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The DSR Daily Brief Newsletter – Monday, May 16, 2022

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Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive aimed at disrupting Russian supply lines. As of this morning, Russian troops were pushed back to the northeast city of Kharkhiv. They destroyed a pontoon bridge and some Russian vehicles on the Siversky Donets river a few days earlier. 

The Americas

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a chat with Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu. He had a friendlier conversation with Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

‘Economic discontent’ led to protests in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Annual inflation there reached 58% in April. 

While racism is hardly unique to the US, the social sanctioning of weapons and hate speech makes it especially tragic

Europe and Central Asia

The UK levied new financial sanctions against Putin’s alleged mistress and his ex-wife. Times are also tough for Sovcomflot, Russia’s state-owned shipping behemoth. It was forced to sell roughly one third of its fleet to meet a May 15th deadline for loan repayment to EU and British banks. 

Crisis spells opportunity – or opportunism – for Hungary. Austria is considering confiscating a Gazprom facility outside Salzburg after Russia threatens to cut off gas. 

Berlin was quite happy about the prospects of NATO expansion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wasn’t. He came around, but with conditions about alleged ‘terrorist activity’ in Sweden. He was referring to longtime thorn in his side, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he’s confident ‘common ground’ and ‘consensus’ are nevertheless attainable. Separately, Erdoğan offered to evacuate fighters from Mariupol by sea. 

The Indo-Pacific

India’s export ban on wheat pushed prices even higher. Also up: Chinese coal production. Demand for coal is expected to decrease, however.

The Middle East and Africa

The UAE sheikhdoms quickly appointed a new president following the death of longtime leader, Sheikh Kalifa

Preliminary results from the parliamentary election in Lebanon showed Iran-backed Hezbollah losing seats. The ‘Saudi-aligned’ Lebanese Forces party says it gained seats. An opposition candidate, Elias Jradi, gained a key seat in the South. While voters expressed a desire for change, Lebanon is still months away from a new prime minister and crucial economic reforms.

DSR Exclusives

For in-depth analysis, check out our sister podcasts on the DSR Network and stay tuned to the DSR Daily podcast for new and evolving stories from around the world. Be sure to check out David Rothkopf’s latest member briefing too.

The DSR Network Team (Chris Cotnoir, Grant Haver, and Katherine Hill)

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