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War In Ukraine, Day 128: Toxic Masculinity, New Iron Curtain — What Rising War Rhetoric Tells Us
In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 128: Toxic Masculinity, New Iron Curtain — What Rising War Rhetoric Tells Us

What is happening in Ukraine is decidedly not a war of words — it’s a war. Every day people are dying, soldiers and civilians alike. And it is that war which will determine the fate of both Ukraine and Russia, and have a lasting impact all around the world.

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Still, the rhetoric that has risen throughout the conflict, beginning even before the outbreak of war, plays a role, and certainly garners attention on all sides. Just in the past 24 hours, we’ve seen the Kremlin respond indignantly to recent comments by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that: Russia’s invasion was "a perfect example of toxic masculinity." And if Putin were a woman, Johnson added: “I really don't think he would've embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”

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Good And Bad News For Putin 100 Days After Invasion
In The News

Good And Bad News For Putin 100 Days After Invasion

One hundred days after Vladimir Putin launched an apparent all-or-nothing invasion of Ukraine, the reality is neither all nor nothing. The Russian president is no doubt comforting himself with news that his troops are progressing in the southeastern Donbas region. President Volodymyr Zelensky reported Thursday that Russia by now controls up to 20% of Ukrainian territory.

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Of course the Feb. 24 assault was presented as a blitzkrieg, across much of Ukraine, with Kremlin plans to quickly take over Kyiv and push Zelensky’s elected government out of power. The world braced itself for a new era of imperialistic ambitions from Moscow.

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Photo of a Russian tank destroyed during street fighting in Mala Shestirnya in Ukraine, with a white letter "Z" painted on the side.
In The News

Lavrov Reveals Slow Pace Of Russian Advances

Also: First Mariupol evacuations, Biden visit "matter of time," Lavrov's Jewish Hitler, Chechnya’s TikTok Fighters ... and more.

May 9 has long been an important day in Moscow, commemorating the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany. Most Kremlin observers believed that Vladimir Putin’s new all-out assault in the southeast Donbas region was aiming to bring home at least a symbolic victory in time for what Russians call “Victory Day.”

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But on Monday, Moscow-based daily Kommersant reports that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned that Russia is not going to force a "victory" by May 9, which looks like a de facto admission that the assault has not progressed at the pace the Kremlin had hoped.

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Photo of Ukrainian troops
In The News

Two Big Signs The Ukraine War Could Last "For Years"

Two key points in the past 24 hours offer a sense that the war in Ukraine won’t be ending anytime soon. From Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed an unprecedented $33-billion military and humanitarian aid package to Kyiv. Such a financial commitment, which Biden acknowledged was “not cheap,” is part of a shift from the U.S. over the past 10 days to massive support for President Volodomyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian military, in an effort to defeat Russia on the battlefield.

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“The high dollar amount requested also sends a signal to Russia that the United States intends to back Ukraine in the fight for the long run,” writes U.S. news site Politico. “It will also likely boost Ukrainians who say they want to defeat Russia, not merely settle for a long-term stalemate.”

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Photo of sign with a hammer and sickle in Transnistria
Geopolitics

Fears Of Putin’s War Spreading Amid Rumblings In Transnistria

More of the latest: European economy under threat by gas cuts, Mariupol soldier holed up in steel plant, Finland poll on joining, Russia pulls out mercenary troops from Libya, U.S. considers labeling Russia sponsors of terrorism, and more...

The recent series of explosions occurring in part of Transnistria, a breakaway territory within Moldova that has housed Russian troops for decades, have sparked fears that this region may be where Vladimir Putin will take his expansionist war next.

The inhabitants of Transnistria, considered to be pro-Russian, insist they want to be left out of the conflict, reports Tonia Mastrobuoni reports for Italian daily La Repubblica. “We want peace and want to be left in peace,” one of several residents interviewed who refused to give their name.

