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Two years of war in Ukraine: Power players at the Munich Security Conference weigh in


Listen: It’s been two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While Ukrainians remain steadfast in their fight, political battles and crisis fatigue in the US and EU make a victory much more elusive. How long can Western allies remain united in their support for Kyiv? Does Ukraine have any chance of winning in this environment? On the GZERO World Podcast, Ian Bremmer sits with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoanǎ for a hard look at progress on the battlefield and Ukraine’s future in NATO, just as news broke of the death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. Later, Ian talks with another power player at the conference and on the continent, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, about European security, the threat of AI-generated misinformation, and Greece's landmark LGBTQ+ rights law.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 28, 2023.

REUTERS/Alina Smutko

Ukraine extends its reach ... and to some strange places

With the frontlines stuck, and its conventional munitions dwindling, Kyiv is looking to expand its reach against Russian interests – both near and far.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomes U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin before their meeting, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 20, 2023.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

In Ukraine, winter is coming

Ukraine faces a tough winter, and its Western backers know it. That’s why US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday to signal “unwavering US support” for the country’s defense. It’s also why EU leaders will gather next month to set Ukraine on the long and winding road toward eventual union membership.

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US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success
US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success

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

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo just visited China. Was it a success?

Yeah, the bar is low, the expectations are low. But the meeting was successful. In particular, we have the announcement of two more lanes of engagement within the US Department of State and Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One on commercial disputes, one on export controls. And, you know, given that these are sides that were barely talking to each other a year ago, that is an incremental positive. Also on the back of the Chinese economy continuing to underperform and the Chinese response being very incremental, they're not looking for any economic blow up with the US. And Raimondo, like Janet Yellen, who's been there recently, like John Kerry's been there recently, are the warmer, more pro-integration faces of the Biden administration. Haven't heard so much from Kurt Campbell recently. So all of that is nominally positive.

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Ukraine shows success with long-range drone attacks against Russia
Ukraine's progress in war | Europe In: 60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine shows success with long-range drone attacks against Russia

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.

How is Ukraine doing in the war?

Well, they seem to be making incremental gains on the ground in the south of Ukraine against the Russian occupation forces. But most spectacular, of course, have been the successes they've had with long-range drone attacks in big numbers, where they have been successful in attacking Russian air bases 700 kilometers away from the territory of Ukraine, causing significant damage to significant Russian assets. That's a new dimension of the war. And it shows that Ukraine has the ability to develop new technology on its own, independent of the very important support that they're getting from Europe and from the United States.

Ukrainian servicemen attend a training to use drones in Zaporizhzhia region.

Reuters

Ukraine tries to wreck Russian morale

Ukrainian drones reportedly hit a Russian super bomber at the Soltsy-2 base outside St. Petersburg, which is a significant 400 miles (650 km) from the Ukrainian border. The Soviet-era bomber, used to carry long-range missiles, has been used throughout the war to flatten Ukrainian cities.

While this lone attack is unlikely to alter Russia’s air capabilities, it is a boon for Kyiv for a few reasons.

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Why Ukraine's strategy is "stretch, starve, strike"
Why Ukraine's strategy is "stretch, starve, strike" | GZERO World

Why Ukraine's strategy is "stretch, starve, strike"

What is Ukraine's war plan? So much talk recently about the long-awaited counteroffensive has been negative, at least in the Western press. Is Ukraine's summer push failing? Not quite, says former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

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Ukraine's counteroffensive on the brink
Ukraine's counteroffensive on the brink | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ukraine's counteroffensive on the brink

In the year and a half since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it has felt like the momentum has consistently been with Ukraine and its Western backers. But is that beginning to change? Months into the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive, Kyiv has little to show for its military push. So why hasn't it been more effective?

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