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LA STAMPA

The Tragedy And Courage Of A Mobster's Daughter

The daughter of Lea Garofalo, who was brutally killed by her Italian mob husband in 2009, courageously speaks out against the dark underworld - and her own father and boyfriend.

"I see, I feel, I speak." A flag of support at Lea's funeral in Milan
"I see, I feel, I speak." A flag of support at Lea's funeral in Milan
Michele Brambilla

MILAN — At just 22, Denise Cosco has endured unspeakable sadness. Her mother was murdered by her father with the help of her own boyfriend. You might think that she would never be able to trust anyone ever again, but the girl in front of me demonstrates strength and a will to live that seems nothing short of miraculous.

She must be disguised, and we meet in a secret location with police protection. She has changed her name, and now must recount an invented story about her past to everyone she meets. But still she manages to smile — and even laugh.

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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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