News & Updates

What Mattered to You in 2023

Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine continued to capture headlines in 2023. Most dramatically, the head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, staged a rebellion that threatened Putin’s power—and days after Michael McFaul wrote presciently that Prigozhin might be headed to a mysterious death. Readers also flocked to coverage of events in China, Iran, Western Europe, and Latin America.

Following are the ten most-read JoD Online Exclusives of 2023.

1. Why Vladimir Putin’s Luck Ran Out (February)

For twenty years, the Russian autocrat enjoyed a string of good fortune in coming to power and cementing his rule. He had raised Russia’s standing in the world. Then he invaded Ukraine.

By Michael McFaul 

2. Why He Soon May Be Remembered as “Putin the Weak” (June)

The Russian autocrat wanted to go down in history on par with Russia’s greatest leaders. He is increasingly looking like one of its weakest.

By Michael McFaul

3. Why the French Strike (May)

Why are the French protesting this time? Emmanuel Macron is imposing deeply unpopular reforms, and it’s one of the only ways left to check an arrogant and tone deaf president.

By Moshik Temkin

4. Thailand’s Revolutionary Election (May)

Thailand’s voters — especially its young people — have sent the country’s junta a message: They want change now. But will the military listen?

By Dan Slater

5. Putin’s Other Failed War (January)

The Russian leader declared war on his country’s independent journalists. But Russian media outsmarted him by taking their operations overseas. They are now reaching more people than ever before.

By Roman Badanin

6. Why the German Far Right Is Beginning to Win (July)

For years, they were a fringe vote. Now they are broadening their agenda, tapping into voter frustration, and getting Germans to favor them once again.

By Michael Bröning

7. Putin’s War of Recolonization (March)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t just another land grab. It’s an attempt to recolonize lost empire, and threatens to return us to the age of conquest.

By Renée de Nevers and Brian D. Taylor

8. How Maduro Survived (March)

The Venezuelan dictator defied sanctions, international isolation, and massive protests. He appears to have a firmer footing than he’s had in years. Now what?

By Will Freeman

9. Stop Trying to “Defeat” Russia and China (September)

Moscow and China pose a great danger to the democratic world. But they are threats that need to be managed, not won. Every great foreign-policy battle doesn’t end with a decisive victory.

By Ali Wyne and Liana Fix

10. 7 Lessons from Turkey’s Effort to Beat a Populist Autocrat (May)

What the opposition did and how Erdoğan managed to escape outright defeat.

By Murat Somer and Jennifer McCoy

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