3 Dec

Russia-Ukraine: Border Troop Surge Raises Alarm









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Russia-Ukraine
Border Troop Surge Raises Alarm
A build-up of up to 115,000 Russian military personnel along Ukraine’s border is sparking international fears of an impending invasion. This is not the first time Russia has massed troops on Ukraine’s border – the last time was in April. But relations between Russia and Western powers have deteriorated further since that time, in large part due to Russia supporting Belarus’ channeling migrants to the borders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to antagonize the European Union. Ukraine and Russia have been in conflict since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and supported separatists in Ukraine’s east in response to protests in Kyiv that ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich. The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine has thus far killed 14,000 people.

This map depicts the build-up of Russian military forces along the border of neighboring Ukraine, raising fears of an impending invasion. Click on the map to learn more.

Further Reading: Reuters, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera
Graphic Source: Daily Mail
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Iraq
ISIL Attack Leaves 12 Dead
At least 12 people, including 3 civilians, were killed in an attack by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. Nine of the fatalities were Kurdish security forces known as the Peshmerga. In recent weeks, ISIL has made a series of attacks targeting both civilians and security forces, with five Peshmerga fighters killed last week in Diyala from an ambush-style attack. According to regional experts, the spate of attacks have intensified as the United States is poised to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year. 

This map depicts where the ISIL attack took place in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. Click on the map to learn more.

Graphic Source: Barron’s
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United Kingdom
Shell Pulls Out of Oil Project
On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell announced it would pull out of a controversial oil-drilling project in the ocean west of the Shetland Islands, citing economic reasons. Siccar Point Energy, the controlling partner of the project, still plans to continue. The field, which is named Cambo, is planned to produce over 170 million barrels of oil and 53.5 million cubic feet of natural gas over the course of 25 years. Shell dropping out is seen by many as a victory to avoid the environmental and climate impacts of the project and to reduce long-term commitment to non-renewable energy sources. 

This map depicts the locations of oil fields and pipelines in the ocean near the Shetland Islands. Click on the map to learn more.

Graphic Source: S&P Global
 









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Yesterday’s Answer

Q: Bordering two continents, what is the world’s largest inland water body?  

A: The Caspian Sea 
The Caspian Sea lies between Europe and Asia and borders five countries – Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. It’s considered to be a major source of energy for surrounding countries and is vital to their economies. Historically, the Caspian Sea was not very large, or even a land-locked lake, as it used to connect to the Black Sea and Mediterranean over 11 million years ago. Today, however, the Caspian has become isolated; only rivers flow into it and it has minimal outflow, enabling its growth and making it the largest inland water body covering 143,244 sq mi (371,000 sq km).

Source 

Today’s Question


Q:  Which canal is the most vital strategic waterway for shipping between Asia and North America, shortening voyages by around 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km)? 
 

Stay tuned for the answer to today’s question in Monday’s DailyGeo.

 

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