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Switzerland

Welcome To “Dementia Village,” A European Experiment In Long-Term Alzheimer's Care

Following a similar project outside of Amsterdam, Swiss developers plan to build an entire village for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The $27 million Swiss facility will recreate the environment of the 1950s. Not all think i

(Visentico / Sento)
(Visentico / Sento)
Beat Bühlmann

It's a village like many others. Street signs, front gardens with little gnome figurines, a restaurant, beauty parlor and supermarket. What is different about it is that the 150 men and women who live here suffer from serious dementia. They can move around freely in the village. But they can't leave it. This is Hogewey, a nursing facility near Amsterdam that is considered a pioneer in dementia care. Care givers stay behind the scenes, and are dressed like gardeners, hairdressers, and sales people.

Now Switzerland is to get its own "dementia village" in Wiedlisbach, canton Bern. Still in the planning stages, the village will occupy the site of an existing nursing home and will be called the "Village For People With Dementia." Representatives of the community have already approved the plan. "Right now we're planning a village for 100 men and women, but later we could expand to 200 or even 300," says general manager Markus Vögtlin. Construction is expected to last between five and seven years and cost roughly 25 million Swiss francs (nearly $27 million).

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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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.

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