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Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Mariupol

A Russian air raid struck a Mariupol maternity hospital, an unthinkable new moral low in Vladimir Putin's war. Soon after the strike, Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka was on the scene, capturing a powerful image of the horror of war.

Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Mariupol

A detail of the photo of the week

Laure Gautherin and Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

The Russian invasion of Ukraine struck a new moral low this past week. The killing of civilians is multiplying across the country, notably in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

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For the past two weeks, Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian troops and Ukraine has tried several times to evacuate civilians through a humanitarian corridor from a city where more than 400,000 people have been without water or electricity for over a week.

On Wednesday, March 9, a Russian air raid struck a Mariupol maternity hospital, an unthinkable target that many have already labeled a war crime. Soon after the strike, Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka was on the scene, capturing a series of horrific images.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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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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