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When Xi Jinping, on his first trip to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine, continues his meetings with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, expect China's leader to talk a big game on "peace." It won’t be the type of peace that Ukraine — or the West — wants.

Yet, as far as Beijing is concerned, that’s beside the point.

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Xi & "friend" Putin could call for Ukraine ceasefire | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

The big story geopolitically is Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow, a three-day state visit, by far the most geopolitically significant summit of the year since the Russian invasion, frankly, a year ago. And also a deeply problematic geopolitical summit, in the sense that it goes strongly against the interests of the United States and all of its allies. Let's keep in mind this summit comes on the back of the International Criminal Court, that is recognized by 123 countries around the world, though not by Russia, the U.S. or China, declaring that Putin is a war criminal and that he should be arrested by any member state if he travels there. Indeed, the German government's already announced, if Putin were to go to Germany, that's it, they're arresting him. Never going to happen. But nonetheless, on the back of that, and then Putin's trip to Crimea and his trip to Mariupol occupied Ukrainian territory over this weekend. Mariupol, first time, he's been in territory the Russians have taken since February 24th.

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- YouTube

In their discussion on GZERO World, Ian Bremmer and NBC's chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, delve into the lessons that can be gleaned from the Iraq war in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Engel's key takeaway is to avoid “a war of choice,” as resistance from the invaded people can make the situation worse.

Drawing parallels with Iraq, he notes that “Ukraine is also a war of choice for Russia,” despite the perception of an existential crisis. Unlike Iraq, the situation in Ukraine has a clear narrative of one country trying to occupy another.

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Smoke rises near a building belonging to the border patrol section of Russia's FSB federal security service in the southern city of Rostov.


At least one person was killed and two were injured on Thursday after a fire broke out at a compound used by Russia’s Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, in the southern city of Rostov. Speculation swirled early on about the cause of the blaze – the FSB is located just 43 miles from Ukraine near the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where heavy fighting rages.

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Did Ukraine blow up Nord Stream pipelines? | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everyone. And have you seen the latest news on Nord Stream 1, 2? It has been months since that pipeline, those pipelines were destroyed, were sabotaged, and we haven't had any information on who's behind it. Been big questions. Why would the Russians blow up their own pipelines? I've been skeptical, and the investigations that the Europeans have been engaged in, no evidence whatsoever. There was this piece by Seymour Hersh that I looked into pretty closely, one anonymous source claiming the Americans and the Norwegians were behind it. That turned out to be not standing up on its facts on a whole bunch of pieces of ostensible evidence brought in the piece. But now we have a New York Times piece that's come out with direct sourcing from US senior officials, including intelligence officials, claim that there is evidence that a Ukrainian organization was behind the explosion.

Now, I want to say, first of all, that was my view over the last few months, is if anyone was likely behind it would probably be Ukraine. And the question is, would they have the capacity? Because the interest was certainly highest. They are the ones that desperately want to ensure that the Russians don't continue to have leverage to potentially drive a wedge around European support and get that gas flowing again from Russia into Germany and into Europe.

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"Navalny": Doc director Daniel Roher on the real Alexei Navalny & Russian politics | GZERO World

Update: Congratulations to @DanielRoher and the team behind Best Documentary Feature Film 2023 winner, "Navalny"!

Vladimir Putin may be busy waging war on Ukraine and threatening NATO with nuclear strikes, but back home in Russia what scares him most is a man languishing in a tiny jail cell five hours east of Moscow.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is Russia’s most prominent dissident. In August 2020, someone tried to poison him to death. He was flown abroad to Germany for treatment and then, unfathomably, returned to Russia, where he was promptly arrested and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

The Oscar-nominated documentary “Navalny” follows him and his team during those crucial months in Germany, as they uncover details of the assassination plot, pulling strings that reach into the highest levels of the Kremlin. It plays, remarkably, as a thriller, a black comedy, and an intimate family portrait.

I recently sat down with “Navalny” director Daniel Roher to learn how the documentary got made, the geopolitical power of cinema, and what he hopes Putin will do if he ever sees the film.

Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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NATO unity & how to end war in Ukraine | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

What a difference a year makes. As the world marks the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Zelensky's military has performed far better against Russia than even some of its staunchest supporters expected when the war began. And Putin's illegal invasion of a sovereign neighbor has rallied the West to Kyiv's cause.

Ian Bremmer is on the ground in Germany for the annual Munich Security Conference to ask world leaders how much further the West is willing to go in its support for Ukraine.

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