FOCUS on Ukraine: Ukrainian Resistance

Ukrainians have mounted a “stiffer-than-expected” military and civil resistance since Russian troops invaded the country in late February, the New York Times reports. 

The Ukrainian military, one of Europe’s largest with over 370,000 active and reserve troops, has spent billions training its soldiers to counter Russian offenses in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Thus far, it appears that their efforts have paid off – Russia, despite its military and economic advantages, has managed to capture only one major city in 10 days, the southern city of Kherson.

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Myanmar Marks One Year Since Military Takeover

February 1marked one year since Myanmar’s  military staged a coup to oust democratically elected leader Aung Sann Suu Kyi, less than a decade after its transition into a democratic nation. The U.N. Security Council released a statement regarding the one-year anniversary, calling for those still detained to abe released, including the country’s former president Win Myint, reports U.S. News. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and long-time supporter of democracy, remains detained as well. 

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FOCUS on Frozen Conflicts: North and South Korea

Tensions are mounting on the Korean Peninsula as North and South Korea find each other in an arms race. As a frozen conflict with its origins in the Korean war—which has not yet formally ended—both sides are attempting to resume peace talks while balancing strategic interests in the region. In 2018, both Koreas began re-establishing dialogue towards denuclearization and keeping regional peace.

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Afghanistan Faces Uncertain Future Amid Taliban Takeover

The United States has concluded its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of America’s longest war and a complete Taliban takeover of the country. CNN reports that the last U.S. military planes left Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 30, officially ending American intervention in the conflict.

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Russia Builds Up Troops Near Ukrainian Border

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to escalate, with a new buildup of Russian troops and military hardware on the shared border of the two countries. Strains began Russo-Ukrainian relations after President Vladimir Putin annexed and seized control of Crimea in 2014, increasing Russian military presence in the area.

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Russia Successfully Tests New Hypersonic Cruise Missile

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced the successful test of a new hypersonic cruise missile known as Tsirkon, a move hailed as a “great event” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Barron’s. The missile was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea and hit its target 280 miles away in the Barents Sea in northern Russia. The chief of the Russian military’s general staff, Valery Gerasimov, told Putin that this was the first successful sea launch, Al Jazeera reports. 

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ISIS Loses Final Stronghold in Syria, Yet Retains Funds and Influence in the Region

On Saturday March 22, The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the end of the so-called “caliphate” declared by the terrorist group in 2014. After fully liberating the small village of Baghouz in eastern Syria, the coalition of Kurdish and Arab soldiers backed by American, British, and French Special Forces said that it has officially defeated ISIS.

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