Bill Browder

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address as Wagner Group mercenaries stage a rebellion on June 24. Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Ralph Waldo Emerson is regularly credited as having said, “When you strike at a king, you must kill him”. But even if reports are accurate that Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has negotiated a truce between Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prigozhin’s revolt has already revealed Putin’s domestic control to be slipping, and we are just in the first innings of a new era. With Putin no longer able to control the rival armed gangs of his own creation, his armor has been pierced, and his formidable aura is dissipating.

Having a 25,000-strong force of armed mercenaries seize Russia’s operational command center for the Ukraine war and advance toward Moscow was the biggest existential threat Putin has faced in his more than 20-year rule.…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles III has conferred a signal honour on South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. He has invited him on a state visit to Britain this month, the first by a foreign leader since the king came to the throne. That is in spite of South Africa’s refusal to condemn Russia’s merciless war in Ukraine. In October the country abstained in a UN vote on a resolution demanding Russia reverse course on its illegal annexations of occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine. Just 34 other countries abstained and five voted against the resolution; 143 countries voted in its favour. The youth league of Mr Ramaphosa’s party, the African National Congress (ANC) even sent a delegation to observe the rigged referendums on annexation.…  Seguir leyendo »