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Germany

Crystal Meth, Drug Of Choice Of The 'Selfie Generation'

Use of this incredibly addictive drug is growing in Germany, especially among Millennials who say it makes them feel invincible.

Germany's states of Bavaria and Saxony are being flooded with the drug.
Germany's states of Bavaria and Saxony are being flooded with the drug.
Florian Flade, Per Hinrichs and Vanessa Schlesier

BERLIN — For Sebastian Caspar, crystal meth made him feel like he was seeing two suns. He was filled with incredible desire and thought he could have never-ending sex. And Caspar's fellow addict Dennis, who doesn't want to use his full name for publication, felt invincible, as strong as Superman. He was a kickboxer who wanted to smash in somebody's face.

Marco's "innermost anxieties and inhibitions" suddenly disappeared when he took crystal meth. And he was overcome by a rush that made him feel as if all his usual perceptions had been washed away and that he was in another world. He felt as if "a steamroller was going through my head."

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Economy

How Much Longer Can The Russian Economy Survive Sanctions?

The head of the Kremlin boasted at the recent forum in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum about Russia’s economic resilience against Western sanctions. But behind the scenes, Russian business leaders tell a different story.

At a Veshki distribution center for the food retailer VkusVill, a chain of online Russian grocery stores.

Benjamin Quénelle

-Analysis-

MOSCOW — "The most effective sanction to weaken the Kremlin? Not to target us and punish us, but to give us visas instead ... to abandon the sinking the ship!" This businessman's iconoclastic perspective embodies the anxiety one could detect percolating just below the surface at the "Russian Davos" Forum in St. Petersburg last week.

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Officially called the "International" Economic Forum, the annual event organized by Vladimir Putin is meant to attract foreign investors — but this year, the elite of the national business community were cut off from the rest of the world. "Just among Russians... And forced to line up behind the regime and its economic strategies that lead us to a dead end," says the same source, a Russian manager in one of the main state-owned companies.

Like so many others, this man in his 40s, a typical representative of the new upper middle class, with a foreign passport in hand, educated in the West, liberal and multilingual, discovered his name on the lists of Western sanctions. Directly or indirectly, a large part of the Russian business world has been caught up in the European and U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

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