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American leaders are caught in Putin's guessing game

(CNN) — Vladimir Putin is doing it again. He's got Washington in a frenzy. Everyone's got a theory about what the Russian president plans for Ukraine. But no one really knows. Maybe he doesn't himself. While Americans across the country fret about high inflation and daily disruptions from the...
POLITICS
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The Reason Putin Would Risk War

There are questions about troop numbers, questions about diplomacy. There are questions about the Ukrainian military, its weapons, and its soldiers. There are questions about Germany and France: How will they react? There are questions about America, and how it has come to be a central player in a conflict not of its making. But of all the questions that repeatedly arise about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the one that gets the least satisfactory answers is this one: Why?
POLITICS
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BBC

Ukraine tensions: US alleges Russian plot to fake invasion pretext

Russia is planning to fabricate a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, by falsely blaming Ukrainian military for an attack on Russian-backed separatists or Russia itself, US officials say. One option Russia is said to be considering is to stage and film a fake attack, with graphic images of an...
Brookings Institution

Russia’s assault on Ukraine and the international order: Assessing and bolstering the Western response

This current critical phase of the crisis in Ukraine has been manufactured by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Russian troops, artillery, armored vehicles, tanks and other equipment encircle Ukraine: they are along the Russian border with Ukraine and in the annexed territory of Crimea as well as in Belarus, threatening a major military confrontation. It is hard to identify a specific trigger for Russia’s decision in 2021 to move thousands of personnel and their armaments close to Ukraine or for the sudden escalation of events in December 2021. The Kremlin’s policy toward Ukraine has towed a hard line since the early 2000s; and we can certainly point to an accumulation of factors since Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014, annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and set off the ongoing war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that has now cost the lives of more than 13,000 Ukrainians. Nonetheless, the timing seems in many respects driven more by Vladimir Putin’s own political predilections and perceptions of developments and reactions in Ukraine, Europe, and the United States rather than by events on the ground in the contested Donbas region.
POLITICS
Telegraph

Live Ukraine latest: Russia and China issue joint pledge to take on the West

China has openly sided with Russia over its unprecedented security demands, calling for a halt to Nato’s eastward expansion. A joint declaration signed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday lashes out at Nato for being aggressive to its neighbours. “The sides oppose further...
POLITICS
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