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One Year Away, Russia Risks Not Being Ready For 2014 Winter Olympics In Sochi

Shortages of manpower leave many of the construction projects for the Winter Games far behind schedule.

Sochi 2014 Olympic Mascots in the front of the Olympic Park
Sochi 2014 Olympic Mascots in the front of the Olympic Park
Peter Netreba, Oleg Sapozhkov, Dmitrii Butrin

MOSCOW – A year before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, new problems have emerged, which could jeopardize the event. This time it’s not lack of money, which has plagued construction from the beginning, but a surprising lack of manpower.

At a recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Kozak said that with 12 months until the Games, the construction and organizational aspects could not afford to run into major new roadblocks. He underlined that outstanding questions linked to visitors’ visas and accommodation, transportation and communications need to be solved quickly.

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Revenge v. Rule Of Law: How You Treat Your Prisoners Of War Says It All

A Ukrainian court has convicted the first Russia soldier of war crimes. Meanwhile, Moscow offers no news on the Ukrainian soldiers surrendered in Mariupol. The very meaning of this war may be contained in the different treatment of POWs.

Ukrainian soldiers surrendering at Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks

Cover Images/ZUMA
Anna Akage

He doesn’t look like a typical war criminal. With his slight build barely filling out a blue-gray sweatshirt, a baby face and close-shaved head, Vadim Shishimarin seems even younger than his 21 years. But on Monday, the Russian Army contract soldier was sentenced to life in prison in Kyiv for the cold-blooded killing of an unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian man.

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The conviction on war crimes charges is the first of its kind since the war began three months ago. But Shishimarin’s conviction isn’t really the news: he had already confessed to the killing, and his “I was just following orders” defense has been dismissed in other ugly episodes of history before.

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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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