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Two Army helicopters crash in Washington state, 4 dead

Two U.S. Army helicopters crashed during training exercises at a Washington state military base, killing four aviators on board, the base said in a statement.

(REUTERS) Seattle - Brendalyn Carpenter, a spokeswoman for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, confirmed that "there was an accident" in the evening and that military police and emergency personnel were en route to the accident scene at the base near Tacoma.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the soldiers involved in this tragic accident," said Major General Lloyd Miles, acting senior Army commander at the base.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident, and we will do everything in our power to support the families of the brave soldiers who died this evening," he added.

The base identified the aircraft involved in the crash as a pair of OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopters.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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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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