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Geopolitics

From The Baltics To Poland, Militias Rising Against Russian Threat

The arrival of Russia-friendly Donald Trump in the White House has heightened concerns that Moscow is ready for its next move after Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

Poland's volunteer WOT militia
Poland's volunteer WOT militia
Alexandre Lévy

TALLINN — Their emblem seems to show a dog baring its teeth. But take a closer look, and you'll notice it's actually a wolf. In Poland, the civilian volunteers making the brand new Territorial Defense Force (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej, WOT) want to make an impression — and, most of all, to be taken seriously.

Since Jan. 1, this militia is officially and legally integrated into the country's defense system, alongside the army, the air force, the navy and the special forces. Eventually, it's expected to gather some 35,000 men — the Polish press even talks of 50,000 — across 17 brigades, positioned essentially in the eastern part of the country, near the border with Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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