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Lithuania’s history in the Eurovision Song Contest is unfortunately pretty bad. Since its first run in 1994, the country has made 15 appearances, more or less interspersed by failed attempts to qualify, lack of funds and threats to boycott the show if Russia didn’t stop invading countries.

This year, it will be represented by the duo of Lithuanian singers Monika LinkytÄ— and Vaidas Baumila and their song “This Time”. Lithuania originally wanted a solo entry for the 2015 contest, but the two singers are such beaming cutie pies together that they decided to give it a go.

Our vote:

Does it make you want to visit that country? 1.75/10

Was there enough glitter? 4.75/10

Ok to quit your day job? 1.25/10

OVERALL AVERAGE: 2.58/10

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At the Russia-Georgia border

Yelena Afonina/TASS via ZUMA
Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Bertrand Hauger, Chloe Touchard and Emma Albright

Russia’s neighbors — from Finland in the west to Mongolia 3,100 miles (5,076 km) to the east — are being flooded with the arrival of men fleeing the national draft announced last week as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine falters. Some 2,000 miles to the south of Helsinki, at the border with Georgia, there are reports of long lines of cars and bicycles trying to leave and Russian crackdowns on men trying to flee.

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In the first two days after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization, 261,000 men of conscription age have left the country. Observers believe that has likely doubled since. The most popular destinations are the neighboring countries where one can enter without a visa or even without an international passport, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

But Finland too has reported a major uptick, with nearly 19,000 arriving, compared to 9,000 crossing in the opposite direction. "The arrival rate is about double what it was a week ago," Mert Sasioglu of the Finnish border guard told AFP.

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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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