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Nigeria

Meet The Vigilantes On The Front Line Fighting Boko Haram

Some Nigerians have lost hope that the state military can stem the Islamist insurgency. This group of vigilantes has stepped in, relying on 'speical powers' to help see the enemy.

Meet The Vigilantes On The Front Line Fighting Boko Haram
Lorenzo Simoncelli

YOLA — A few hours after the electoral commission decided to postpone the presidential elections scheduled for Feb. 14, the air here in the northern Nigerian state of Adamawa starting feeling even heavier. Thanks to a tip, intelligence services discovered that Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram had been planning an attack in the city of Yola that could have been capable of destroying a ten-story building.

Traveling towards the north of the country, approaching the Boko Haram strongholds you can only see yello marwa (local motorcycle taxis) and young girls in veils — who, on several occasions, have been used as human bombs to sow death and panic in the region.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s Decoy-In-Chief

The Russian Foreign Minister, among the country’s most recognizable figures, embodies both the corruption and confusion of the Putin regime. Not everything is what it seems — and that’s the point.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a diplomatic reception for heads of African diplomatic missions

Anna Akage

From the outside, one might have the impression that the Russian Federation is run through a highly complex and well-coordinated apparatus that ensures that any single cog in Vladimir Putin’s system is by definition both in synch with the other cogs — and utterly replaceable. The Kremlin appears to us through this lens as an impregnable citadel with long arms and peering eyes that are literally everywhere.

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And yet, this is a completely false picture — and there’s no greater proof than in looking more closely at one of Russia's most prominent figures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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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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