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Russia

Exclusive: In Private, Medvedev-Cameron Summit Tried To End Litvinenko Impasse

The leaders of Russia and the UK met at the Kremlin for the first time since 2006. But despite the warm public words, behind closed doors the two sides were in tough talks over how the investigation of the death in London of former KGB spy Alexander Litvi

Litvinenko's grave in Highgate cemetery in London (Gianni)
Litvinenko's grave in Highgate cemetery in London (Gianni)
Vladimir Solovyov and Elena Chernenko

MOSCOW - Dmitry Medvedev and David Cameron tried to look like old friends.

They smiled at each other and called one another by the first name.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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