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Hearts Of Snow

I used to be a philosophy teacher, with a penchant for Spinoza — meaning my mind tends to be of the logical and down-to-earth kind. But sometimes you've just got to wonder: Last year, looking out the window of my living-room, I saw these tire tracks left after a light snowfall. I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture of this "sign."

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 133: Revelations Of Putin’s Original Invasion Plans

Occupy Kyiv? Turn to Donbas? Hunt down "Nazis"? Vladimir Putin's intentions have been a moving target.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Two days before the start of the war, the Kremlin said that there were no plans to attack Ukraine, and that there can be no plans to do so. On the day of the invasion, Putin urged the Ukrainian army to go to Kyiv and take down the "neo-Nazi" Vladimir Zelensky.

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A week later, when the blitzkrieg was clearly a failure, the "liberation of the Donbas" began, and was cited as the purpose for Russia’s invastion. Each time circumstances required, Putin changed the official reasons for the war, although his original goal was to overthrow the Ukrainian government and occupy the entire territory of Ukraine, a goal he still pursues, according to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

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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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