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Vietnam

Sixty Years On, Dien Bien Phu's Battle Against Oblivion

France's May 1954 defeat in this battle in north Vietnam marked the beginning of the end of centuries of Western colonialism. A visit to the battle scene that should have been a warning to others.

Reinforcements occupying positions in the dug-outs during the battle of Dien Bien Phu
Reinforcements occupying positions in the dug-outs during the battle of Dien Bien Phu
Bruno Philip

After 57 days of fierce fighting, on May 7, 1954, the French soldiers were defeated by General Giap’s troops. Sixty years later, former Viet Minh fighters want to turn the basin into a site of remembrance.

DIEN BIEN PHU — They are three syllables that, in France, strike like three blows of a highly symbolic defeat: Dien Bien Phu.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 85: Russia’s "Smaller" Operations And Shrinking Ambitions

U.S. Department of Defense officials report that instead of the typical battalion tactical groups in Ukraine, which number several hundred soldiers, the Russians have now shifted to attacks by smaller units.

Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas

Meike Eijsberg, Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

A new Pentagon report has found that Russia is continuing to reduce the scale of its military actions toward more "small" operations, which is another sign that it has lowered the ambitions of its invasion of Ukraine.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The Washington Post, citing a U.S. Department of Defense official, reports that instead of the typical battalion tactical groups, which number several hundred soldiers, the Russians have now shifted to attacks by smaller units, each ranging from a few dozen to a hundred soldiers. These smaller units have also scaled down their objectives and are targeting towns, villages and crossroads.

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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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