In part five of How it Happened: Putin’s Invasion, Axios world editor Dave Lawler zooms into the frontlines of the war, seen through the eyes of a journalist who has been covering the war there and a soldier who has been fighting there, both since 2014.
Why it matters: The battle to defend this region, which has been partially controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, will determine the outcome of this war.
Western sanctions and condemnations intended to pile pressure on Vladimir Putin instead seem to be rallying Russians behind him.
What they’re saying: The more horrific the allegations against Russia — such as the apparent massacre of civilians in Bucha— the stronger the impulse to reject them as lies, says Grigory Yudin, a sociologist at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.
The only clear path to peace in Ukraine is a deal between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, but the red lines drawn by the Russian and Ukrainian leaders do not intersect.
The big picture: The scope of the fighting is narrowing, and both sides have signaled some flexibility on Ukraine's post-war status, yet experts say this war is likely to keep raging, and may become even bloodier.
In How it Happened: Putin's Invasion, Axios World editor Dave Lawler curates the best of Axios' reporting and analysis on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, explaining how the conflict played out in slow motion across eight years and then suddenly escalated.
Lawler will share insights from a career covering global affairs and dozens of interviews with experts and high ranking officials about how Russian President Vladimir Putin came to power and how the autocrat has wielded it.
This episode tells the previously unreported story of how a desperate attempt to stop Israel from annexing part of the occupied West Bank led to the most significant Middle East peace agreement in a generation.
Dive in: In the finale of our two-part season, Axios Middle East correspondent Barak Ravid tells national political correspondent Jonathan Swan how Trump's failure to make peace between the Israelis and Palestinians led to an unexpected success.
In this episode, Axios Middle East correspondent Barak Ravid and national political correspondent Jonathan Swan explore the dramatic collapse of Donald Trump's plan to broker "the deal of the century" between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Dive in: In an exclusive interview, Trump tells Barak that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears much of the blame. He also reveals that their supposed bromance is over, saying of Netanyahu: “F--k him.”
Axios’ Jonathan Swan is back with a sneak preview of How It Happened’s third season, arriving on Monday. Subscribe here.
Why it matters: With exclusive reporting, Swan and Axios’ Barak Ravid go behind the scenes on the gripping, chaotic events that led t0 the Abraham Accords — the deals between Israel and four Arab states that are changing the Middle East.
In part five of How it Happened: The Next Astronauts, Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer follows the Inspiration4 crew to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to cover their launch and catches up with each of them after their return.
Subscribe to How It Happened wherever you listen to podcasts.
Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact-checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is executive editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.