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World Reacts To Trump Win, Braces For "Wild" Presidency

International newspapers and commentators chime in on an unexpected victory and the unpredictable nature of the incoming "Leader Of The Free World."

Close of a Shepard Fairey-inspired Trump illustration
Close of a Shepard Fairey-inspired Trump illustration
Benjamin Witte

PARIS — The reverberations of Donald Trump's upset-for-the-ages victory in the U.S. presidential election spread quickly. Reactions ranged Wednesday from shock and chagrin to a certain wonder at that unique thing called American democracy.

For so many onlookers around the globe, despite the relative unpopularity of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, there was just no way it would happen. American voters couldn't really, in the end, turn the White House over to a real estate tycoon and reality television star who'd never run for office before. Hand over the keys to White House and the nuclear codes to "The Donald"? Could they "succumb to collective political suicide," as John Carlin wrote in today's issue of Madrid-based El País.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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