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Argentina

Ranking Latin America’s Most Global Companies

Bolivia may be South America’s poorest country, but it now boasts the region’s most global firm, according to AméricaEconomía’s annual “Multilatinas” list. Another surprise? Brazilian’s Petrobras struck oil last year, but fell in the ranking.

Concha del Toro, a Chilean wine producer, moved up in the ranking after buying vineyards in California.
Concha del Toro, a Chilean wine producer, moved up in the ranking after buying vineyards in California.

SANTIAGO -- Chile's anti-trust authority this week approved a much-heralded merger between Chile's Lan and Brazil's Tam airlines – albeit with a lengthy list of conditions. The decision brings an end to what had been months of uncertainty that began when the same body – the Tribunal de Defensa de Libre Competencia – froze the planned fusion over concerns about how it might affect passengers in the Chilean domestic market, where Lan is a dominant player.

Between the two rulings, Lan stocks took something of a hit. Yet neither the stock dip nor the uncertainty surrounding its precarious deal with Tam stopped the successful Chilean airline from rising in AméricaEconomía's annual Multilatinas List, which ranks Latin American firms in terms of their global reach.

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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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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