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Italy Announces A Bear Hunt, And The Public Growls

Daniza doesn't read the newspapers or check social networks, so she probably has no idea that people are searching for her.

The brown bear made Italian headlines a few days ago after she wounded Daniele Maturi, 38, who was foraging for mushrooms in the woods in the heart of the Dolomite mountains. Maturi was bitten and scratched by the mother bear, reports La Repubblica, but he has since been released from hospital.

Alessandro Olivi, the vice president of the autonomous province of Trentino, signed an order for Daniza to be captured, but not killed, and a task force of 10 forest rangers was created for that purpose. The order has been met with public backlash, with thousands of emails being sent to the province's council, nearly 24,000 petition signatures gathered, not to mention the tweets and Facebook group support.

WWF Italia's Massimiliano Rocco was quoted as saying that capturing the bear would be a historic defeat for environmentalists, who reintroduced the bears back into the region from 1999 to 2001. Caterina Rosa Marino of the League for the Abolition of Hunting disputed the need for the capture, arguing that Maturi had stumbled across Daniza in "the only situation that is really dangerous: encountering a mother with her cubs."

Daniza may be a bear, but she's as sly as a fox, La Stampareports. Born in the Slovenian mountains 18 years ago, she has lived outside Trentino for the past 14.

File photo of a brown bear — Photo: Tambako the Jaguar

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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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