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Adios Buenos Aires? Why Moving Argentina's Capital Is A Dangerous Idea

For the Argentine daily Clarin, the proposal backed by President Kirchner to move the capital to a much smaller city is not just wrong for practical reasons, but a sign of something more sinister.

The Cathedral of Santiago del Estero
The Cathedral of Santiago del Estero


BUENOS AIRES — While Argentina still faces the threat of a national default, the country has been in the news for another reason: the growing number of public figures, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who favor proposals to move the nation's capital from Buenos Aires to the much smaller (and apparently much, much quieter) northern city of Santiago del Estero.

Kirchner and others say the move could heal the breach between Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan urban area with 12 million residents, and the country's interior. However attractive it may sound, the capital's transfer could quickly worsen the overall state of the country.

It's true that moving the capital is more common than some might think. Over the last century, there has been on average one move every six years, with examples including switching the capital of Brazil from Rio de Janiero to Brasilia, from Almaty to Astana in Kazakhstan, and from Yangon to Naypyidaw in Myanmar.

The stated reasons for such moves range from traffic problems in overpopulated capital cities to the need to develop backward regions or balance regional rivalries. Other governments point out the need to protect themselves more from foreign threats, real or imagined.

And yet, there is perhaps another threat lurking below the surface: the specter of political agitation. In the history of political uprisings, capital cities have had a prominent role in determining the nation's destiny. A small group in the capital can shake the government the way larger but more distant groups can't.

So one can begin to see why an unstable government might want to move the capital from a populated city to an isolated location, just as the junta in Myanmar did.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Profound And Simple Reason That Negotiations Are Not An Option For Ukraine

The escalation of war in the Middle East and the stagnation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have left many leaders in the West, who once supported Ukraine unequivocally, to look toward ceasefire talks with Russia. For Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Piotr Andrusieczko argues that Ukraine simply cannot afford this.

Photo of Ukrainian soldiers in winter gear, marching behind a tank in a snowy landscape

Ukrainian soldiers ploughing through the snow on the frontlines

Volodymyr Zelensky's official Facebook account
Piotr Andrusieczko


KYIVUkraine is fighting for its very existence, and the war will not end soon. What should be done in the face of this reality? How can Kyiv regain its advantage on the front lines?

It's hard to deny that pessimism has been spreading among supporters of the Ukrainian cause, with some even predicting ultimate defeat for Kyiv. It's difficult to agree with this, considering how this war began and what was at stake. Yes, Ukraine has not won yet, but Ukrainians have no choice for now but to continue fighting.

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These assessments are the result of statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and an interview with him in the British weekly The Economist, where the General analyzes the causes of failures on the front, notes the transition of the war to the positional phase, and, critically, evaluates the prospects and possibilities of breaking the deadlock.

Earlier, an article appeared in the American weekly TIME analyzing the challenges facing President Volodymyr Zelensky. His responses indicate that he is disappointed with the attitude of Western partners, and at the same time remains so determined that, somewhat lying to himself, he unequivocally believes in victory.

Combined, these two publications sparked discussions about the future course of the conflict and whether Ukraine can win at all.

Some people outright predict that what has been known from the beginning will happen: Russia will ultimately win, and Ukraine has already failed.

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