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Jerusalem stands still on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jerusalem stands still on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Worldcrunch

IN UKRAINE, MAYOR OF KHARKIV SHOT
The Mayor of Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv, Gennady Kernes, was shot in the back and admitted to a hospital where “doctors are fighting for his life,” The Kyiv Post reports. It is unclear who shot him, with the newspaper explaining that although Kernes was a supporter of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, he has since “flip-flopped under pressure from EuroMaidan activists and the new Kiev government in order to remain in office.” RT journalist Irina Galushko wrote on Twitter that Kernes had “enemies on both sides.” Yesterday, RT reported that “peaceful anti-government” demonstrators clashed with violent football fans in the city, leaving 14 injured.

  • This came after news that pro-Russian gunmen had seized the police headquarters and the town hall in the eastern town of Kostyantynivka after another group of unarmed protesters in Donetsk stormed the Regional State Broadcasting Company to complain of media bias. According to The Kyiv Post, the protesters were “non-violent” and an agreement was eventually reached, with the organization agreeing to “more voice to those who support a referendum to break away from Ukraine.”

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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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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