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In The News

Worldcrunch Magazine #37 — Iran And The Taliban: The Drug Connection

June 12 - June 18, 2023

Worldcrunch Magazine #37 — Iran And The Taliban: The Drug Connection

This is the latest edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a selection of our best articles of the week from the best international journalists, produced exclusively in English for Worldcrunch readers.


The cover story, by Hamed Mohammadi for London-Kayhan, looks at Iran's mild reaction to recurring Taliban provocations on its frontier, and asks the hard question: Is this due to diplomatic weakness, policy incompetence or is there some murky complicity inside Iran with the Afghan drug trade?

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Table of Contents

Did Putin Tip Off Dam Attack With A Veiled Nuclear Threat Last Week? | Agents Media

Putin’s Message In Dam Explosion: If Cornered, I Will Stop At Nothing| Worldcrunch by Anna Akage

Are Iran And The Taliban Colluding In The Drug Trafficking Business? | Kayhan-London by Hamed Mohammadi

Lex Tusk? Poland’s Controversial “Russian Influence” Law | Gazeta Wyborcza by Piotr Miaczynski & Leszek Kostrzewski

Colombian Paramilitary’s Other Dirty War — Against LGBTQ+ People | El Espectador by Johan Sanabria

Pillar Of Shame: Tiananmen To Hong Kong To Berlin | Die Welt by Samuel Chu

How The Calabrian Mob Is Infiltrating Religious Traditions | La Stampa by Giuseppe Legato

22. Shakira, Miley Cyrus And The Double Standards Of Infidelity | Clarín by Mariana Rolandi

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Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner Group 2.0: Why Russia's Mercenary System Is Here To Stay

Many had predicted that the death last month of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin meant the demise of the mercenary outfit. Yet signs in recent days say the private military outfit is active again in Ukraine, a reminder of the Kremlin's interest in continuing a private fighting formula that has worked all around the world.

Photograph of a Wagner soldier in the city of Artyomovsk, holding a rifle.

Ukraine, Donetsk Region - March 24, 2023: A Wagner Group soldier guards an area in the city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).

Cameron Manley


“Let’s not forget that there is no Wagner Group anymore,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declared. “Such an organization, in our eyes, does not exist.”

The August 25 statement from came less than two days after the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the infamous Russian mercenary outfit, as questions swirled about Wagner's fate after its crucial role in the war in Ukraine and other Russian military missions around the world.

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How could an independent military outfit survive after its charismatic founder's death? It seemed highly unlikely that President Vladimir Putin would allow the survival of a group after had launched a short-lived coup attempt in late June that most outside observers believe led to Prigozhin's private airplane being shot down by Russian forces on August 23.

"Wagner is over,” said the Kremlin critic and Russian political commentator Maksim Katz. “The group can’t keep going. There’s the possibility that they could continue in parts or with Defense Ministry contracts, but the group only worked with an unofficial agreement between Putin and Prigozhin.”

Yet barely a month later, and there are already multiple signs that the Wagner phoenix is rising from the ashes.

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