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Bottles and pouches of Ugandan liquor
Bottles and pouches of Ugandan liquor
Paul Seru

BENI - For many years in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the military was the main seller of liquor imported from Uganda. But now soldiers have changed sides, and are now fighting those who try to import liquor into Congo.

In order to reduce the trafficking and consumption of banned liquors in the Beni region, soldiers and police forces decided to join forces last February. These banned drinks are being imported from Uganda through the city of Kasindi, in the eastern part of North Kivu. Last March, a major from the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) brought two sacks of liquor to the offices in charge of animal quarantine and veterinary services (SQAV). He asked for the bags to be destroyed publicly, an army official recalled.

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Geopolitics

Is Odessa Next? Putin Sees A Gateway To Moldova — And Chance For Revenge

After the fall of Mariupol, Vladimir Putin appears to have his eye on another iconic southern coastal city, with a strong identity and strategic location.

Odessa after a missile attack

Vincenzo Circosta/ZUMA
Anna Akage

Air strikes on the port city of Odessa have become more frequent over the past three weeks, most often hitting residential buildings, shopping malls, and critical infrastructure rather than military targets. The missiles arrive from naval vessels on the Black Sea and across the sea from the nearby Crimean coast, with the toll including multiple civilian deaths and a growing sense of panic. In Odessa, fears are rising that it could follow Mariupol as Vladimir Putin’s next principal target.

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Since the beginning of the war, more than half of the population — about 500,000 people — have left the city, even as others are flowing into Odessa from other war-torn regions in southern Ukraine, where the situation is even worse: people from Nikolayev, Kherson, Crimea, and even from Moldovan Transnistria.

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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.

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