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May 2017 funeral for victims of attacks of buses carrying Coptic Christians.
May 2017 funeral for victims of attacks of buses carrying Coptic Christians.
Karoline Kamel

MINYA — Anba Makarios, a bishop in the governorate with Egypt's highest number of violent sectarian incidents, does not employ the usual appeasing rhetoric of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church. He is a man who makes his voice heard but avoids being seen, expressing himself through official statements and brief phone calls to television talk shows. Even while shunning the spotlight, he has become an influential figure.

Makarios' is the general bishop of the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas Minya, and his outspoken positions have left many wondering whether or not they are sanctioned by the church. With each new act of violence against Christians — the beheading of 21 Copts in Libya in 2015, the bombing of St. Peter's Church in 2016, the bombing of two churches on Palm Sunday in 2017 — many in the Coptic media wonder what Anba Makarios would have said had these attacks taken place in his diocese.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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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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