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Ukraine Crisis

Weekend Roundup: The WorldPost Hosts Fareed Zakaria

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.01.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, The WorldPost hosted a book party in Los Angeles for CNN's Fareed Zakaria as part of the launch of his new treatise, "In Defense of a Liberal Education." He is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council. Attendees included, among many others, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, financiers Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman and Mohamed el-Erian, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, former California Governor Gray Davis and Hollywood producers Brian Grazer, Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy. Economist Nouriel Roubini, essayist Pico Iyer and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson also attended. Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban sparred with Zakaria over the rights of Palestinians and the future of Israel as a democratic state. Jack Miles, editor of the "Norton Anthology of World Religions," writes in The WorldPost this week that America is losing in the Mideast because its foreign policy has been technology-focused (drones, etc.) instead of humanities-focused (history, religion, etc.). (continued)

An Old War, a New War - The Upcoming Challenge to Ukraine's Ceasefire

Lev Golinkin | Posted 05.01.2015 | World
Lev Golinkin

Thus far, the only stipulations which have been at least partially implemented are the ceasefire, a large-caliber arms withdrawal and a prisoner exchange. These steps are crucial, and the deescalation of violence has certainly led to a decrease in carnage.

Weekend Roundup: 'The Wretched of the Earth' Are on the Move as Migrants

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.24.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

"The wretched of the earth," in Frantz Fanon's famous phrase, are on the move as migrants. Mostly, they have headed north across scorching deserts and menacing seas to follow their dreams of escaping poverty and finding a better life. As the writer Carlos Monsivais once quipped, "Los Angeles is the heart of the Mexican Dream." Now, as we see at both the U.S. border and European shores, migrants are also fleeing north in the rusty holds of doomed ships from Libya or the "La Bestia" death train from Central America to evade the nightmares of civil war, brutal Salvadoran street gangs or merciless Mexican drug cartels. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Work With Nature, Not Against It

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.17.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

Since Earth Day, which will be marked on April 22, was first commemorated 45 years ago, we have learned a lot about the planet's ecology. Above all, we have begun to understand the biological intelligence of nature itself that, for millennia, has managed to continually regenerate and stabilize that narrow band of a livable climate that has enabled our species and others to thrive. Working with nature, not against it, to combat climate change is the message of the Leo DiCaprio-narrated short video documentary, "Restoration," we publish this week. As senior Chinese diplomat Wu Jianmin writes from Beijing, we are also learning to work together as nations through geo-environmental cooperation, as exemplified by the recent U.S.-China agreement to jointly reduce carbon gases. (continued)

By Misunderstanding Crimea, the West Is Pushing Russia Further Away

Ilaria Parogni | Posted 04.15.2015 | World
Ilaria Parogni

The rights of minorities might be under threat, but for many residents of the peninsula, life under the new flag is good enough -- and international observers still struggle to accept this.

Ukraine Is Attempting to Wipe Away Its Past

Georgy Bovt | Posted 04.15.2015 | World
Georgy Bovt

MOSCOW -- If leaders had "de-Sovietized" the country in the 1990s, it would be clear to what Russia could now return -- namely, to its age-old traditions that predated the Soviet era. But as for Ukraine, a country that first achieved statehood only in the 20th century, what can it return to now?

Weekend Roundup: As Mideast War Levels Ancient Cities, Asia Invests in the Future

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.11.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

While the Middle East is consumed by an orgy of destruction that has devastated ancient cities like Aleppo and Tikrit, Asia, led by China, is building out the infrastructure of the future. While past wounds drive the tribal and religious rivalries in the Middle East, in Asia the contest -- and the cooperation -- is about shaping the future. The most recent scuffle in the contest over the future has been the slew of American allies -- Great Britain, Italy, France, Australia and others -- who have defied U.S. admonitions not to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which it sees as a rival to the World Bank and IMF system. In the "cooperation" column, Zbigniew Brzezinski observes in a WorldPost interview that China signed on as a guarantor of the Lausanne agreement on Iran's nuclear program. This, along with the fact it has also joined with the U.S. to curb North Korean nuclear proliferation and fight climate change, shows China is stepping up to the plate as a responsible global power. Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke writes from Beirut that the U.S. has been "immobilized" in the Sunni-Shia proxy wars and must settle for "an equilibrium of antagonisms." (continued)

Ukraine Sets Its Sights On Joining NATO

Reuters | Posted 04.09.2015 | World

KIEV, April 9 (Reuters) - Ukraine, locked in conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its east, on Thursday drew up a new security doctrine denou...

