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Geopolitics

Minsk, My Beauty: How Putin Is Luring The West To Give Up On Ukraine

The Russian president’s much talked-about insult toward Ukrainians and President Zelensky was really part of his long game to force the conditions of the Minsk agreement that would destabilize Kyiv and distract the U.S. and Europe enough to move in on Putin's terms.

Macron hold talks with Putin at the Kremlin on Monday, as part of a diplomatic efforts to defuse the tensions around Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visits Putin in Moscow

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visits to Moscow and Kyiv produced nothing of substance. Instead, while more Russian troops reach the Ukraine border, the world’s attention was diverted by a certain turn of phrase, I’ll call it a joke, from Vladimir Putin.

He pronounced the instantly legendary line following his meeting with Macron, but it was directed to Ukrainians: "Like it or don't like it, it's your duty, my beauty."

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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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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