FROM Paul Sonne
Sochi, One Year Later A year ago, we took our seats for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Russian government reportedly spent $50 billion to turn a relatively unknown ski resort near the Black Sea into a world-class sporting venue. And aside from some hiccups, like broken toilets and buildings without lobbies, it was a success. But Russia hasn’t been as successful in convincing the world’s winterati to come back to Sochi for a ski vacation. What’s the scene on the ground, one year after the Olympics?
US Considers “Lethal Aid” to Ukraine Forces With Russian-backed separatists advancing in Ukraine, there’s pressure on the Obama Administration to provide the government with weapons sophisticated enough to strike back effectively. Is that the best answer to provocations by Vladimir Putin—or could it lead to a wider war? Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Kiev tomorrow, amid reports that the Obama Administration may change course and provide the Ukrainian army with high-tech weaponry for use against separatists backed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Two Ukrainian Warplanes Shot Down Near Jetliner Crash Site Two Ukrainian warplanes were shot down today, and pro-Russian separatist leaders claim they did it with shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles. But Ukraine says the anti-aircraft fire came from across the border—in Russia. Paul Sonne is in Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine for the Wall Street Journal.
WikiLeaks Suspends Operations Due to Bank Blockade The last time WikiLeaks made a splash was in April, when it released a trove of US government documents about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Today in London, Julian Assange said a financial blockade poses an existential threat to the organization, which has specialized in revealing classified information since it was launched in 2006. Today WikiLeaks suspended all publication and said it might go out of business by the end of this year. Paul Sonne reports from London for the Wall Street Journal .
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.