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In Lindau, ahead of the 6th Meeting on Economic Sciences
In Lindau, ahead of the 6th Meeting on Economic Sciences
Stuart Richardson

Mario Draghi didn't give much away in his opening remarks at the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in southern Germany. In his highly anticipated speech Wednesday morning, the president of the European Central Bank kept mum on the most titillating topic in Europe: upcoming stimulus negotiations.

However disappointing, his silence was not altogether surprising: Draghi has to bear in mind the political consequences of his words. But this is not necessarily true for the rest of the conference speakers. In this veritable meeting of the minds, held every three years, 17 Nobel laureates in economics will take the stage this week to share their thoughts on the world's financial future. And while there are reasons for this intellectual dream team to feel optimistic — a decade after the start of the global financial crisis, the world's economy appears to be well on the mend — there is also cause for concern, as the German daily Die Welt noted on the eve of the conference.

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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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