World Review from the New Statesman
Tanke schön: a breakthrough for Ukraine
This week Olaf Scholz confirmed that Germany will send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and gave partner countries permission to send their tanks too. The decision, which could have a significant effect on the war, came after months of stalling.Megan Gibson in London, Katie Stallard in Washington DC and Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin discuss what led to Germany’s shift, what toll the delay has taken and how Russia will respond.Next, they turn to the alarming rise in mass shootings in the US this year – including a series of shootings in California in which 19 people were killed in less than 48 hours. The team discuss the experience of gun violence, public support for gun control legislation, and why this is also a foreign policy issue.Then, in You Ask Us, a listener asks what led to the resignation of Jacinda Ardern as prime minister of New Zealand.If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskusPodcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer to learn more Read more:Jeremy writes that Germany took too long to reach the right decision on tanks, and he calls the country the “roadblock at the heart of Europe”.Katie says that Jacinda Ardern’s resignation is both a shock and entirely unsurprising.Sarah Churchwell on the myth of America’s love affair with guns.Bruno Maçães interviews Ukraine’s national security adviser on German betrayal, the oncoming Russian onslaught and why the West is scared.
Why Putin must lose to save Russia, with Andrius Kubilius
Why Putin must lose to save Russia, with Andrius Kubilius As Western leaders debate what further military support they can offer Ukraine, Ido Vock speaks to the former Lithuanian prime minister Andrius Kubilius.They discuss his experience growing up in the Soviet Union, how to plan for a Russia after Vladimir Putin, and how the war in Ukraine could weaken the Russian regime. Read more: The Putin backlashLetter from Ukraine: new year, same warJens Stoltenberg: “We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes”
Terror and tragedy in Ukraine
A helicopter carrying senior Ukrainian officials crashed on Wednesday (18 January) near a nursery in a suburb of Kyiv. According to reports, children were among those killed, as well as three government officials including the interior minister Denys Monastyrsky – the highest-ranking official to die since the start of the Russian invasion. Ido Vock in Berlin and Katie Stallard in Washington DC discuss what we know about the tragedy so far and why so many officials were travelling on a single aircraft. They also discuss the latest developments in the war, including the Russian missile strike on a block of flats in Dnipro over the weekend that killed at least 45 people, and changes to the Russian military leadership. Next, they turn to China, where Qin Gang, the former US ambassador, has been appointed foreign minister ahead of the US secretary of state Antony Blinken's expected visit to Beijing in early February. They discuss Gang's reputation for combative “wolf warrior” diplomacy, and whether China is moving away from this approach. If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskusPodcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer to learn more Read more: Katie on China’s new foreign minister and the taming of “wolf warrior” diplomacy Ido on what we know about the helicopter crash that killed three Ukrainian officials Ido writes that new commander Valery Gerasimov may not be able to stem Russia’s losses Jeremy Cliffe writes that divisions over Ukraine are exposing the incoherence of German foreign policy
Can the opposition unite to win in Poland? With Radek Sikorski
Ido Vock speaks to the former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski about the opposition’s plans to oust the hard-right Law and Justice party in this year’s parliamentary elections. They also discuss Warsaw’s support for Ukraine and its refugees, why eastern members of the EU distrust Germany, and the damage the Law and Justice party is doing to democratic institutions in Poland.Read more:Dispatch: How long can Poland bear the Ukrainian refugee burden?How November’s missile explosion in Poland highlighted the risks of escalation in Ukraine.
The future of democracy for Israel and Brazil
On Sunday (8 January), hundreds of Jair Bolsonaro supporters stormed Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist government buildings in the Brazilian capital Brasilia in an apparent attempt to overthrow the current president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Ido Vock and Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin are joined by Alona Ferber in London to discuss who was behind the failed coup and what it means for the country, as well as the disturbing parallels between this insurrection and the one at the US Capitol two years ago. Next, the team turn to Israel, where the new governing coalition, led once more by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who is still on trial for criminal charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud), has been busy pushing judicial reforms that his opponents say will erode the country's democracy. They discuss his attempted reforms, whether the shift to the right is a continuation or a break for the country, and what this means for Israel’s foreign policy relations, particularly in the Middle East. Then in You Ask Us, a listener question asks why Ukrainian hero Stepan Bandera is considered to be so controversial by the country's allies.If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskusPodcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer to learn more Read more:Alona on the biggest winner in Israel's election - the far right. Ido on Ukraine’s problematic nationalist heroesSarah Manavis writes the Brazil riots were openly planned on social media. So why was nothing done?Oliver Basciano write the attack on Brazil's Congress had the aesthetics of a coup, without the danger
European diplomacy in the 21st century, with Catherine Ashton
Ahead of the publication of her new book, And Then What?, the first-ever EU high representative for foreign affairs and security, Catherine Ashton, talks to Jeremy Cliffe about the role the EU can play in international crisis, drawing on her experience in overseeing the union’s relations with Ukraine, Iran and the western Balkans. She also discusses the future of its ties to Britain and the US.Read more: The Ukraine war has made predictions futileIran’s regime won’t be easily toppledTen crucial questions about the world in 2023
Inside China’s Covid crisis
Coronavirus cases have been rising rapidly in China since its government ended its restrictive “zero-Covid” policy last month. Hospitals are expected to be inundated with newly-infected patients.Megan Gibson in London, Katie Stallard in Washington DC and Ido Vock in Berlin discuss why the country was so ill-prepared to lift its lockdowns and restrictions, where the responsibility lies, and the economic imperatives behind this decision, made in the depths of winter and before the Lunar New Year.Next they turn to a rare admission by Russia’s defence ministry on Monday (2 January) that 89 Russian soldiers were killed on New Year’s Day after Ukraine hit a “temporary deployment facility” with US-supplied Himars missiles. The team discuss the consequences of the attack, as well as Vladimir Putin’s and Volodymyr Zelenksy’s respective New Year speeches.Then in You Ask Us a listener asks for reading recommendations to better understand Ukrainian culture.If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskusPodcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer to learn more Read more:Katie on what China's devastating Covid outbreak means for the rest of the worldThe Orphanage by Serhiy ZhadanIn Isolation by Stanislav AseyevDeath and the Penguin by Andrey KurkovThe Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine by Serhii PlokhyRed Famine by Anne ApplebaumBloodlines by Timothy SnyderEast West Street by Philippe SandsA Loss. The story of a dead solider told by his sister by Olesya Khromeychuk
Why the world misunderstands Ukraine, with Olesya Khromeychuk
Nearly a year since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the historian Olesya Khromeychuk speaks to Megan Gibson about how Ukraine has been perceived by the outside world, and why the country’s courageous resistance should not have come as a surprise. They discuss the history of civil society movements in Ukraine, why Volodymyr Zelensky is a successful leader, and what support Ukraine needs now. Read more:Why the West underestimated Ukraine
Predictions for the world in 2023
In her final episode on the World Review podcast, Emily Tamkin in Washington DC is joined by Jeremy Cliffe and Ido Vock in Berlin to look ahead to the stories that might dominate 2023 – from chaos in the US Republican Party to Russia's war in Ukraine, to a potential moral panic over the role of artifical intelligence – and the global impact they could have. Podcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer. Just visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer. Read more:You can keep reading Emily’s work on her substack.