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RADIKAL, HURRIYET, DOGAN NEWS AGENCY (Turkey)

Worldcrunch

Ten Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were injured in an attack by Kurdish rebels, which took place in the southeastern province of Sirnak, Turkish officials have said.

Clashes between Turkish military forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) broke out on Sunday evening at a military base in the province’s Beytussebap district, close to the border with Iraq and Syria, daily Radikal reported.

The PKK attacked the military with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and assault rifles, according to Hurriyet. Nine soldiers died immediately during the attack and another died later in hospital. Seven soldiers have been injured with four in critical condition at the local Sirnak hospital.

Rebels also carried out simultaneous attacks at other military checkpoints on Sunday, but no lives were claimed, according to the Dogan News Agency. Twenty PKK militants were also killed in the attacks.

On Monday, members of the PKK also kidnapped a Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial head, said Hurriyet. Mecit Tarhan, a lawyer had been the head of the AKP for the Hakkari region for the past two years. He had been reportedly receiving threats from the PKK.

Terrorist activity has increased in the region due to the heightened unrest in Syria. A month ago, the PKK fired rockets across the Turkish army border in the Hakkari province. A recent bombing in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, which left nine dead, was also thought to have been conducted by the PKK, but the organization denies any involvement.

Turkey, the United States and the E.U recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

When Did Putin "Turn" Evil? That's Exactly The Wrong Question

Look back over the past two decades, and you'll see Vladimir Putin has always been the man revealed by the Ukraine invasion, an evil and sinister dictator. The Russian leader just managed to mask it, especially because so many chose to see him as a typically corrupt and greedy strongman who could be bribed or reasoned with.

Putin arrives for a ceremony to accept credentials from 24 foreign ambassadors at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Sept. 20.

Sergiy Gromenko*

-OpEd-

KYIV — The world knows that Vladimir Putin has power, money and mistresses. So why, ask some, wasn't that enough for him? Why did he have to go start another war?

At its heart, this is the wrong question to ask. For Putin, military expansion is not an adrenaline rush to feed into his existing life of luxury. On the contrary, the shedding of blood for the sake of holding power is his modus operandi, while the fruits of greed and corruption like the Putin Palace in Gelendzhik are more like a welcome bonus.

In the last year, we have kept hearing rhetorical questions like “why did Putin start this war at all, didn't he have enough of his own land?” or “he already has Gelendzhik to enjoy, why fight?” This line of thinking has resurfaced after missile strikes on Ukrainian power grids and dams, which was regarded by many as a simple demonstration of terrorism. Such acts are a manifestation of weakness, some ask, so is Putin ready to show himself weak?

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However, you will not arrive at the correct answer if the questions themselves are asked incorrectly. For decades, analysts in Russia, Ukraine, and the West have been under an illusion about the nature of the Russian president's personal dictatorship.

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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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