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Wilfires in New Mexico.
Wilfires in New Mexico.
Worldcrunch

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

POROSHENKO TO ISSUE CEASEFIRE
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko announced after a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he would order shortly a “unilateral ceasefire” by government troops engaged in fights with pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine, The Kyiv Post reports. According to RT’s live blog, fighters in the Luhansk region were exchanging dead bodies, suggesting the cease-fire has already begun.

ISIS ATTACKS IRAQ’S MAIN OIL REFINERY
Islamists fighters with the organization Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant have attacked Iraq’s biggest oil refinery with mortars and machine guns and are now in control of 75% of the facility, The Guardian reports on its live blog. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal expressed concern over the events unfolding in Iraq, saying it "carries warning signs of a civil war with unpredictable consequences for the region," according to AFP. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meanwhile accused the Saudi monarchy of supporting ISIS “financially and morally, and for the outcome of that, which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide,” as hundreds of Shiite Iraqis were killed since the Sunni group’s offensive last week.

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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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