Azerbaijan and Georgia are two neighboring countries of the South Caucasus and strategic allies. The Caspian Sea region is rich in oil and natural gas resources, and Azerbaijan’s major export routes are connected to Western energy markets via Georgia and Turkiye. Moreover, these countries support connectivity in the region, which is an important link between Central Asia, the Caspian region and Europe. To this end, both Azerbaijan and Georgia have also strategic partnerships with Ankara.
In 2021, around 2.3 million undocumented migrants from Asia and Africa landed in Europe. It was the first serious renewal of migration crisis since 2015. In 2022 and 2023, even more migrants arrived. Consequently, EU institutions and nations took action to break the stalemate over unregulated migrant flows and the bloc’s migration policy as such.
Disinformation is a tool commonly used by Russia to achieve the strategic goals of foreign policy. Russian disinformation campaigns seek to reach many states, including Poland. Russian propaganda outlets spread a flurry of fake news concerning many topics, notably Ukrainian refugees who settled in Poland shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden expressed desire to elevate Vietnam to a strategic partner and strengthen tech ties between the two states. The president will arrive in Hanoi on September 10 to meet with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on the one-day visit to the Vietnamese capital after attending the annual Group of 20 leaders’ summit in India.
With Spain holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union until December 2023, the next coalition government may set the tone for decisive topics from climate policy to migration at the European level.
The post-Soviet monolithic international system, over which the United States unchallengedly has presided, is undergoing tectonic shifts engendered by the interplay of the American retreating influence from parts of the world and by the subsequent rise of aspiring global hegemons, regional powers or emboldened revisionists that seek to fill the vacuum left by the US in these parts of the world.
The People‘s Republic of China (PRC) is now a threat to the political and economic integrity of the European Union (EU) alongside the bloc‘s security and independence.
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Russia continues to fight for the hearts and minds of Westerners. At the very least, it is trying to create information chaos that undermines social cohesion and influences public opinion on Russian geopolitics.
Three months into their long-awaited counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces are gaining a foothold in the area where they have breached Russia’s first main defensive line in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine could liberate the strategic settlement of Tokmak and thus cut communications and supply lines between Russia and the Russian-occupied territory of Crimea and the eastern Kherson region.
The use of disinformation to pursue foreign and domestic policy objectives is a recurrent topic that continues to echo across policy and academia. With the most recent developments in the war in Ukraine, disinformation has risen as a public issue in various political domains across Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in Visegrad countries or V4 (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia).
No breakthrough was made in the second half of August in the Kharkiv-Donbas sector of the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia is putting continuous pressure on the Luhansk-Kharkiv border while Ukraine is trying to seize the hills around Bakhmut, flank the city seen as a symbol of defiance, and push Russian forces out of it.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has begun efforts to root out corruption in the defense ministry. He sacked senior regional officials in charge of military conscription in an anti-corruption drive amid Western pressure and the limited number of people willing and able to fight.
The plane crash that allegedly killed Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on August 23 was caused by an explosion, closing the case of the short-lived mutiny in June. Before Prigozhin was killed in the crash, Russian officials made a draft order to seize Wagner Group’s assets and other businesses linked to Prigozhin in several African countries.
Russia’s General Sergei Surovikin, an arch critic of General Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, has been removed from his leadership role in Moscow’s war on Ukraine. Kremlin officials sought to keep Surovikin to prevent the defense minister and the chief of general staff from declaring victory after Prigozhin’s death.
An assault was launched in an airfield in Novgorod Oblast, damaging a Tu-22M3 aircraft. Two days later, Russian bombers were damaged in Russia’s Kaluga Oblast at the Shaykovka airfield as a result of a drone attack. Russian officials said there was no damage after an attempted drone attack in the district where Shaykovka is located. Earlier, another aircraft was burned despite initial reports of damage.
President Vladimir Putin visited the commander of Russia’s war in Ukraine and other top military brass, including Valery Gerasimov, in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. The visit was announced on August 19 in a statement on the Kremlin website.
Russia’s ideological imperialism knows no boundaries. Leaders of several African countries met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa Summit hosted in St. Petersburg on the 27th and 28th of July 2023.
Two months into the long-awaited counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces have not made any substantial gains on the frontline. The Russians had to withdraw on several sections along the frontline. Ukrainian forces have retaken the biggest swathes of territory around Bakhmut and along the border of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and southern Zaporizhzhya regions. Ukraine’s strategy still involves far-reaching wariness of personnel and equipment losses and efforts to impair Russian military, materiel, and supply lines behind the frontline.
Heavy fighting has emerged in the easternmost section of the Russian-Ukrainian frontline. Russian troops are trying to break through Ukraine’s defenses in the Kupyansk direction and capture the city. In addition, Ukrainian forces are getting pummeled by dozens of air strikes and artillery barrages from Russian territory. A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Ukrainian city of Kupyansk on the eastern bank of the Oskil river, a sign that the Ukrainian military command might seek to withdraw from a strip of land and form a defense line along the river.