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Adam Chandler, The Atlantic: Why Is John Kerry in Russia?

The Secretary of State went to Sochi on Tuesday to meet with Vladimir Putin for the first direct talks in two years.

Tuesday seemed like a particularly strange day for Secretary of State John Kerry to pay the highest-level U.S. visit to Russia in nearly two years. The ceasefire in Ukraine hasn’t stopped the daily violence between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops. The Russian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is reportedly dropping chlorine bombs on civilians again, despite a Russian-brokered deal requiring Syria to destroy its chemical-weapons stockpiles. And, earlier this week, the United States was the most prominent of Western countries to not to show up to Russia’s Victory Day celebrations commemorating the end of World War II.


Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 12, 2015

Snubbed by Saudi Arabia, what can Obama salvage from Arab summit? -- Peter Van Buren, Reuters

Iraq Counts on Magic Wands to Stop ISIS -- Jacob Siegel, Daily Beast

The Gulf and US need a reset – and each other -- Hussein Ibish, The National

Syria's Mercenaries: The Afghans Fighting Assad's War -- Christoph Reuter, Spiegel Online

China's Baby Steps Toward Economic Disaster -- William Pesek, Bloomberg

Nepal through the eyes of a British aid worker -- BBC

Gaming the Ukraine Crisis -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Kerry’s Russia Meetings Produce Little Evidence of Progress in Ukraine Crisis -- Matthew Lee, Time/AP

Kerry to Sochi: Could it lead to a 're-reset' of US-Russian relations? -- Howard LaFranchi, CSM

Russia just gave John Kerry a basket of potatoes. We have many questions. -- Amanda Taub, VOX

Risky Deterrence: Europe Prepares Plan To Fight Human-Traffickers -- Horand Knaup, Christoph Schult, Gordon Repinski and Ann-Katrin Müller. Spiegel Online

Greece seemingly has no Plan A or Plan B on debt -- Hugo Dixon, Reuters

Europe's Spies Need the NSA, and They Know It -- Kaj Leers, The Compass, RCW

The Zoolander Theory of Terrorism. Jihadists are often portrayed as brainwashed dupes. They're not. -- Simon Cottee, The Atlantic

Why Uruguay took six Guantanamo detainees but isn't considering more -- Shane Romig, CSM

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