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Commandos With A View

The Commando Memorial in the Highlands of Scotland is dedicated to the memory of the British Commandos who died in World War II.

Through the fog — one of our rare tastes of the trademark Scottish weather — the three iconic soldiers are looking south towards Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom.

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Watching Putin's address at the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security

Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Anna Akage and Emma Albright

While delivering the welcome address at the Moscow Conference on International Security on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin accused Washington of “dragging out” the conflict in Ukraine. The Russian president also mentioned the visit by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan earlier this month, calling it a “thoroughly planned provocation”. The conference, which runs from Aug. 15 to 17, is hosted by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and will include several panels on global security issues.

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Putin added that Western countries were trying to extend a “NATO-like system” into the Asia Pacific region. For Putin, NATO’s expansion in Europe was one of the main causes for his invasion of Ukraine. Putin had previously accused NATO of launching an active military build-up on territories surrounding Russia during a speech to mark Russia’s Victory Day in May.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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