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Geopolitics

After Presidential Primary Defeat, Is Martine Aubry France's Next Prime Minister?

After a bitter Socialist primary campaign won by Francois Hollande, Martine Aubry, the party leader and primary runner-up has put all her weight behind her former rival. And If Hollande unseats Nicolas Sarkozy for the Presidency, Aubry may be headed for t

(cc Siren-Com)
(cc Siren-Com)
David Revault d'Allonnes

PARIS - "Rock solid." That's how Bernard Cazeneuve, a spokesman for Socialist party presidential candidate Francois Hollande describes the candidate's relationship with Martine Aubry. It is a noteworthy description indeed, since Aubry, the leader of the Socialist party, was until recently Hollande's chief rival for the primary nomination for the chance to challenge French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

During a recent joint campaign swing the pair made to the Gandrange steel factory in eastern France, Cazeneuve spoke of "a relationship that was pacified, friendly and constructive."

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In The News

War in Ukraine, Day 92: Is Severodonetsk The Next Mariupol?

Russian troops are attempting to encircle Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region, as Vladimir Putin looks to claim victory in a war that is not going Moscow's way. But will the toll be for civilians?

Inside a shelter in Severodonetsk.

Meike Eijsberg, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk area, is now the focal point of Russia’s war. In 2014, it had been recaptured from the pro-Russian separatists in a hard-fought battle by Ukrainian forces. Now, eight years later, Moscow is launching an all-out attack to try to take it back again.

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Alex Crawford, a Sky News correspondent in the region, says Russian forces have the means to conquer the city that in normal times has a population of circa 100,000 — and Moscow will be eager to cite it as the “victory”. But, Crawford wrote, “the path to victory comes – like the capture of the port city of Mariupol – strewn with the broken and battered bodies of the city's citizens.”

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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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