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Pope art
Pope art
Julia Villaro

VATICAN CITY — For Pope Francis, "a work of art is the strongest evidence that incarnation is possible." It is an idea expressed in his book "La Mia Idea Di Arte" (My Idea of Art), co-written with Italian journalist Tiziana Lupi as part of the Church's latest attempt to recover bonds with its traditional allies and tools of conversion: painting, sculpture and architecture.

The two have grown apart of late, as art has cozied up to the idol of money, Biblically known as mammon. Francis is convinced that art can be an effective tool for resisting greed, and one that serves social and ecological purposes while revealing the beauty people hold inside.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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