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LES ECHOS

Vanity Affair: This French Magazine Publishes Whenever It Damn Well Pleases

Egoiste, the publishing plaything of an eccentric Parisian icon, Nicole Wisniak, has come out just 17 times in 37 years. The next publication deadline is always: "When it's beautiful."

Egoiste, issue No. 17 of the "phoenix"
Egoiste, issue No. 17 of the "phoenix"
Michel Guerrin

PARIS — It’s a cold spring day, near the end of the 1980s. Nicole Wisniak directs a magazine photo shoot with British photographer Max Vadukul in front of the famous Fontaine de l’Observatoire in Paris’ Jardin du Luxembourg.

The magazine director suddenly gets the idea that the model should jump into the water. “It’s cold,” the young woman protests. "I can't." So Wisniak promptly walks into the fountain with her clothes on, and places herself under the powerful spurts of water. “Now, you can do it.” The model couldn’t refuse.

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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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