Ukraine Rebels Killed Captive Soldiers, Claims Amnesty International

AP | PETER LEONARD | Posted 04.09.2015 | World

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Amnesty International said Thursday that it has evidence that Russian-backed separatists in east Ukraine have killed several ca...

Weekend Roundup: Yemen Ignites New Mideast War Within Islam

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.03.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

If reading the next sentence about the bewildering tangle of so many bloody crossed swords in the Middle East makes your head hurt, just be thankful you live somewhere else where decapitation is not a regular occurrence. The intensifying Saudi-led Sunni coalition assault on Iranian-linked Shiite tribes in Yemen this week -- at the very moment when Shiite militia allied with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government were ousting Saudi Wahhabist-inspired Islamic State jihadis from Tikrit -- signaled the onset of a generalized sectarian religious war across the region. And if the current bright spot of the interim agreement with Western powers that curbs Iran's capacity to weaponize its uranium enrichment program should unravel over the coming months, the entire conflict threatens to go nuclear. Graham Fuller, former vice-chair of the CIA's National Intelligence Council and a former station chief in several Mideast countries, deciphers the perplexing labyrinth of the Yemeni conflict, where "the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy." (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Death of the First Global Statesman

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.27.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, died at 91. Though the last remaining of the great figures of post-WWII decolonization, Lee was also the first global statesman. As he himself put it, "when we were pushed out of Malaysia we had no hinterland. So we had to do or die, and the globalization of the world helped us. So we made the world our hinterland." By thinking global, but acting local, Lee was able to vault his small city-state from the Third World to the First World. The WorldPost remembers Lee through his own words from interviews I have done with him over the years. Writing from Singapore, Pranay Gupte focuses on Lee's unique accomplishment of "clean governance." Writing from Beijing, philosopher Daniel A. Bell emphasizes Singapore's meritocratic government as the core of its success with lessons for China. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: The Politics of Polarization Always Ends Badly

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.21.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

Whether in Russia, Venezuela or Israel, the ugly politics of polarization may work in winning elections -- but it always ends badly. Netanyahu's scaremongering against Arab voters and dashing of a two-state solution (his bad faith post-election backtrack notwithstanding) dispels two long-held illusions at once: that Israeli democracy would be inclusive or that Palestinians would have their own state. If there is no room for Palestinians anywhere, then what? In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, (full interview to be released Saturday), U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Israeli election, Iran and other issues. Writing from Amman, prominent Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab draws the logical conclusion from Israel's election results that Palestinians must now pursue their own unilateral path and that the world community should no longer feel bound to defend Israel in international institutions. (continued)

What to Do About the Putin Problem?

Lee H. Hamilton | Posted 03.16.2015 | Politics
Lee H. Hamilton

Like almost everyone, I find Putin's policies objectionable, and I think he's potentially dangerous. I'm certainly not sympathetic to him, nor do I admire him. But I think he's shrewd. I also think we have largely underestimated him as a leader and his hostility toward the West.

Weekend Roundup: How Japan's Past Shadows Asia's Future

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.13.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

TOKYO -- Looking out onto Tokyo's towering neon cityscape, it is difficult to imagine the utter devastation of Japan's capital 70 years ago this week in one of the world's greatest overlooked atrocities -- the unsparing American firebombing that incinerated more people than either of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. In this respect, Japan is a long way from its past. But a visit to Tokyo this week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- during which she noted how her country had accepted culpability for its WWII fascist aggression in a way that Japan has not -- also highlights how the past still shadows the present -- and the future -- in Asia. (In Europe also the past has returned from another angle as Greece is demanding reparations from Germany). (continued)

IMF Approves $17.5 Billion Loan Program For Ukraine

AP | PETER LEONARD | Posted 03.11.2015 | World

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The International Monetary Fund agreed Wednesday to extend $17.5 billion in loans to Ukraine as part of a program designed to p...

