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Lisa Berdet

See more by Lisa Berdet

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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2022 Kharkiv Pride Parade​
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Cuban Marriage, Kharkiv Pride, Trump’s Gaffe — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Putin 3D sculpture
Geopolitics

Why Putin's Threats Are More Dangerous Than The Cuban Missile Crisis

Unlike the U.S.-Soviet showdown in 1962, Vladimir Putin's allusions to his nuclear arsenal come with no sense of rules or limits, and with a more distant memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

-Analysis-

PARIS"Once more I wandered down to the town to have a last look at peace.”

It was with this quote from Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday in mind that I spent the past hot and dry summer in the French region of Normandy. Zweig had started writing his memoir in 1934, as the Nazi menace was spreading.

Were we living our last summer of peace? The funeral of Edward VII in 1910 preceded the outbreak of World War I by four years. Could it be that the funeral of his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth II, preceded the outbreak of World War III by four months?

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We are not there yet, but this scenario, although highly unlikely, is nonetheless becoming "possible." I am by nature rather optimistic. I never want to be accused of being a doomsayer, but a new and qualitatively different level of escalation has just been reached by Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Russia has been humiliated on the military front, increasingly isolated on the diplomatic front, abandoned by even its closest ally, China, and criticized by the previously "neutral" great power, India.

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How Western Sanctions Are Quietly Undermining Russia's Fighting Power
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Western Sanctions Are Quietly Undermining Russia's Fighting Power

Despite what the Kremlin claims, Western sanctions against Russia are working. Perhaps most important is the embargo on electronic component exports, which prevents the Russian army from rebuilding tanks and missiles severely depleted in the war.

-Analysis-

PARIS Europe is shooting itself in the foot.

That was the narrative that spread among both the public and economists: the European Union sanctions against Russia were bound to backfire, without ever really taking a toll on Moscow — power shortages this winter in the West, while Russia "bathes in cash" thanks to soaring energy prices and a rising ruble. All the while, the received wisdom told us, Moscow will be able to skirt any EU export embargoes via the black market or thanks to its Chinese ally.

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The ever masochistic European Union was blindly following the U.S, rather than truly defending our interests by advocating a rapid diplomatic solution, a formula that ultimately means "just let Putin take Ukraine".

The only problem is that this narrative is that it's a myth. It is a line of rhetoric based on a lack of understanding of the real objectives and functioning of sanctions.

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Benjamin Button For Real? Scientists Are Close To Cracking The Code To Reverse Aging
Future

Benjamin Button For Real? Scientists Are Close To Cracking The Code To Reverse Aging

The discovery that earned Japan's Shinya Yamanaka the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine has paved the way for new research proving that aging is a reversible process. Currently just being tested on lab mice, will the cellular reprogramming soon offer eternal youth?

PARIS — Barbra Streisand loved her dog Samantha, aka Sammy. The white and fluffy purebred Coton of Tulear was even present on the steps of the Elysée Palace, the French President’s official residence, when Streisand received the Legion of Honor in 2007.

As the singer and actress explained inThe New York Times in 2018, she loved Sammy so much that, unable to bring herself to see her pass away, she had the dog cloned by a Texas firm for the modest sum of 50,000 dollars just before she died in 2017, at the age of 14. And that's how Barbra Streisand became the happy owner of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, two puppies who are the spitting image of the deceased Samantha.

This may sound like a joke, but there is one deeply disturbing fact that Harvard Medical School genetics professor David A. Sinclair points out in his book Why We Age – And Why We Don’t Have To. It is that the cloning of an old dog has led to two young puppies.

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Photo of a rainbow near Buckingham Palace after the announcement of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: The Queen’s Mixed Legacy, Acceptance On Ukraine Frontlines — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Ukraine Says 385 Square Miles Recaptured Since Counter-Offensive Began
In The News

Ukraine Says 385 Square Miles Recaptured Since Counter-Offensive Began

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian forces reclaimed 1,000 square kilometers (385 square miles) of territory in the south and east since launching their counter-offensive on Sept. 1. The troops continue to advance in both the Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

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“As part of ongoing defense operations, our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements. And today (Thursday) this movement continued, there are new results,” Zelensky said in a nightly address on Thursday. Ukraine’s military has reportedly retaken 20 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast.

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“Palpable” Nuclear Fears As Artillery Fire Returns To Zaporizhzhia
In The News

“Palpable” Nuclear Fears As Artillery Fire Returns To Zaporizhzhia

Below is an extract from a rare on-the-ground report from Nikopol, across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

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“The presence of the IAEA task force is apparently not a deterrent,” writes Francesco Semprini for Italian daily La Stampa. “In recent days shelling intensified, including in surrounding areas. As in the Nikopol district, on the other side of the Dnipro River, exactly five kilometers from the plant. On Tuesday the electric towers were reached.

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Kyiv Warns That Russia Is Manipulating IAEA At Zaporizhzhia
In The News

Kyiv Warns That Russia Is Manipulating IAEA At Zaporizhzhia

The state-owned Ukrainian energy operator and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have cast doubt on the visit of IAEA international inspectors assessing the risks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russia.

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Energy provider Energoatom said Friday that Russian officials at Zaporizhzhia are distorting the information they’re sharing with the team of IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog agency, which arrived at the plant on Thursday and plans to set up a semi-permanent presence to help guard against a nuclear accident from military clashes in the area.

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Photo of Argentine Alejandra Ironici speaking at an event
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Argentine Trans Icon Murder, Fleeing Russia, Bad Bunny Kiss — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Russia Agrees To Nuclear Inspectors' Visit To Zaporizhzhia
In The News

Russia Agrees To Nuclear Inspectors' Visit To Zaporizhzhia

A team from the United Nations nuclear watchdog IAEA is on its way to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, after Russia agreed to secure their safety. This comes after weeks of Russia and Ukraine accusing each other of attacks near the plant that have raised the risk of a major nuclear accident.

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Russian media reports Monday that Moscow said it welcomes the IAEA’s visit to Zaporizhzhia. The inspectors are expected to enter the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant from the Ukrainian side, but Russia will ensure its safety on the territory occupied by the Russian army. When asked about the possibility of creating a demilitarized zone around the plant, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was “not under discussion.”

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Defiant Ukrainians Reel From Deadly Chaplyne Attack
In The News

Defiant Ukrainians Reel From Deadly Chaplyne Attack

Ukraine’s Independence Day was marred by a deadly Russian attack on a train station in Chaplyne, in the east of the country, late in the day. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned that Moscow could try “something particularly ugly” to coincide with the occasion, and in response to the looming threats of an attack, Kyiv had banned public celebrations.

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In Kharkiv, where recent Russian attacks have been ongoing, authorities announced a curfew from 7 p.m. local time on the eve of Independence Day to 7 a.m. the following day. "We ask that you understand such measures and prepare to stay at home and in shelters — this is our safety," authorities said.

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