European reaction, is to increase support for Ukraine.

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Interlocking Solutions for Interlocking Crises | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Who can solve the world's "emergency of global proportions"?

Thousands of the world's most influential people are in New York this week to attend the 77th UN General Assembly at a time of multiple related crises. It's not just Russia's war in Ukraine: inflation, food, climate, and COVID are all affecting different parts of the world in different ways.

This year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants to focus on rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs — the UN's blueprint for making the world a better place. Progress on the SDGs got derailed by the pandemic, to the point that they likely won't be achieved by the 2030 deadline.

To get a sense of the scale of the problems and explore possible solutions, we brought in several experts to weigh in for a Global Stage livestream conversation "Rescuing a World in Crisis," hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft. Here are a few highlights.

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Putin would rather die than admit defeat in Ukraine, says former Croatian president

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović knows a thing or two about Vladimir Putin, who she met multiple times when she was Croatia's president. So, how does she see the future of Russia's war in Ukraine?

It's not looking good.

In a Global Stage livestream conversation held at United Nations headquarters, Grabar-Kitarović says that Putin is unlikely to back down from a "special military operation" driven by what the Russian leader sees as Western humiliation during the Cold War.

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How A War-Distracted World Staves Off Irreversible Damage | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

How a war-distracted world staves off irreversible damage

The UN's blueprint for making the world a better place is on life support. The pandemic wiped out years of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, and right now there's no way they'll be met by 2030.

Secretary-General António Guterres has a message for world leaders converging in New York for the annual UN General Assembly: We need to rescue the SDGs.

But Guterres (and the international community) still has a lot more on their plate. On GZERO World, he warns that we may run out of food next year if the deal to get Ukrainian grain shipments out is not extended to Russian fertilizer.

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