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Geopolitics

"You Must Name Your Enemy" — The Marine Le Pen Interview

A return to national borders, a fight against radical Islam, a rejection of the EU and its asylum policies. France's Far-Right National Front leader Marine Le Pen answers questions in the wake of the Paris attacks, and ahead of Sunday's re

Le Pen, an anti-EU member of the European Parliament.
Le Pen, an anti-EU member of the European Parliament.
Olivier Francey

STRASBOURG — Our interview with Marine Le Pen had been planned for a long time. But in the meantime, Paris suffered its deadliest attacks since World War II, a gruesome twist of fate that are contributing to surging popularity of her National Front party, which a growing portion of the electorate considers most fit to respond to the terrorist threat. Just before the French regional elections, whose first round is Sunday, the populist party is well ahead in the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais and southern Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur departments. In her small European Parliament office in Strasbourg, Le Pen agreed to 25 minutes of questions, no more.

LE TEMPS: You demand a return to automatic controls at national borders. Yet most of the terrorists in Paris had French passports. Isn't the problem above all within France?

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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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