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Russia

Exclusive: Rift Opens In U.S.-Russia Relations Over Dueling Blacklists

Russia has drawn up a list of Americans who will be banned from entering Russia. The move comes as a response to Washington’s blacklisting of Russian officials linked to suspected human rights violations.

Happier times? U.S. Secretary of State Clinton with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in February.
Happier times? U.S. Secretary of State Clinton with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in February.
Vladimir Solovyev

MOSCOW - Barack Obama's much vaunted ‘reset" of relations between the United States and Russia has suddenly hit a major snag. Sources say Moscow has drawn up a draft list of Americans who will be banned from entering Russia, in direct response to Washington's blacklisting of officials linked to the case of Sergey Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in Russian police custody in 2009.

Supporters of Magnitsky say the lawyer for UK-based Hermitage Capital Management was tortured and killed by corrupt law enforcement officers. Magnitsky was jailed after he alleged widespread tax fraud by public officials. Supporters have called on Western governments to impose sanctions on officials involved, including one Magnitsky had accused of stealing 230 million dollars in government funds.

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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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