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food / travel

Argentine Historian Finds Pope's Real Birthplace Home

Exclusive: A historian has identified Pope Francis' birthplace in Buenos Aires, after false reports of where he was born circulated following his election last year.

Pilgrimage to Varela 268?
Pilgrimage to Varela 268?
Romina Smith

BUENOS AIRES — Until recently, Pope Francis was reported to have been born at No. 531 Membrillar Street in the district of Flores in Buenos Aires. You would think he might have checked his address, but it took a local historian, Daniel Vargas, to investigate and locate his correct birth and childhood address nearby, at Varela 268, also in the capital's Flores zone.

Some now want the simple but pleasant-looking white building, with an air conditioning unit sticking out of the façade, to be registered as a city monument.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kharkiv Revisited: Inside Russia's New Assault On The "Hero City" Of Ukraine

The nation's second-largest city, Kharkiv was quiet for weeks after Ukrainian forces took control. But now it is again under attack as Russia pushes to capture the city that's considered the "gateway" to Ukraine. Die Welt reports from the frontline.

Damages due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Alfred Hackensberger

KHARKIV — "Come, I want to show you something," Denys Vezenych says, opening the door of his dental office.

The 40-year-old begins to tell the story in the waiting room: "It was April 16 when the Russian artillery shell hit. The windowpanes were broken, the walls had holes everywhere and the roof was destroyed. But I renovated everything."

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The repairs cost him several thousand euros. "You have to think positively, because life goes on," he explains with a smile. But this attitude is not so present generally in Saltivka, a neighborhood in northeastern Kharkiv. The dental practice may be like new, but the rest of this area in the northeastern Ukrainian city is completely destroyed.

The Russian army has done a great job in its three-month offensive on Ukraine's second largest metropolis. Countless flats have been burned out, the facades of houses have been shot to pieces, entire shopping centers have been bombed. Debris still lie in the streets everywhere.

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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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