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For Sardinia's Giara Horses, A Winter Battle For Survival

For Sardinia's Giara Horses, A Winter Battle For Survival

In the mountains of central Sardinia, the Giara horses are at risk again. The total population is estimated at around just 700 horses, and the breed has been considered at risk of extinction since 1971.

Named for the Giara plateau on which they roam, the steep cliffs, difficulty of access and the isolated location have protected the wild horses in recent centuries. Sadly, with a lack of grass and deep puddles formed by the heavy rains that autumn brought the region, food is scarce and some of the horses have been already found dead, although many have been rescued, La Nuova Sardegna reports.

Rainy season on the island began late this year and the plateau has become a largely uncontrolled area when it comes to grazing. Flocks of sheep and herds of goats and cows have invaded the area, consuming much of the available water and food.

Images of the horses in distressing situations have been circulating in the Italian media since the beginning of December, and volunteers have begun campaigns to rescue as many as possible. Officially owned by the city councils of Gesturi, Setzu and Tuili, the horses are now potential victims to Italy's complicated bureaucratic system — and must await the transfer of regional funds.

Photo: Helga Steinreich

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Geopolitics

It's A Golden Era For Russia-Turkey Relations — Just Look At The Numbers

On the diplomatic and political level, no world leader speaks more regularly with Vladimir Putin than his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the growing closeness of Russia and Turkey can also be measured in the economic data. And the 2022 numbers are stunning.

Photo of Erdogan and Putin walking out of a door

Erdogan and Putin last summer in Sochi, Russia

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via ZUMA
Aytug Özçolak

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — As Russia has become increasingly isolated since the invasion of Ukraine, the virtual pariah state has drawn notably closer to one of its remaining partners: Turkey.

Ankara has committed billions of dollars to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and contracted to Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The countries’ foreign policies are also becoming increasingly aligned.

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But the depth of this relationship goes much further. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin more than any other leader: 16 times in 2022, and 11 times in 2021. Erdoğan has visited Russia 14 times since 2016, compared to his 10 visits to the U.S. in the same time period (half of which were in 2016 and 2017).

But no less important is the way the two countries are increasingly tied together by commerce.

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