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Protest in Yerevan following Azerbaijani military operation launch in Nagorno-Karabakh.


UN Security Council debates Nagorno-Karabakh

It was a quieter day at UN headquarters on Thursday. With US President Biden back at the White House – accompanied by Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky – the crowds had thinned somewhat and fewer delegates could be found attending the debate in the UN General Assembly hall.

Much of the focus was on the crisis in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, where this week Azerbaijan launched a fresh assault on ethnic-Armenian separatists there, who then reportedly agreed to surrender and disarm as part of a ceasefire.

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US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House.


Zelensky had his work cut out for him in Washington DC

After a marathon few days in New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Washington on Thursday where he attempted to convince US lawmakers that continuing to fund Ukraine’s war effort is an investment worth making.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is seen on a video monitor in a booth above the United Nations Security Council floor.


Zelensky takes aim at the UN Security Council

It was another big day at the UN General Assembly. Again, much of the attention centered around Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky who attended a prickly meeting at the UN Security Council.

Ukraine, for its part, is not currently a member of the UNSC, but was invited to attend the session where, sitting across from the Russian Ambassador, Zelensky called Russia a “terrorist state.” Zelensky left the chamber before Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sat down, avoiding a potential confrontation.

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A damaged office building following a reported Ukrainian drone attack in Moscow.

REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

More drone strikes on Moscow

Early Tuesday, a drone struck a Moscow skyscraper that houses Russian government ministries. It was the second drone attack on that building in just 48 hours. Ukraine’s government has not yet acknowledged responsibility, but its military is suspected for obvious reasons.

Though Ukraine has no way of matching the intensity and destructive power of Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, there are several reasons why these drone strikes matter.

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US President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One as he visits Stansted Airport in the UK.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Will Biden meet Zelensky at the NATO summit in Vilnius?

On Sunday, US President Joe Biden kicked off a five-day trip to Europe. His first stop is the UK, where he will meet with King Charles III for the first time since the British monarch’s coronation, as well as PM Rishi Sunak. But the most important leg of Biden's European tour will be July 11-12 in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius for the 74th NATO Summit, where the controversial question of whether Ukraine could (or should) ever join the alliance looms large.

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Ukrainian servicemen fire a multiple launch rocket system toward Russian troops near a front line in Zaporizhzhia region.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS

Is Ukraine picking up the pace?

As we wrote three weeks ago, the single most important (realistic) objective of Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russian invaders is to persuade backers in Europe and the United States that Ukraine can make good use of more weapons, training, and money to finally win the war. The immediate hope shared in Kyiv, Washington, and European capitals is that in the coming months, Ukrainian forces can drive a wedge to the country’s southern coast, separating Russian forces in Crimea from those in the eastern Donbas region.

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong (not pictured) attend a media briefing in Cape Town.

REUTERS/Esa Alexander

African leaders make Ukraine peace trip

The leaders of half a dozen African countries traveled to Kyiv on Friday for a mission to advance ceasefire prospects in the war. They were welcomed by incoming Russian missiles and air raids. Leading the effort is South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who, despite being officially non-aligned, has cultivated close ties with the Kremlin recently – holding joint military drills and allegedly allowing arms shipments to Moscow.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin against the backdrop of NATO, Ukrainian and US flags.

GZERO Media/ Jess Frampton

No, the US didn’t “provoke” the war in Ukraine

Is the US to blame for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

That’s what Jeffrey Sachs thinks. In a recent op-ed titled “The War in Ukraine Was Provoked,” the Columbia University professor – a man I’ve known and respected for a solid 25 years, who was once hailed as “the most important economist in the world” and who’s played a leading role in the fight against global poverty – argues that the United States is responsible for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine 15 months ago.

This claim is morally challenged and factually wrong, but it is not a fringe view. Many other prominent figures such as political scientist John Mearsheimer, billionaire Elon Musk, conservative media star Tucker Carlson, and even Pope Francis have made similar assertions, echoing the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is but a victim of Western imperialism.

This strain of Putin apologia has taken root in China, pockets of the US far left and far right, and much of the developing world, making it all the more important to debunk it once and for all.

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