Here’s what’s going on in the world for the week of Feb. 27, 2022.
Also, while the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominates the news, we should keep in mind that governments are not the people in any country. The actions of Russian president Vladimir Putin are not representative of all Russian people.
The Russian government has said it will limit access to Facebook after the company refused to stop independently fact checking and labeling content and claims from four state-owned media sites. This comes as the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine sparks anti-war protests and views in country. Facebook has been criticized in the past for allowing Far Right and conspiratorial claims to go without fact checking, an image both the company and parent company Meta are trying to shake.
The carbon footprint of Bitcoin has increased after restrictions in China over energy use forced Bitcoin mining to other countries such as Kazakhstan and the United States. In these countries, fossil fuels like coal or more likely to be used to fuel mining operations for the crypto currency.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is willing to work with the G7 Build Back Better World initiative and open to Washington joining the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative.
Nicaraguan courts have sentenced seven to prison for likely eight to 15 years each. The convicted are mostly presidential candidates and political opponents or critics of the Ortega government, as the president has weaponized the courts and legal system to go after political opposition in the country.
Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America, has reached a deal with the International Monetary Fund for 40 billion USD.
Several Latin American countries have called on Russia to leave Ukraine, while others have criticized Moscow’s invasion of the country.
Russian engagement and resumption of ties on the continent has produced a muted response from several nations in Africa to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The history of Russia’s more recent involvement in Africa is a mix of formal and informal with trade and security ties.
Burkina Faso may take 30 months to transition back to democracy. A panel ordered by the military coup leaders has recommended the time table but has not released many other details other than a proposed transitional government made up of 20 ministers and 51 parliament members.
The Gambia is asking the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ top court, to throw out Myanmar’s legal bid to end the case of genocide against the Rohingya. Citing both the legal conventions such as the 1948 Genocide Convention and evidence gathered by international NGOs and fact-finding missions to the country, the Gambia is pushing with the case against Myanmar for the country’s actions targeting the Rohingya minority.
Ukraine and Russia to hold talks Monday. In the meantime, Belarus might be sending troops to support Russian forces invading the country, despite many in Belarus and Russia being opposed to the war in Ukraine.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has created a solidarity in much of Europe against him, and may enhance NATO in the future as his actions create a precedent.
Anti-war protestors in Russia face restrictions and suppression by the government.
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara will be implementing the 1936 Montreux Convention, which would limit the use of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits during a war. He also referred to the Russian attacks in Ukraine as a war. The Montreux Convention does not prevent Russian warships from going to registered bases to refuel, however, Turkish authorities will be wary of attempts to abuse this caveat.
Saudi-owned Aramco has sold a stake of it’s natural gas pipelines worth 15.5 billion USD to an investor group led by BlackRock Inc. The move is part of the kingdom’s plans to diversify into artificial intelligence and electric vehicles and other emerging industries.
Iran limiting criticism of Russian aggression in Ukraine is part of a pattern echoed in previous military actions by Russia against other nations such as Georgia.
The Taliban is instituting new restrictions on traveling abroad for Afghans after claims of mistreatment and poor living conditions for Afghan refugees in Qatar and Turkey. Since the Taliban took over the country, thousands have fled to other nations as the economy collapsed. Despite promises to change from their prior 1990s style of rule, the Taliban has been reintroducing old laws and ways of governance, causing many to seek asylum abroad, including those associated with the US occupation and anti-Taliban government forces.
North Korea launched its eighth missile this year as the leadership in Pyongyang is restarting ballistic missile testing.
China may help Russia economically, but has a complex political and business environment to navigate.
India also released statements for Russia and NATO to return to dialogue and diplomacy, but stopped short of joining the US and other nations from launching sanctions. Like China, India has a complex relationship with Russia, only the two nations have had strong ties for decades.