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Russia

And Now Moscow, About All Those Russian-Speaking Ukrainians?

Bracing itself for an influx of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, Russia has indicated an easy path to citizenship. But skeptics note Moscow's notoriously tough migration policies.

Entrance to an Ukrainian military base near the border with Crimea.
Entrance to an Ukrainian military base near the border with Crimea.
Nikita Aronov

MOSCOW — Efforts to protect the rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine have recently spawned three bills in the Russian Parliament designed to make obtaining a Russian passport easier. But it remains to be seen how the legislation will play out in a country where it has been notoriously difficult for even the best connected foreign nationals to obtain a passport.

Significantly, one of the bills arrives directly from the desk of President Vladimir Putin himself. If the legislation is approved, a qualified applicant for “simplified” citizenship would include anyone who once “possessed nationality of the USSR, the Russian Federation, the Russian Republic, was a subject of the Russian Empire, or have (or had) relatives in a direct ascending line related to these categories of persons.”

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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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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