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Geopolitics

In France, A Push To Push Out Aging Politicians

A top figure in the Socialist party, Arnaud Montebourg is putting pressure on party leaders to not support candidates over 67, saying that new challenges require new blood. Not surprisingly, the proposal has sparked some heated debate -- and exposed a gen

Jack Lang, 72, says he's holding his ground (LCP)
Jack Lang, 72, says he's holding his ground (LCP)
Chloé Woitier

PARIS – The proposal set some French politicians' teeth on edge. Arnaud Montebourg, a top Socialist Party leader, wrote a letter to party chief Martine Aubry suggesting that any Socialist politicians who was 67-years-old or over be asked not to run for Parliament. Ahead of the next legislative elections in June 2012, Montebourg says he wants to rejuvenate the political class.

"Is it normal that socialist MPs, who maybe were elected in 1978 or 1981, who are approaching the end of their seventh or eighth term, reaching the respectable age of 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 or 73, declare they want to be reelected?" Montebourg writes in his letter to Aubry. "The world is changing so fast that rules that applied as recently as 10 years ago are now obsolete."

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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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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