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Greece

How The "Cocaine Of The Poor" Is Spreading Across Crisis-Ridden Greece

Known as sisa, this Greek methamphetamine-based concoction is spreading across the streets of Athens -- the latest sign of the side effects of the economic crisis plaguing Greece.

Nightmares in Athens
Nightmares in Athens
Alex Rühle

ATHENS - Leonidas, Ismail and Christos are sitting in the back courtyard of Kethea Exelixis, a therapy center for drug addicts, and they’re talking about sisa, the "cocaine of the poor" — a new drug in crisis-shaken Greece. The three of them are experts when it comes to comparing sisa with other drugs. They’ve tried pretty much everything.

"It eats you up from the inside," Ismail says. "It makes you angry, really angry," says Leonidas. And for Christos? "When you take sisa you don’t even know what "angry" means anymore — it unchains the animal in you."

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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