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Le Quotidien de la Réunion, July 31, 2015

"The probe zeroes in," reads Friday's front-page of the French newspaper Le Quotidien de la Réunion after a piece of plane debris was found on the French island in the Indian Ocean that may be from the missing MH370 flight that disappeared 16 months ago.

France's air crash investigation agency said it was examining the debris, found washed up Wednesday on a Western beach of the Réunion island. Malaysian and Australian authorities have also joined the probe. The piece of debris, which is about 2 to 2.5 meters long, may be a moving wing surface known as a flaperon.

"It is almost certain that the flaperon is from a Boeing 777 aircraft," Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told Reuters.

The Boeing 777 carrying 239 passengers and crew disappeared without a trace on March 8, 2014, while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Most of the passengers were Chinese. MH370 is believed to be the only 777 to have crashed south of the equator since the jet came into service 20 years ago.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Le Quotidien de la Réunion covers news on the French island and in the Indian Ocean. It was founded in 1976.

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Geopolitics

One By One, The Former Soviet Republics Are Abandoning Putin

From Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, countries in Russia's orbit have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war. All (maybe even Belarus?) is coming to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the Soviet empire.

Leaders of Armenia, Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan attend a summit marking the 30th anniversary of signing the Collective Security Treaty in Moscow on May 16.

Oleksandr Demchenko

-Analysis-

KYIV — Virtually all of Vladimir Putin's last remaining partner countries in the region are gone from his grip. Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war, because they've all come to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the empire, where their own sovereignty is lost.

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Before zooming in on the current state of relations in the region, and what it means for Ukraine's destiny, it's worth briefly reviewing the last 30 years of post-Soviet history.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was first created in 1992 by the Kremlin to keep former republics from fully seceding from the former Soviet sphere of influence. The plan was simple: to destroy the local Communist elite, to replace them with "their" people in the former colonies, and then return these territories — never truly considered as independent states by any Russian leadership — into its orbit.

In a word - to restore the USSR.

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