WORLD ROUNDUPRussia’s Defeat & America’s Problem | What If Bolsonaro Won’t Go? | How Does Underwater Sabotage Work?, and more

Published 30 September 2022

·· Russia’s Defeat Would Be America’s Problem
Victory in Ukraine could easily mean hubris in Washington

·· Putin Frames Illegal Annexation of Ukrainian Regions as Part of Existential Battle with West
Putin said that Russia would annex four Ukrainian regions and decried the United States for “Satanism”

·· How Does Underwater Sabotage Work?
European officials suspect that Russia attacked Baltic gas pipelines

·· With Winter Coming, Europe Is Walking Off a Cliff
Europeans won’t escape their energy crisis as long as ideology trumps basic math

·· Brazil Faces ‘Moment of Truth’ With Upcoming Election
Will Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro turn to Trump’s playbook if he loses his reelection bid?

·· What If Bolsonaro Won’t Go?
The threat to democracy looming over Brazil’s election

·· China’s Road Not Taken
How the Chinese Communist Party rewrites history

·· Uganda Rules Out Ebola Lockdown
Government says the country has the capacity to contain the outbreak

·· Felicien Kabuga Played Key Role in Rwanda Genocide, Prosecutors Tell Court
Rwandan tycoon used his vast wealth to set up hate media that urged ethnic Hutus to kill rival Tutsis

·· Argentine State-Run Miners Launch First-Time Lithium Project
Argentina currently produces around 8% of global lithium; neighboring Chile produces around 22%

Russia’s Defeat Would Be America’s Problem  (Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy)
There is a possibility that the United States and its Western allies will come out of the war in Ukraine with a clear win. More far-sighted statecraft by the West might have prevented the war in the first place, sparing Ukraine the vast destruction it has suffered at Russian hands. That counterfactual notwithstanding, a combination of Russian miscalculations and military incompetence, fierce Ukrainian resistance, formidable Western material and intelligence support, and potent sanctions on Moscow may eventually produce a victory for Kyiv and its Western backers. Assuming the fighting does not escalate further—a possibility that still cannot be ruled out—and Ukraine continues its recent battlefield successes, Russian power will be greatly diminished for many years to come. It is even possible that Vladimir Putin will be ousted from power in Moscow. Should Russia suffer a decisive defeat, warnings about the inevitable decline of the West will seem premature at best.
There’s a lot to like about this outcome on both moral and strategic grounds, assuming that nuclear weapons are not employed and that Ukraine gets back almost all if not all its lost territory. So, I am definitely rooting for this outcome. But then what? How should the West, and especially the United States, take advantage of is victory? Above all, what steps should be avoided lest the fruits of victory be squandered?

Putin Frames Illegal Annexation of Ukrainian Regions as Part of Existential Battle with West  (New York Times)
President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday asserted that Russia would take control of four Ukrainian regions and decried the United States for “Satanism” in a speech that marked an escalation in Moscow’s war against Ukraine and positioned Russia, in starkly confrontational terms, as fighting an existential battle with Western elites he deemed “the enemy.”
Even by Mr. Putin’s increasingly antagonistic standards, the speech wasextraordinary, a combination of bluster and menace that mixed riffs against Western attitudes on gender identity with an appeal to the world to see Russia as the leader of an uprising against American power. He referred to “the ruling circles of the so-called West” as “the enemy,” a word he rarely uses.
“Not only do Western elites deny national sovereignty and international law,” he said in the 37-minute address. “Their hegemony has a pronounced character of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid.”