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Cuba Publicly Celebrates Its Patron Saint For First Time In 60 Years

In the latest sign that the Castro regime is loosening its grip over the open practice of religion, the first nationwide procession since the revolution will be allowed to take take place for the island country's patron Saint in a celebration to

Cuba Publicly Celebrates Its Patron Saint For First Time In 60 Years
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War In Ukraine, Day 112: Russians Try To Repeat Mariupol Playbook In Severodonetsk

Russians are besieging Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city, and urging troops there to surrender as they offer a shaky evacuation corridor for civilians. The siege and symbolism recalls the siege of Mariupol, which didn't end well for Ukrainians.

A Russian earlier this week at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, which is now occupied by Moscow's forces

Vladimir Gerdo/TASS via ZUMA
Irene Caselli, Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

In a two-sided move that eerily recalls the tragic events in the southern port city of Mariupol, Russia has urged Ukrainian troops to surrender in Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city where fighting is raging, while at the same time pledging to spend the day evacuating civilians.

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Severodonetsk, in Luhansk region, has assumed a symbolic weight in the war as Russia focused on trying to win over control of Donbas and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeating that it is a “decisive” battleground. Russian troops have encircled the city over the past few weeks, trying to take it back from Ukrainian forces that had taken control in 2014 from pro-Russian separatists.

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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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