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Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Chief of the Russian Land Forces Oleg Salyukov attend a military parade on Victory Day, in Moscow, on May 9, 2024.

Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

How high school explains Putin’s reshuffle

One way to look at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to replace long-serving Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with career economist Andrey Belousov is this: Since the invasion of Ukraine, Putin’s nerds have performed better than his jocks.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Ukrainian people with Orthodox Easter message, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at the Saint Sophia cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine April 23, 2022. Picture taken April 23, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s bloody Easter Sunday, China on the dark side of the moon, Afghanistan loses last woman diplomat, Madonna’s massive show

3: On Sunday, Ukraine marked its third Orthodox Easter under Russian attack, as Moscow’s forces targeted villages in the East with a drone barrage that killed six people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (of Jewish descent) asked his compatriots to be “united in one common prayer” on the steps of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral.

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Russia launched new drone attacks against the energy system of the Odessa and Mikolayiv oblasts, both located in southern Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Army in a statement.

Ukraine tightens military conscription laws as Russia bombards energy infrastructure

Russia bombarded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure overnight Thursday, destroying Kyiv’s largest power plant and leaving thousands without power. Ukraine’s Air Force reported that it downed fewer than half of an estimated 42 missiles volleyed at the country, as it finds itself ill-prepared to fend off the Kremlin’s intensifying attacks on its infrastructure and energy supplies.

Volodymyr Zelensky is appealing to Western allies for more air defenses. On Tuesday, the US approved an emergency sale of $138 million worth of air defense equipment to Ukraine, but the $60 billion aid package remains stalled in Congress.

In another sign of growing urgency, the Ukrainian parliament approved a controversial mobilization law that narrows eligibility for military exemptions and introduces penalties for evaders. The law does not address how many soldiers will be drafted and whether those who have served since the start of the invasion, over two years ago, should be discharged. It comes after Zelensky lowered the minimum age for male military conscription from 27 to 25 earlier this month.

Zelensky has been reluctant to expand conscription out of fear of domestic backlash, but he is expected to sign the bill, which would go into effect a month later.

Ukraine needs fresh recruits to hold thinning frontlines, rotate exhausted troops off the battlefield, and deal with growing casualties and fresh Russian offensives along the eastern front.

Zelensky, Putin, Macron

Jess Frampton

From dove to hawk: Explaining Macron’s Russia-Ukraine journey

French President Emmanuel Macron has been on quite the journey over the past two years.

In the days leading up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fateful decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022, Macron took on the role of chief peacemaker in a bid to avert conflict. Once the war began, he cautioned against Russia’s humiliation, offered Putin countless off-ramps, and pressed Ukraine to engage in peace talks. Fast forward to today, though, and Macron has become arguably the transatlantic alliance’s leading Russia hawk, even going as far as openly discussing the prospect of deploying French troops to Ukraine’s front lines.

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A Russian victory would end the global order, says Yuval Noah Harari
A Russian victory would end the global order, says Yuval Noah Harari | GZERO World

A Russian victory would end the global order, says Yuval Noah Harari

The Ukraine war remains the most important geopolitical conflict in the world, says bestselling author and historian Yuval Noah Harari.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Ian Bremmer filmed live at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Harari says that if Russia wins in Ukraine, the global order as we’ve known it for decades is over. "The most fundamental rule was that you cannot just invade and conquer another country just because you're stronger. This is exactly what Putin is trying to do in Ukraine."

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A broken plate of a splitting a map of Ukraine.

Jess Frampton

Two years in, there’s no end in sight for the war in Ukraine

It’s been two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting the deadliest conflict that Europe has seen in decades. And there are no signs that it is anywhere close to ending.

The numbers tell a grim story. By NATO’s best estimates, 70,000 Russians have died and 250,000 have been injured over the course of the war, comprising some 90% of Russia’s pre-war troops. Kyiv is highly secretive about battle losses, but its latest figures put the number of soldiers killed at 31,000 (almost certainly a significant undercount), with hundreds of thousands more injured. Meanwhile, Russia still occupies around a fifth of Ukrainian territory.

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Russia-Ukraine: Two Years of War

It's been two years since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and the war is still raging. GZERO looks back at the pivotal moments of the past 24 months.

The Latest:

  • Ukraine is still standing two years after Russian invasion
  • Can Ukraine win the war?
  • What's the plan for Ukraine after two years of war? Ian Bremmer explains
  • Yes, Vladimir Putin is winning
  • Russia is winning? Winning what?
  • What Ukraine needs after two years of war with Russia
  • Russia’s last independent pollster explains how Putin does i

  • Listen:


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    Feb. 24, 2022: Russia launches “special military operation” in Ukraine

    War in Ukraine

    On Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launches a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, labeling it a "special military operation." The aim? The "demilitarization and denazification" of Ukraine, according to Putin, who warns of inevitable clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Any bloodshed, he says, would be on Ukraine’s hands.

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    FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as they attend a joint press conference, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 22, 2023.

    REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

    Canada shows Kyiv the money

    Defense officials say Ottawa will inject CA$30 million into a push to buy ammunition, working with Czechia, aka the Czech Republic, to get artillery shells into the hands of Ukrainian soldiers. Allies are being urged to step up since US funding lapsed – and in the wake of Ukraine’s withdrawal from Avdiivka amid heavy losses.

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