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In The News

The Battle For Severodonetsk, Iran Raises Nuclear Eyebrows, Paula Rego Dies

👋 Aniin!*

Welcome to Thursday, where heavy fighting and shelling rock eastern Ukraine, Germany calls out Iran for its nuclear ambitions, and the art world mourns the passing of “visceral” painter Paula Rego. Meanwhile, our This Happened video format explores one of the most iconic photographs of the Vietnam War, which just turned 50.

[*Ojibwe - Canada]

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A New Cold War Calculus: Ukraine's Domino Effects Around The World

The war in Ukraine has set off the dynamics of a new Cold War: a standoff between democracy and authoritarianism, whatever the ideological stripe. Faraway parts of the world will be affected by what happens on the ground in Ukraine.

-Editorial-

LONDON — Two months into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the heroic resistance of the Ukrainians and their leaders' political skills have created responsibilities for the West and the democratic world. The first day of the invasion was a wake-up call for the West and its allies. The world is returning to bipolarity and a new Cold War.

If the last Cold War was between Soviet communism and Western capitalism, this one is between a front of liberal democracies and their authoritarian rivals. Younger people might call it Cold War 2.0.

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So what will be the characteristics of this next-generation Cold War? That will depend on how the war in Ukraine ends.

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Open-Source Methods, The Cyber Weapon Anyone Can Use In Ukraine War

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, journalists and citizens have used open source online intelligence to help the war effort and fight disinformation. NGOs and amateur investigators are even using it to look for evidence of human rights abuses.

“#OSINT”: These five mysterious letters and hashtag have flourished on social media since Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. Open Source Intelligence is older than this conflict which broke out last February, but it the idea became better known to the general public as videos, photos and other conflict-related content abound, especially on social networks.

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What’s hidden behind this acronym is a set of methods allowing the exploitation of open sources on the Internet: videos or photos posted on social media, location data, satellite images or the positions of planes and ships shared by a number of websites.

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In The Shadow Of Chernobyl, Ivankiv Now Recovers From Russian Army Disaster

Humanitarians and the Ukrainian army are offering assistance to the inhabitants of Ivankiv and its surroundings after they suffered bombings and occupation from the Russian troops in the early stages of the invasion.

IVANKIV — This town not far from the Chernobyl nuclear zone was attacked in the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some of the heaviest battles took place here, as Russian troops sought to break through on the way to the would-be conquest of Kyiv

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The former district center and surrounding villages were finally liberated on April 1, by which time, residents had been under a complete blockade — without electricity, food or medicine.

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Geopolitics
Farid Kahhat

The Ukraine-Taiwan Analogy: Real Fears And False Correlations

The United States has no treaty obligation to send troops to protect Taiwan against China, but it has a "fairly clear" commitment to aid its defense, unlike in Ukraine. The economic stakes are also a source for worry.

-Analysis-

Days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the flight of Chinese jets near Taiwan provoked jitters around the world. The worries were unnecessary as Taiwan's air defense identification zone, where the jets had flown, is effectively bigger than its airspace.

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Also, the incursions were not unusual, having occurred 900 times since the air zone was created. Any comparison between the cases of Taiwan and Ukraine overlooks the fact that — beyond the current context — Taiwan is actually more important to the United States than Ukraine.

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Ukraine War, Phase 2: The Battle For Donbas Begins

👋 Moien!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the battle for Donbas begins, tensions are rising in Gaza after Israel’s airstrike and Biden’s mask mandate for air travel is struck down. Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage zeroes in on the strategic significance of the city of Mariupol in this second phase of the Ukraine war.


[*Luxembourgish]

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Society
Patricia Simón

Up Close With Ukraine's Elderly, Left-Behind Victims Of The War

There are few children left in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, but there are many elderly people, trapped by their health in their homes. Their fate is a mirror of the tragic fate of a nation that was already aging before the war.

KYIV— "When I hear the bombs I get under the table and I cry like when I was a child during World War II," laments Eiludgarda Miroshnychenko.

To get to her house in the heart of the old center of Kyiv, just ten minutes by car from Maidan Square in normal circumstances, we had to pass through 15 checkpoints.

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But Eiludgarda doesn't know this because since the Russian invasion began, more than a month ago, she has only left home to go down to the neighborhood grocer a handful of times. She is 85 years old, has heart problems and is terrified that something will happen to her and that it will take her daughters hours to realize that something is wrong.

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Ideas
Héctor Abad Faciolince

The Club Of Tyrants: Putin And His Western Comrades, Past And Present

Russia's President Putin may speak of denazifying Ukraine, but his words and actions — from the Mariupol maternity hospital to the atrocities of Bucha to Friday's missile attack on the Kramatorsk railway station — show that he's taken up the mantle of Europe's line of fascist dictators. Take a look at those today who still lend him support.

OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — A Ukrainian soldier at the front walks across a snow-covered field. He has one of the saddest smiles one could imagine. There is a photographer nearby, Alex Lourie, one of those people who risk everything to show the truth, who hears the soldier speak a language he knows. Both have been in Iran and discover they can understand each other in Persian. So the soldier recites him a verse: "I wonder at times / Who will tell you of my death?"

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He is not a soldier by profession. He ran a business and was forced to fight. He feels a moral obligation to defend his country from the Russian invasion. His wife and child stayed home. Who will inform them of his death?

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Ideas
Gaspard Koenig

Putin And The Return Of "Radical Evil" In Our Midst

French philosopher Gaspard Koenig's view on Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and its targeting of civilians leads him to a notion explored by Immanuel Kant, and so mocked by post-modernity.

-Essay-

PARIS — Following the news from Ukraine, the mind clings to a semblance of rationality. There is talk of attacks and counter-attacks, war aims, communication operations, economic stakes and complex negotiations. And then, when we read about the atrocities — the bombing of maternity wards, the attacks on evacuation corridors, the deluge of fire on residential neighborhoods, the martyrdom of besieged cities — human reason is lost.

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What tactic or strategy is mass murder? On what page of the war manuals does one learn to bomb civilians? At one point does a general staff meet to decide to create hell on earth? What is the purpose of "conquering" obliterated cities or a population that has become an enemy forever?

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Russia
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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In The News
Laure Gautherin and Bertrand Hauger

Glimmers Of Ukraine Hope Despite Offensive Escalation

👋 Demat!*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine ceasefire talks show signs of progress, despite continued Russian shelling and mounting death toll. Meanwhile, French daily Les Echos looks at the distant ramifications of the Ukraine invasion in the French Riviera.

[*Breton, France]

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Russia
Taylin Aroche

Viktor Orbán, Putin's Trojan Horse In Europe

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is trying to keep the EU and NATO happy without upsetting Vladimir Putin. The war in Ukraine has upped the stakes in Hungary, where tense elections are just a few weeks away.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been engaging in political contortionism in recent weeks to keep his country in the sphere of the EU and NATO without provoking Vladimir Putin. Less than a month before the elections in which Orbán and his Fidesz party will try to keep a majority against a unified opposition, the Hungarian leader maintains his camaraderie with Putin in the midst of the war that is ravaging Ukraine.

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Budapest yesterday authorized the parking and passage of the alliance’s forces through its territory but prohibited the transport of lethal weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

In an extensive official statement, Orbán made it clear between the lines that he does not want to be an enemy of Russia and Putin. “We have to look at this conflict not with American, French or German eyes, we have to look at it with Hungarian eyes. And from the Hungarian point-of-view, the most important thing in this conflict is the peace and security of the Hungarians. To do this, we must stay out of the war." In reference to his administration's denial of arms transit, he declared: "Against those who use these weapons, we will be their enemies."

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