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Did Muslim Veils Spark A Mysterious 2013 Massacre In Northwest China

A French reporter is the first Western journalist to get inside the village of Lukqun where in June 2013, 27 people were killed under unclear circumstances before access was shut off.

Armed Police soldiers in Urumqi
Armed Police soldiers in Urumqi
Ursula Gauther

LUKQUN — When a dozen attackers used sabres to kill 34 people last month in the Kunming train station, the Chinese press dubbed it the nation's own "9/11."

Beijing authorities have blamed Uyghur separatists coming from Xinjiang, an autonomous region of northwest China. Not surprisingly, when the Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared with 153 Chinese passengers on board, alleged "Uyghur terrorists" became the target once again.

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Russia

When Mom Believes Putin: A Russian Family Torn Apart Over Ukraine Invasion

Sisters Rante and Satu Vodich fled Russia because they could no longer bear to live under Putin — but their mother believes state propaganda about the war. Her daughters are building a new life for themselves in Georgia.

A mother and her daughter on a barricade in Kyiv

Steffi Unsleber

TBILISI — On a gloomy afternoon in May, Rante Vodich gets the keys to her new home. A week earlier, the 27-year-old found this wooden shed in Tbilisi, with a corrugated iron roof and ramshackle bathroom. The shed next door houses an old bed covered in dust. Vodich refers to the place as a “studio” and pays $300 per month in rent. She says finding the studio is the best thing that’s happened to her since she came to Georgia. It is her hope for the future.

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Her younger sister Satu Vodich is around 400 kilometers further west, in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, surrounded by Russian tourists, Ukrainian flags, skyscrapers with sea views and the run-down homes of local residents.

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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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