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Switzerland

Confessions Of An Unusually Chaste Swiss Woman

Esther G. fell in love at the tender age of 16. She didn’t want to have sex, however, unless she was married. And she didn’t want to marry until she was much older. And so she waited – for about 10 years. Was it worth the wait?

Is pre-marital chastity worth the wait? (mark sebastian)
Is pre-marital chastity worth the wait? (mark sebastian)
Bettina Weber

ZURICH – A new movie by Swiss filmmaker Mirjam von Arx explores the "Purity Movement" in the United States. Titled "Virgin Tales," the documentary centers on fundamentalist Christian Randy Wilson, who is the founder of "Purity Balls' at which girls as young as four dance in cross formations and pledge to stay virgins until they marry.

The trend doesn't seem to have caught on in Switzerland, although some young people here do opt for pre-marital chastity. Tages Anzeiger spoke with one young woman, 28-year-old Esther G. (not her real name), who met the man of her dreams at 16 in a Zurich Pentecostal group – but waited a decade before finally sleeping with him. Still, she doesn't identify at all with the Purity Movement, which in her opinion "makes a circus out of abstinence."

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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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