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EL ESPECTADOR

Living Online Is Not Quite Living

Handling daily tasks like shopping online instead of going out is as convenient as it is contrary to the real, and potentially agreeable process called 'living.'

'The notion of never leaving home and living off deliveries is a trap too'
"The notion of never leaving home and living off deliveries is a trap too"
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — I recently overheard a conversation between two women, a 94 year old and an 86 year old. The younger one complained that ripe bananas were not as good as they used to be. Never quite ripe enough, she said, nor the right size. The older woman disagreed: They were just as good if not better. The young one said, "I don't know, whatever I say they keep sending me awful bananas." Why, the older one asked, did she not pick them herself at the market? The younger lady cited her hip. "I only leave the house when my daughters take me out," she says. The older woman suggested a walker, adding, "The shopping trolley is the best walker on the market. I even bought one to move around the house and I take it everywhere." She had in fact arrived with a trolley in which she kept items including a jersey, a book, her handbag and, well, some bananas.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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