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Economy

New Signs Europe "Pulling Out Of Recession"

LES ECHOS (France), TELEGRAPH (UK), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

PARIS - After six straight quarters of contraction, new signs were reported Wednesday that the recession in Europe's single-currency euro zone may be set to end.

Manufacturing in the euro zone increased for the first time in well over a year, boosted by higher private sector output in Germany and France, July's PMI index showed. The data drove the euro to a one-month high against the dollar, Reuters reports.

Martin Van Vliet, an analyst at ING, told French business daily Les Echos that the European Central Bank's monetary policy to try to stimulate growth, coupled with the beginnings of recovery elsewhere in the world "have finally managed to stop the economic contraction" in the euro zone.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the figures provided "encouraging evidence" to suggest that the eurozone could finally pull out if its recession in the third quarter, the Telegraph reports.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Russia Is Suddenly Deploying Air Defense Systems On Moscow Rooftops

Russia is increasingly concerned about security from the sky: air defense systems have been installed on rooftops in Moscow's government quarter. Systems have also appeared in several other places in Russia, including near Vladimir Putin's lakeside home in Valdai. What is the Kremlin really worried about?

photo of ice on the river in Moscow

Clear skies, cold reality along the Moskva River

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

The Russian Defense Ministry has refused to comment. State Duma parliamentary officials say it’s a fake. Still, a series of verified photographs have circulated in recent days of an array of long-range C-400 and short-range air defense systems installed on three complexes in Moscow near the Kremlin, as well as on locations in the outskirts of the capital and in the northwest village of Valdai, where Vladimir Putin has a lakeside residence.

Some experts believe the air defense installations in Moscow were an immediate response to recent Ukrainian statements about a new fleet of military drones: The Ukroboronprom defense contracter said this month that it completed a series of successful tests of a new strike drone with a range of over 1,000 kilometers. Analyst Michael Naki suggests that Moscow’s anti-air defense systems were an immediate reaction to the fact that the drones can theoretically hit Kremlin.

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Yet the air defense installations in Valdai seem to have been in place since late December, following Ukrainian drone attacks on a military airfield deep inside Russia’s Sorotov region, 730 kilometers (454 miles) southeast of Moscow.

Others pose a very different rationale to explain Russia’s beefing up anti-air defenses on its own territory. Russian military analyst Yan Matveev argues that Putin demanded the deployment of such local systems not as defense against long-range Ukrainian drones, but rather for fear of sabotage from inside Russia.

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