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TOPIC: genocide

This Happened

This Happened - April 24: Armenian Genocide Begins

The Armenian genocide began on this day in 1915, when the Ottoman government arrested and deported hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople (now Istanbul).

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This Happened - April 7: Rwandan Genocide Begins

The Rwanda genocide started on this day in 1994, and lasted for approximately 100 days until mid-July 1994.

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How A 1930s Soviet Famine Targeted Ukraine — And Why It Matters More Than Ever

Ukraine and countries around the world recognize the Holodomor, the famine which killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s, as a genocide caused by Soviet authorities. But Russia still refuses to admit responsibility. A new study uses agricultural records and mathematical modeling to show that the famine clearly targeted Ukrainians.

KYIV — The Holodomor was one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the 20th century. In the course of just two years, from 1932 to 1933, between 5 and 10.8 million people died of hunger in the Soviet Union — at least 2.6 to 3.9 million of them in Ukraine alone.

Until the 1980s, the Soviet government denied that the tragedy happened at all. Modern Russian historians now agree that the famine was caused by human action. But while Ukraine, the European Parliament, the U.S. and Canada, among other countries, have all recognized Holodomor as a genocide, most Russian historians still disagree, arguing that people also died in other grain-producing regions of the Soviet Union.

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This historical dispute has strong political significance. The Ukrainian government often repeats its demand for apology and restitution from Russia, the legal successor to the USSR, for orchestrating the famine. The Kremlin says describing the Holodomor as a genocide is anti-Russian propaganda. After its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russian forces dismantled memorials to the Holodomor in occupied cities of Mariupol and Kreminna.

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This Happened - February 12: Milosevic On Trial

On this day, 21 years ago, the trial of Slobodan Milošević began in the Hague, Netherlands.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

Macron Calls Putin’s Airstrikes On Civilian Infrastructure A War Crime

The French President leads a growing chorus of outrage against Russia, including the strongest condemnation to date from Pope Francis.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday led a rising chorus of outrage after unprecedented Russian air attacks on civilian infrastructure targets, which left up to 75% of Kyiv residents without power and water, and killed 10 people across Ukraine.

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“Strikes against civilian infrastructures are war crimes and cannot go unpunished,” Macron said.

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Philipp Mattheis

On China's Leash: Why Erdogan Stays Silent On Muslim Uyghurs

Turkey is home to the largest Uyghur diaspora in the world. The Muslim minority group, which is persecuted in China, sees the Turks as “cousins”. But as the country’s economy grows increasingly dependent on Beijing, Erdogan is holding his tongue about human rights abuses — and he is not alone.

ISTANBUL — Omer Faruk is a serious-looking man. He stands very straight and speaks clearly. The 32-year-old Uyghur has laid out photos in front of him – his mother in her wheelchair and baby pictures of two of his daughters.

For a few years now, Faruk has run his own bookshop for Uyghur literature in Istanbul. In 2016, along with his wife and two older children, he fled oppression and violence in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

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In The News
Shaun Lavelle, Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

Is Kyiv Ready To Risk Taking War Into Russian Territory?

While Russia is accusing Ukraine of carrying out attacks on its territory, the U.S. is set to send rocket launchers that could fire into Russian territory. But Washington is also warning Kyiv of the high risks of escalation.

Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out attacks on its territory, the latest indication that the war may be escalating dangerously across the border. The head of the Border Service of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Vladimir Kulishov,claimed that Ukrainian militants were trying to enter the country disguised as refugees.

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In an interview with government-owned Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kulishov said the situation at the border was difficult and that “additional temporary border posts were deployed.” He said that such actions preceded the invasion: “From 2014 to February 2022, the Ukrainian side undertook over 40 anti-Russian actions on the state border.”

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In The News
Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Toll Rises In Bucha, As Russia Accused Of War Crimes And West Prepares New Sanctions

👋 Wai!*

Welcome to Monday, where scenes of horror emerge from Bucha, near Kyiv, with bodies of more than 400 civilian victims reportedly found; Ukrainian President Zelensky accuses Russia of genocide, and Western leaders prepare new sanctions in response, including possible cut to Russian gas. La Stampa’s Francesca Mannocchi reports from Kyiv where she captures a snapshot of the new rhythms of life as a tense wartime normalcy takes over the Ukrainian capital.

