Background Briefing: September 5, 2023

Erdogan Fails to Revive the Black Sea Grain Deal as Ukraine Breaks Through Russian Defenses

 We begin with the unsuccessful effort by Turkey’s Erdogan to revive the grain deal for Russia and Ukraine to resume exports of much needed food to Africa and other states and get an update on the war as Ukraine appears to be breaking through Russian defenses in the south. Joining us is Christopher Miller, the Ukraine correspondent for The Financial Times who was previously the lead correspondent in Ukraine for Buzzfeed News and Politico. He has been covering the current conflict since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and prior to that was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bakhmut, a city now destroyed. The winner of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, his new book, just out, is The War Came To Us: Life and Death in Ukraine.


Leaked Intelligence on Putin’s Plans to Meet With Kim Jong-Un

Then we examine the leaked intelligence that Putin plans to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in Vladivostok soon to get ammunition and weapons for his war against Ukraine in exchange for advanced weapons and nuclear and submarine technology Kim wants as well as food his country desperately needs. Joining us is Sue Mi Terry, a former senior CIA analyst, director for Japan and Korea affairs at the National Security Council and deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council. She is also the producer of a new film “Beyond Utopia” about North Korean defectors which will be in theaters in October.


The Rising GOP Star Ramaswamy is Angling to Be Trump’s Running Mate or Secretary of State

Then finally we speak with Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest, a non-resident senior fellow at The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, a columnist for The Spectator and the author They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. Previously, he was an editorial writer for the LA Times and a senior editor at the New Republic and we discuss his article at The Atlantic, “The Emptiness of the Ramaswamy Doctrine” and how the rising Republican star is angling to be Trump’s running mate or Secretary of State.