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food / travel

Barolo And Brunello Bury Italian Wine Rivalry, Join Forces To Conquer Asia

Barolo and Brunello have long competed to be considered the top Italian red wine. Now makers of both wines have decided to market their bottles together, an approach the French have always used. The Italy v. France battle is on to woo millions from the Am

Prized vintages at the official Barolo tasting Enoteca (sporkist)
Prized vintages at the official Barolo tasting Enoteca (sporkist)
Roberto Fiori

BAROLO - One was the favorite wine of modern Italy's first prime minister, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour, the other was beloved by Giuseppe Garibaldi, the globetrotting general who unified the nation. One is from the northern region Piedmont, the other from the center of Tuscany. For a century and a half, Barolo and Brunello have been rivals, competing for the title of the most beloved Italian red wine in the world. But now a truce has suddenly broken out, with big plans to join forces and conquer new and old markets together.

Italians are taking lessons from the French who are still the world's best at marketing and selling their wines. From France, the wine industry attacks together on every new front, deploys all their labels, from every grape and region; and for years, French wines have blown away the competitors.

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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.

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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