[*Bodo - India, Nepal & Bengal]

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Anna Akage

The Cruelest Irony: This Is How Putin Is Saving The Russian Speakers Of Ukraine

From Kharkiv to Mariupol, the targets of some of the worst Russian attacks on civilians are largely Russian-speaking cities. It is the worst possible twist to Putin’s bogus claim that his war was to “de-nazify” and prevent “genocide” of Russian speakers.

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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Sergey Markedonov*

The Geopolitics Of Washington's Stand On Armenian Genocide

MOSCOW— For the first time, the U.S. Congress has recognized the mass killings and deportations in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide. So why now?

It doesn't seem that the United States has anything really to gain from the country of Armenia. Two of the four borders of the country are closed, and its main military ally is Russia, whose efforts to maintain the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh are keeping Transcaucasia from a new large-scale conflict.

Nor does it appear that the resolution — which the U.S. House of Representatives adopted on Oct. 29 — will worsen Armenian-Turkish relations. There have been no relations between Ankara and Yerevan since the collapse of the USSR. And it is unlikely that the adoption of a resolution will change this.

The topic of the Armenian genocide comes up in the U.S. every time Ankara's behavior displeases Washington.

What, then, is the significance of the move, especially given that there's no telling if the resolution will even pass? A similar project is under consideration in the U.S. Senate, and the executive branch has even more reason for caution given the intricacies of relations with NATO allies, Turkey being one of them.

The document says a lot about how U.S. foreign policy operates. First off, it highlights the constant struggle between values and pragmatism. It's also a reminder that the topic of the Armenian genocide comes up in the United States every time Ankara's behavior displeases Washington.

Commemorating the Armenian genocide in Greece — Photo: Achilleas Pagourtzis/Pacific Press/ZUMA

The United States is clearly and consistently fighting the emergence of any competitor in Eurasia. The point here is not the deeply rooted Russophobia of American politicians, because in fact, Washington is ready to take measures against anyone who tries to break the status quo without taking into account U.S. interests. The bipartisan support the resolution received in the Oct. 29 vote is a case in point.

The adoption of the resolution turns out to be a mirror for all of the parties involved, including Turkey, whose hard-line position on the genocide topic isn't just a matter of avoiding responsibility for the past. It's also about not wanting to set new precedents, because while the issue is ostensibly about Armenians and Greeks, people are also thinking about the Kurds.

The purpose of the mirror, furthermore, isn't just so the stakeholders can gaze at themselves. It's so that they can also learn something.

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Hanno Charisius

Sick Children, Why The Cambodian Genocide Toll Is Still Rising

Decades after the Khmer Rouge, the legacy of their brutal regime claims a new generation of victims.

SIEM REAP Ros Mom wears socks even on hot days. No one is supposed to see her feet while she is sitting on the bed in her Quonset hut in a small village near Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia. Ros Mom lives not far from the ruins of Angkor Wat. But the money brought by 2 million tourists every year has little impact on the economy in the surrounding jungle. The streets around the temple are paved. But the path leading up to Ros Mom's hut is just dirt and sand.

A couple of months ago the mother of four developed an open sore on her left foot because she didn't have enough money to buy insulin to treat her Type-2 diabetes. The monthly prescription of the vital drug costs $25, Ros Mom explains as a squeaky old ventilator churns up the hot air under the corrugated iron of her hut. Only when the ulcer developed did she return to the clinic of the Cambodian Diabetes Society (CDA) to visit her doctor, Lim Keuky.

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Laurence D’Hondt

Honoring “Turkish Schindlers” — Forgotten Heroes Of The Armenian Genocide

Unlike the 'Righteous Among The Nations' of the Nazi Holocaust, individual Turks who opposed the Armenian genocide are lost to history. Again, Turkey's government is largely to blame.

SOLOGNE — Whenever Jean-Pierre Fleury's mother talked to her son about the fate of the Armenian people, she would always end her story with a reminder: "Never forget it was Turks who saved us..."

Fleury, growing up in France, had only discovered his mother's Armenian origins when she started talking with a stranger in a language he did not understand, and suddenly burst into tears. Shaken by this revelation, the young man never stopped questioning his mother about the tragic events that led to the death of 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, between 1915 and 1923.

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