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Germany

Europe’s Taxpayers Cannot Foot The Bill For Greece's Theater Of The Absurd

OpEd: It's time for European leaders to stop playing for time. Taxpayers alone cannot foot the bill for Greece’s debt disaster, and private creditors must quickly become a part of the equation.

Fires still burning in Athens (linmtheu)
Fires still burning in Athens (linmtheu)
Dorothea Siems

BERLIN - General strikes, political conflict, demonstrations—all that Greek drama packs a powerful punch. And the word from Berlin and Brussels until recently has been that without a 100 billion-euro rescue package, the Greek state would be looking at bankruptcy by July. But now, the tune is changing: no need for a rescue operation before September. Until then, Greece will be able to hold its head above water with what remains of the loans it has already received.

This playing for time works to no one's advantage. The new storyline is most likely due to the German government's hope that the current agitated level of German public interest in the Greek situation will eventually die down — push rescue operations down the road a bit, and there will be less fuss when they're wheeled out again. However, in view of rising opposition in Greece itself to Athens' austerity measures, it's becoming ever clearer that the course the European Union (EU) has embarked on is not going to get the job done.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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