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Anchoring in Dubai?
Anchoring in Dubai?
Daniel Eckert and Holger Zschäpitz

BERLIN — As the price of oil continues to fall, share prices on the Gulf region's stock markets have plummeted in parallel. The price of oil reached a yearly low of $60 a barrel on Friday, and we're now looking at a possible $50, which would create a truly bleak outlook for economic prospects in the Middle East. On Monday, the price touched a low of $56.25 before a modest rebound.

"The freefall of the price of oil has unleashed panic here," says Wafik Dawood, portfolio manager at Compass Capital in Cairo. On the Egyptian stock exchange, rates fell by 5% on Sunday. In Qatar they fell by 6%, and in Dubai 8%. The region's stock indices therefore lost most of the year's profit. In majority Muslim countries, exchanges tend to be open on Sundays and closed on Fridays.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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