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Geopolitics

Inside The Doping Crisis Facing Kenya's Legendary Runners

A visit to Kenya's training site after media revelations about performance-enhancing drugs cast a pall over the country's storied long-distance running team.

Runners training in Iten, Kenya
Runners training in Iten, Kenya
Bruno Meyerfeld

ITEN — On the eve of their departure for this week's Athletics World Championships in Beijing, Kenya's marathon runners were gathered for a goodbye luncheon organized by the local county governor. A prayer is offered. "Lord, be proud of our athletes."

The event takes place in the mountain hotel that hosted the seven champions during their training in the town of Iten, long the hub of Kenya's legendary long-distance running world. Electric cables hang from the ceiling of the dining room, which is still in the process of being painted. Outside is a red clay running track, with a few motorcycles and passing runners.

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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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