Only a United West Can Stop Putin

Shlomo Ben-Ami | Posted 03.10.2015 | World
Shlomo Ben-Ami

MADRID -- The struggle for influence in Ukraine is a game that Putin cannot afford to lose. He gained the upper hand early in the crisis with the annexation of Crimea. Now, in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, he is shrewdly forcing a divided and risk-averse West to choose between war and accommodation.

Weekend Roundup: Preparing to Be Disrupted

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.07.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, The WorldPost conference on "The Future of Work" took place at Lancaster House in London. Discussion around the theme "prepare to be disrupted" ranged from how the emergent sharing economy, along with 3D desktop manufacturing, would take work back into the home to worries that automation could eliminate as much as 47 percent of current jobs in the United States.

Celebrity Politicians Offer Development Aid for the Ukraine

Cherno Jobatey | Posted 03.05.2015 | World
Cherno Jobatey

One has to ask why it took 26 years, a civil war with regional secessions that haunted a nation, and the loss of so many lives until Ukrainians, and particularly the elite, were finally aware of what it takes to have a functioning state system.

Putin, Netanyahu, and the Ghosts of Worlds War II

Steven Conn | Posted 03.04.2015 | Politics
Steven Conn

Israel and Russia may not share much in common (indeed, since its founding Israel has welcomed waves of Soviet/Russian Jews desperate to leave that country), and trying to isolate Iran is not the same thing as invading another nation, but both draw a certain kind of moral legitimacy from the memory of World War II.

All About That Brass: The Ukraine-Russia-UAE Weapons Triangle

Innokenty (Kes) Grekov | Posted 04.29.2015 | World
Innokenty (Kes) Grekov

Yet there's something unsettling about this scenario, in which Ukraine buys weapons from the Emirates and Russia sells to and makes weapons with the Emirates. This thriving, happy triangle boils down to very bad news for the civilians facing a protracted war in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine's Leader Urges Peacekeeping Mission For The East

AP | PETER LEONARD | Posted 03.02.2015 | World

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president signed a decree Monday opening the way to a formal request for international peacekeepers to be stationed i...

Boris Nemtsov: Alive in Death

Bernard-Henri Lévy | Posted 05.02.2015 | World
Bernard-Henri Lévy

Far from falling back into line and yielding to terror, tens of thousands of Russian men and women, in the manner of the French who so recently proclaimed "Je suis Charlie," came out to shout "I am Boris" into the ears of Vladimir Putin, who has never faced an adversary as vibrantly alive as this newly dead man.

Weekend Roundup: A Sigh of Relief in Europe

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.29.2015 | World
Nathan Gardels

Though nothing is finally settled, Europe this week breathed a sigh of relief. Greece's Syriza-led government backed down in its confrontation with its EU partners over austerity policies and, after bloody skirmishes in the early days of a new cease-fire agreement, the combatants in Ukraine backed off. Not everyone was happy in Greece, though. Manolis Glezos, a 92-year-old WWII Greek resistance hero and prominent member of Syriza, writes that "I apologize to the Greek people for collaborating in this illusion" that the new government would break free of the crushing bailout constraints. Greek journalist Thanos Dimadis argues that standing up to Germany on Greek terms was itself a victory despite compromises. Writing from Kyiv, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko hopes that "Minsk 2.0" will bring peace, but worries that there is no enforcement mechanism.

Russia Could Cut Off Gas To Ukraine By 'End Of Week'

AP | LAURA MILLS | Posted 04.28.2015 | World

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia could cut off supplies to neighboring Ukraine by the end of the week if it does not get further payments from the country, stat...

Ukraine Goes Its First Day In Weeks Without Troops Killed

Reuters | Posted 04.27.2015 | World

By Natalia Zinets and Anton Zverev KIEV/MAKIYVKA, Ukraine, Feb 25 (Reuters) - A long-awaited truce took hold at last in ea...