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Hit It! The St. Patrick's Day Edition

March 17th is St. Patrick's Day and while Ireland gets the day off to celebrate, those of Irish decent (and whoever else may be thirsty) will be celebrating this weekend. So, we decided to put a "green" version of Hit It! for this week to get you in the mood.

Our bonus video this week is from Fáilte Ireland, the tourist board. They put together a virtual postcard from the Emerald Isle, featuring the song Higher Love by Vincent James McMorrow, and it's enough to make any Irish person swell with pride.

Lá fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

If you are planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year for the first time and are for some reason wondering what beer is made of and what effects it may have on people, this young gentleman explains it perfectly.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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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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