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Geopolitics

The Oslo Generation: Palestinians, Educated And Full Of Rage

Born around the time of the 1993 Oslo Accords that were supposed to usher in Middle East peace, these young people are well-informed, disillusioned and very, very angry.

Palestinian protesters during clashes near Ramallah on Oct. 14
Palestinian protesters during clashes near Ramallah on Oct. 14
Piotr Smolar

RAMALLAH — The Halabi family home, with its wrought iron gate bordered with flowers and shrubs, looks impressive and spacious. But there's no furniture left inside except for two mattresses in a corner and some plastic chairs. The occupants decided to evacuate in a rush, because Israel has promised to demolish it.

For now, the family welcomes guests in the empty rooms of their house in Surda, near Ramallah. One after another, cousins, friends and neighbors come to offer their condolences for the death of 19-year-old Muhannad Halabi, who was shot and killed by Israeli police after stabbing two Israelis to death in Jerusalem's Old City on Oct. 3.

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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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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