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Germany

Should Refugee Child Marriages Stand In Germany?

Married under Sharia law in their native country, underage refugees pose hard questions for Germany's legal and child welfare systems. German courts are divided.

Refugees at the German-Austrian border
Refugees at the German-Austrian border
PPS
Peter Issig

BERLIN —They are young and have been through a lot. Alia, who is 15 years old, and 21-year-old Amir (not their real names) grew up in the countryside and fled their native Syria together. They faced all sorts of challenges and thought nothing could tear them apart.

But they were separated in August 2015, shortly after arriving in Germany. When they reached their third destination in Bavaria, Germany's child protective services stepped in to care for Alia.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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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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