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Egypt

In Egypt, A Push To Give The Military Even More Domestic Muscle

Proposed changes to the Constitution could reshape the role of the Armed Forces, even giving them authority to annul unfavorable election results, experts warn.

President al-Sisi honoring fallen soldiers in Cairo last April
President al-Sisi honoring fallen soldiers in Cairo last April
Randa Mostafa

CAIRO — Egypt has had nine constitutions* since its first, in 1882. And in all of them, the military's role was limited to a single task: protecting the country and preserving its security and territorial integrity. But a proposed constitutional amendment — one of several put forward by parliamentarians in February — could soon change that.

The proposal calls for granting the Armed Forces the additional responsibilities of "preserving democracy and the Constitution, protecting the basic principles of the state and its civilian nature, and protecting people's rights and individual freedoms."

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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