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Armed men at a checkpoint in North Sinai
Armed men at a checkpoint in North Sinai
Mada Masr

SHEIKH ZUWAYED — In front of a house located in this bedouin town in the North Sinai, a masked man sits next to his companions, each of whom are holding a weapon. The man proudly speaks about their "Death Squad," the name they have given to their armed civilian troop. The residents of the area call it Battalion 103.

"There are areas the Armed Forces cannot enter alone without collaborators among us. We are the ones who know the families and the geographical distribution of the tribes," says the masked man, who refuses to disclose his name or show his face. He fears retribution from Province of Sinai militants, who have assassinated other military collaborators.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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