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Geopolitics

Yemen, The Perfect Storm Of Middle East Peril

Shia militiamen, Sunni clans, al-Qaida, Iran and Saudi Arabia all have their hands in the rapidly shifting sands of the poorest state in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is everybody's business.

Houthi fighters in Sana'a, Yemen
Houthi fighters in Sana'a, Yemen
Paul-Anton Krüger

The palace has fallen. The fighters of the Houthi militia have occupied the presidential seat in Sana'a. This is the last symbolic act of a virtually creeping coup in Yemen that began last September, when 30,000 people came north from their ancestral territories to overrun the capital.

Not a single member of Parliament in President Abed Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s cabinet would dare to sign a decree without a representative of the Houthi militia having first given their consent. And if this does happen (as in the case of Hadi’s chief secretary suggesting a new draft of the constitution), the militia reacts with threats and brazen kidnappings. The internationally accepted government is not capable of fulfilling its role.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kharkiv Revisited: Inside Russia's New Assault On The "Hero City" Of Ukraine

The nation's second-largest city, Kharkiv was quiet for weeks after Ukrainian forces took control. But now it is again under attack as Russia pushes to capture the city that's considered the "gateway" to Ukraine. Die Welt reports from the frontline.

Damages due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Alfred Hackensberger

KHARKIV — "Come, I want to show you something," Denys Vezenych says, opening the door of his dental office.

The 40-year-old begins to tell the story in the waiting room: "It was April 16 when the Russian artillery shell hit. The windowpanes were broken, the walls had holes everywhere and the roof was destroyed. But I renovated everything."

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The repairs cost him several thousand euros. "You have to think positively, because life goes on," he explains with a smile. But this attitude is not so present generally in Saltivka, a neighborhood in northeastern Kharkiv. The dental practice may be like new, but the rest of this area in the northeastern Ukrainian city is completely destroyed.

The Russian army has done a great job in its three-month offensive on Ukraine's second largest metropolis. Countless flats have been burned out, the facades of houses have been shot to pieces, entire shopping centers have been bombed. Debris still lie in the streets everywhere.

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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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