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Ukraine

Meet The Shady Pro-Russian Leaders In Eastern Ukraine

They come from advertising agencies and the military, but have scant political experience. Eastern Ukraine's new strongmen have one thing in common: They're all "Friends of Vladimir."

Separatist leader Pavel Gubarev, the "People’s Governor" in Donetsk
Separatist leader Pavel Gubarev, the "People’s Governor" in Donetsk
Florian Hassel

DONETSK — It’s not often that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is happy for the release of a person accused anti-Constitutional acts and the violent occupation of government buildings by authorities in another country. But if that country is Ukraine he’ll make an exception.

And so a few days ago Putin registered pleasure that Kiev’s interim government had released separatist leader Pavel Gubarev, the "People’s Governor" in the rebel-dominated region of Donetsk and a key figure in Kremlin attempts to gain control over eastern Ukraine.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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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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