NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addresses world leaders during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 19, 2023 in New York City. Dignitaries and their delegations from across the globe have descended on New York for the annual event. This year marks the 78th session of the General Debate at the UN Headquarters and will focus on the crisis of global warming. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON September 19, 2023
The Ukrainian leader returns to pitch Congress just as the political mood turns chilly, and a near-universal supposition takes hold that voters are “getting tired” of aiding his defense. Supporters and allies say they need a plan to change the narrative… But maybe this isn’t it.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken rarely veers off script in public, or with the press, and sticks religiously to his office’s talking points.
WASHINGTON September 12, 2023
A candid conversation with the Secretary of State about the war in Ukraine, the U.S.’s commitment, oligarch asset seizure, the G20, China, and more.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon was locked in his palace last week after his cousin, General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, announced that his soldiers had taken over the oil rich country.
WASHINGTON September 6, 2023
As the U.S., China, Russia, and the Gulf states compete for power across the continent, Africa’s fragile semi-democracies have grown more and more cynical about the real value of democracy.
Though Prigozhin had been a Hero of Russia, the country’s highest military honor, there was no honor guard, no military salute. State television largely skipped over his burial.
WASHINGTON August 29, 2023
Life in Moscow after the falling plane: the anxieties of the elite, oligarch objectives, the future of Wagner, and the Russian rump state in Africa.
Prigozhin was an insider, somebody who existed entirely within the system of power that Putin built.
WASHINGTON August 23, 2023
Putin’s inner circle has always abided by an unwritten code—“ponyatie,” or understandings—about the rewards of loyalty and the fate of traitors. Prigozhin, lured into thinking that he might be special, was never an exception.
The ruble’s troubles in recent weeks are just the most obvious indicator that all isn’t totally well under that glittery façade.
WASHINGTON August 22, 2023
Inside Moscow, the war economy is booming: restaurants are packed, businesses have pivoted to Asia, and, somehow, elites are richer than ever. But with prices rising and the ruble plummeting, insiders worry the good times are a mirage.
WASHINGTON August 15, 2023
There is now a clear consensus that the White House sees the risk of Putin going nuclear as lower today than even a few months ago, encouraging Biden officials to tacitly approve Ukrainian tactics that they once feared would trigger a counterattack on NATO, or worse.
So far, it seems, M.B.S.’s diplomatic gambit is paying off.
WASHINGTON August 8, 2023
The man who allegedly ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and whose country Biden once labeled “a pariah,” is now convening the most plausible talks on ending the war in Ukraine. There are all kinds of ways to launder your image: sports-washing, green-washing, and now, diplo-washing.
The idea of having a legally codified security relationship with Ukraine—a close partner, but not a treaty ally—is now official U.S. policy.
WASHINGTON August 1, 2023
The goal of institutionalizing the flow of aid to Ukraine wasn’t simply about creating predictability. It was also about Trump-proofing foreign policy.
At this year’s Aspen Security Forum, Xie Feng essentially offered the same message as his predecessor (that the deterioration of U.S.-China relations was all America’s fault), but in different words.
WASHINGTON July 25, 2023
The unofficial notes from official Washington’s summer journey to the Aspen Security conference: the disappearance of Qin Gang, the specter of Prigozhin, Putinology, Theo Baker, and what happens when you try to fuck with Andrea Mitchell.
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