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Tag: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Sanctions against Russia are targeting the ‘elite’ — but did that work in Iran?
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Sanctions against Russia are targeting the ‘elite’ — but did that work in Iran?

The yacht Amore Vero is docked in the Mediterranean resort of La Ciotat, France. French authorities have seized the yacht linked to Igor Sechin, a Vladimir Putin ally who runs Russian oil giant Rosneft, as part of EU sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (AP Photo/Bishr Eltoni) Jason Garred, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa; Mirko Draca, University of Warwick, and Nele Warrinnier, KU Leuven The wave of sanctions that has followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been described with adjectives such as “massive” and “severe.” Another word has also often been used to describe sanctions on Russia: “targeted.” Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, has even used both words side by side, describing “a package of massive, targeted sanctions.” So w...
Would Putin use nuclear weapons? An arms control expert explains what has and hasn’t changed since the invasion of Ukraine
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Would Putin use nuclear weapons? An arms control expert explains what has and hasn’t changed since the invasion of Ukraine

This intercontinental ballistic missile was launched as part of Russia’s test of its strategic forces in 2020. Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP Miles A. Pomper, Middlebury The prospect of a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States seemed, until recently, to have ended with the Cold War. Threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin to use the weapons to keep NATO out of the Ukraine conflict have revived those decades-old fears. The threats come amid the fraying of nuclear arms control agreements between the two nuclear superpowers that had stabilized strategic relations for decades. As an arms control expert, I see the war in Ukraine as an added strain but not a fatal blow to the system that has helped to keep the world from nuclear devastation. That sy...
Volodymyr Zelensky: how acting prepared the Ukrainian president for the role of his life
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Volodymyr Zelensky: how acting prepared the Ukrainian president for the role of his life

Photographer RM/Shutterstock Stephen Langston, University of the West of Scotland It is now well known that the Ukrainian president is a former comic, but this is a misleading representation of his past career. Vlodymyr Zelensky is a seasoned performer with a string of professional roles, including the voice of Paddington Bear (the Ukrainian language version), Love in the Big City and 8 New Dates. In a strange quirk of fate, he most recently played a fictional school teacher unexpectedly elected as the Ukrainian president in Servant of the People (now being shown on Channel 4 in the UK to up the weirdness of the situation). The series helped catapult Zelensky to a landslide victory in the real-life 2019 presidential elections. Now the world is in awe of this heroic man courage...
The Russian economy is headed for collapse
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The Russian economy is headed for collapse

Ordinary Russians are facing the prospect of higher prices as western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine sent the ruble plummeting. That’s led uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs on Monday in a country that has seen more than one currency disaster in the post-Soviet era. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) Eric Werker, Simon Fraser University To justify invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has painted Russia as a hegemonic power re-asserting its rightful claim to imperial greatness. Yet even before the invasion, Russia’s economic capabilities were hardly capable of sustaining an empire. Now, with foreign sanctions presiding over a plummeting Russian ruble, Russia’s economic standing has fallen further still. If measured at today’s exchange rates, Russia’s economy would be the 22nd l...
Ukraine Recap: how can Putin be stopped?
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Ukraine Recap: how can Putin be stopped?

Ukraine Recap: how can Putin be stopped? Jonathan Este, The Conversation Two weeks into Russia’s war on Ukraine and the small sense of optimism some of us felt this time last week at the strength of the resistance to Putin’s war machine has given way to dismay at the atrocities we are now seeing daily as Russian forces lay siege to Ukraine’s big cities. What Vladimir Putin may have imagined as a relatively easy “military operation” looks to have descended into siege warfare, with all the horror that entails. Yet Russian military losses are mounting, the ruble has gone through the floor as sanctions bite and, all the while, a constant message of defiance emerges from Kyiv where Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is rallying resistance to the invasion. This is our ...
Ukraine: how negotiations could stop the war and what needs to happen first
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Ukraine: how negotiations could stop the war and what needs to happen first

Ukraine: how negotiations could stop the war and what needs to happen first Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham and Tatyana Malyarenko, National University Odesa Law Academy After two weeks of war in Ukraine, the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the region and the persistent risk of wider escalation make a rapidly negotiated end to the war more urgent than ever. But the prospects for a success of direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are slim. Vladimir Putin is demanding the demilitarisation, “denazification” and constitutionally entrenched neutrality of Ukraine, as well as the acceptance of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and recognition of the Russia-occupied regions of Donbas as independent states. This would be equivalent to unconditional surrender. The demands a...
Volodymyr Zelensky: the comedian who defied the might of Putin’s war machine
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Volodymyr Zelensky: the comedian who defied the might of Putin’s war machine

Volodymyr Zelensky: the comedian who defied the might of Putin’s war machine Marc Berenson, King's College London Heading into battle in Ukraine, Russian forces mark their equipment with a single letter signifying their objective. There have been different interpretations of the letter “Z” being used on Russian vehicles – one is that it represents the first letter of “Za pobedy”, which means “For victory” in Russian. But for others, who saw Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky describe himself as Russia’s “target number one”, the giant “Z” would seem to confirm that toppling Zelensky is first and foremost on Vladimir Putin’s otherwise unreadable mind. Outside Ukraine, Zelensky has become the global figurehead and focus of Ukrainian resistance, something underlined by the Britis...
How Zelenskyy emerged as the antithesis of Putin and proved you don’t need to be a strongman to be a great leader
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How Zelenskyy emerged as the antithesis of Putin and proved you don’t need to be a strongman to be a great leader

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been lauded for his resistance to the Russian invasion. Photo by Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images Michael Blake, University of Washington Whatever happens in the coming weeks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will go down as the face of Ukrainian resilience during the Russian invasion of his country. His response to the Russian invasion of his country has been widely praised, both at home and abroad. His speech to the European Parliament in early March received a standing ovation. Western press outlets have referred to him as a “hero,” as the “voice” of his nation, and as a “focal point” for democratic resistance to tyranny. Some of this acclaim can be explained simply with reference to the fact that Zelenskyy is the president of a beleague...