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Bootleg liquor kills at least 111 people in eastern India

In one of the worst-ever hooch tragedies in West Bengal, 111 people, mostly labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers, died and over 50 were still battling for life in three hospitals after consuming spurious liquor at Mograhat in South 24 Parganas district

(TIMES OF INDIA) Calcutta - The state government on Thursday ordered a CID investigation into the hooch tragedy, while seven persons were arrested in this connection.

"111 hooch victims so far died in three hospitals', official sources said.

The killer hooch claimed over 50 lives on Thursday morning in Diamond Harbour sub-divisional hospital, MR Bangur Hospital and at National Medical college and hospital in Kolkata where all the victims were taken for treatment since Wednesday.

Most of the dead were poor labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers, who fell ill after consuming the spurious liquor from several illegal joints since Tuesday night, police said.

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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