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LA STAMPA

Landing On A Hopeful Shore, Italy's 100,000th Migrant

A former cook for the Free Syrian Army, Iftikar al Daye is the 100,000th migrant who has arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, and a symbol of hope for fleeing refugees.

On Lampedusa island
On Lampedusa island
Guido Ruotolo

BRINDISI — Dressed in black with a white veil, Iftikar al Daye is sitting on a bench, waiting. She's in a Red Cross tent in what used to be a shed for the Montecatini chemical company on Italy's Sant'Apollinare jetty. A handwritten card is pinned on her chest with the number 580.

Daye, who is Syrian, lifts up the white mask she received as soon as she disembarked from the Scirocco, one of the vessels belonging to the Mare Nostrum military and humanitarian operation. She appears to be calm, serene almost, as if crossing the Mediterranean Sea didn't exhaust her in the slightest. Thanks to interpreters from the immigration office at the Brindisi police station, she is able to talk with us.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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