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Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu insisted that the situation in Transnistria is "more or less calm," though in the past 36 hours there have been a series of explosions that no one has taken responsibility for — and which Ukraine says could be used by Moscow as a pretext to move into Moldova.

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Photo of a man burying a relative
Geopolitics

UK-Russian Escalation As Ukraine Hits Targets On Russian Soil

As London and Moscow continue to exchange threats and accusations, targets in Russian territory were reported hit overnight.

Russia says that Ukraine was responsible for an explosion at an ammunition depot in Russia’s Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border, though Kyiv has yet to confirm. Moscow daily Kommersant also reports that Russian air defenses shot at unmanned aircraft in neighboring border regions Kursk and Voronezh.

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The Russian government has accused the UK of "provoking" Ukraine into attacking Russian territory, following the statement yesterday by a British cabinet member James Heappey that it was “legitimate” to strike targets in Russia. According to Russian state news agency TASS, Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Heappey’s declaration “a monstrous statement.”


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Photo of two men through a bullet hole on a window in Ukraine
Geopolitics

Lavrov’s World War III Warning And Veiled Nuclear Threats

The Russian foreign minister's words come after U.S. officials say they believe Ukraine can win the war, and aim for a "weakened" Russia in the future.

Over the past 24 hours, the war of words between Washington and Moscow has escalated significantly. After U.S. Defense Secretary Llyod Austin said that seeing Russia not just defeated by Ukraine, but “weakened” by the war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded with an explicit warning that U.S. actions could lead to “World War III,” with veiled references to possible nuclear attacks.

Lavrov told Russia’s Channel One television network early Tuesday that the risks of nuclear conflict “are really very, very significant, I would not like these risks to be artificially inflated, and there are many who want them. The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated,” Lavrov said.

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Comparing the current situation with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Lavrov noted that there used to be a channel of communication "which was trusted by both leaders," but now "there is no such channel, and no one is trying to create it. Then there were few written rules, but the rules of conduct were quite clear. Moscow understood how Washington was behaving, Washington understood how Moscow was behaving. And now there are few of those rules.”

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Photo of a protest in support of Mariupol in Warsaw, Poland, on April 21
Geopolitics

Signs Of Mariupol Mass Graves, As Russia Pounds Azovstal

Mariupol’s mayor Vadym Boichenko has accused Russia of burying dead civilians in mass graves, a charge that appears to be confirmed by satellite photos released late Thursday of sites in a nearby village.

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Ukrainian sources report Friday that there are currently multiple wounded and dead people inside separated bunkers of the plant, which have room for between 80 and 100 people each. The entrances to some shelters are blocked by concrete slabs, which cannot be moved without heavy equipment. On Thursday, Vladimir Putin claimed Russia had “liberated” Mariupol, but acknowledged that the steel plant is still in Ukrainian control, and would be sealed off rather than attacked.

Kyiv-based Livy Bereg news outlet reports Friday that the Russian military continues to shell the Azovstal plant with warships and air attacks, capable of destroying Ukrainian bunkers.

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9/11 Front Pages: World Newspapers Coverage Of The Attack
Society

9/11 Front Pages: World Newspapers Coverage Of The Attack

History happened instantly before our eyes 20 years ago on September 11, 2001 — and the global press was there to offer a first view on a day that continues to live in infamy. Here are 31 newspaper front pages and magazine covers.

By the time United Airlines Flight 175 sliced into the second tower, news reporters and editors around the world knew they were facing the most monumental story of their lifetime. The Sep. 11 attacks forever changed the world, and put the powers of modern journalism, from real-time video coverage to deep news analysis (on deadline), to the test like never before.

With events unfolding on that Tuesday morning in New York and Washington, newspapers around the world could go to print that evening with special editions for Sep. 12 that offered the proverbial "first draft of history" on their respective front pages. News magazines followed suit with tragically iconic covers. TIME magazine's lead writer Nancy Gibbs recently recalled the unique pressure of producing a special issue in 24 hours.

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