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LES ECHOS

A French Lesson For Britain’s Royals

Editorial: Don’t be fooled by all the popular craze around this week’s royal wedding, says Le Monde. The British monarchy desperately needs to remake itself for the modern, multicultural world.

Queen Elizabeth II and Princes Philip, Charles, William (Rob Moment)
Queen Elizabeth II and Princes Philip, Charles, William (Rob Moment)

When Prince William marries Catherine Middleton on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, the British monarchy will have refreshed itself by welcoming a commoner within its ranks. This new member, it is hoped, will boost British interest in the Crown. But beyond the jolly atmosphere surrounding this royal fairytale, a pressing question remains: should Great Britain maintain its antiquated monarchic system, and under what conditions?

Surveys show that 70 percent of the British public say that they have no interest in the wedding. Where does this indifference come from, given that Queen Elizabeth II has never been so popular and that the republican movement has reached a nadir?

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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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