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Economy

That Mind-Boggling Post-Modern Waiting-In-Line Paradox

In our always plugged-in era of uber immediacy, some of us are willing and eager to wait ages to buy the latest smartphone or eat a certain hamburger from a truck.

A new line of thinking
A new line of thinking
Catherine Rollot and Pascale Krémer

PARIS — The subway doors are closing perilously fast and hard, but the teenager struggles to make her way in. Just a little while earlier, this same Parisian youth was finishing a long wait in line in front of one of this city's trendy new food trucks. But now, she virtually risked her life to avoid waiting for the next subway.

The ultramodern paradox: In our society of immediacy, where we find it intolerable that a website takes a few seconds to open, we are ready to spend hours waiting for some particular product or service.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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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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