The Cable

Russia Builds Case for Military Intervention in Ukraine

For several weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top diplomats have provided the world with repeated assurances that they have no intention of sending Russian troops into eastern Ukraine. On Monday, April 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brushed aside those pledges, providing the strongest signal yet that Moscow may be laying the political groundwork for a military incursion into its jittery neighbor.

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Chemical Weapons Progress in Syria Clouded by New Allegations

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has gotten rid of 80 percent of his chemical weapons, and is increasingly likely to hit a key deadline for the elimination of his entire arsenal by the end of the month. That good news is being partially overshadowed, however, by growing signs that Assad is still waging chemical attacks on communities in rebel-held areas of the country.

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The Diplomatic Brain Drain in Afghanistan

Afghans are expected to settle on a new president by this summer and the U.S. and the new government in Kabul will begin to forge a relationship in the postwar period. But at this critical juncture there will be a diplomatic brain drain that will undermine U.S. policy goals there, say officials in and out of the U.S. government. 

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