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As we were finalizing articles for our last release, Vladimir Putin decided to give us the story of a lifetime. Once predicted to be lopsided and swift, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has at this point lasted months, thanks to head-scratching unforced errors on Russia’s part. For this issue, we have examined the conflict from every angle. Aaron Meuser ’22 and Hayden Toftner ’22 give a broad overview of Putin’s motivation and public justification for the war, and the fallout across Europe’s economies and political institutions.
To say the least, the war has complicated Russia’s role as Europe’s main source of natural gas. Angus Soderberg ’22 delves into this shakeup of global energy politics and argues that the invasion of Ukraine will ultimately accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Meanwhile, the invasion has stirred specters in the world’s other hot-spots of geopolitical conflict. Alex Mormorunni ’25 looks back on how the outcome of the Syrian Civil War set Russia up to weather sanctions from Western countries. And Ben Hoffer ’23 looks ahead to the invasion’s implications for Taiwan’s security and independence as it faces an increasingly belligerent mainland China.
Turning to other matters, James Butler ’23 assesses inflation in the U.S. and offers a rather grim diagnosis of Democrats’ midterm prospects: low. That said, the Supreme Court looks set to overturn Roe v. Wade, which could inject a jolt of energy into their liberal base and drive big turnout. Wrapping up the issue, Evan Wagner ’22 makes the case that government institutions and private entities are using data-based tools in the criminal justice system with reckless disregard for the biases baked into them.
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Evan Wagner, Molly McLaughlin, and Matt LesStrang, editors