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Geopolitics

“To Kill The Bear” — Why Total Victory Over Russia Is Frightening, And Necessary

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Washington believes Ukraine can win the war, and that Russia must be “weakened” for the foreseeable future. But to end a nationalistic-aggressive empire will require unity and courage by the West.

A destroyed Russian tank remains in the yard of a private house in Hostomel, Ukraine​

A destroyed Russian tank remains in the yard of a private house in Hostomel, Ukraine

Anna Akage

-OpEd-

They are among the strongest words directed at Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During his trip this week to meet Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv and Western allies in Germany, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Washington believes not only that Ukraine can win the war, but that "we want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine."

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It is a sentiment that had already begun to spread in Ukraine in the first days and weeks of the war, when it became clear that the Russian military could in fact be defeated. That the “victory” Ukrainians sought was not just to slow down Moscow’s tanks, not only to unseat the aggressor-in-chief in the Kremlin, but one that could eliminate the threat of their larger neighbor for decades and even centuries to come.

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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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