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Geopolitics

Little Britain, Petite Europe — Lost In This Big Bad World

The once Great Britain has just gotten smaller. But Brexit has also rendered the meekness of the European project evident to all. And the big players like the U.S. and China will eat them for lunch if something doesn't change quickly.

In London on June 25
In London on June 25
Nicolas Barré

-OpEd-

PARIS — We could dream that the European project moving forward without the United Kingdom will be better after all. That this country was a constant obstacle, and that its withdrawal will finally clear the path for the future. But which path is that? Where does it lead? At what pace? How? With whom? Let's be honest, the British exit is an official acknowledgment of the absence of vision and collective project that has been plaguing the European Union for years.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Inside Russia’s Revival Of Stalinist “Filtration Camps”

Though different than concentration camps constructed by Nazis, the “filtration” facilities nevertheless recalls a brutal history, and have been reopened under Putin, and ramped up since the invasion of Ukraine.

Civilians leaving Mariupol on foot

Anna Akage

"It was like a true concentration camp."

This is how Oleksandr, a 49-year-old man from Mariupol, described where he and his wife Olena were taken in by Russian security officers. Speaking to a reporter for the BBC, the couple was fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated for hours, and their phones searched for material that could somehow identify them as “Nazis.”

But there is another name given to that these locations, and the process, that have been set up to handle Ukrainians taken into custody in areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists: They’re called: “filtration camps.”

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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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