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Turkey

The End Of Turkey’s Ottoman Dreams

Ceding to Russia's influence in Syria is a “rare public humiliation,' for Erdogan and his ambitions to make Turkey a world diplomatic power.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Dec. 22
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Dec. 22
Ozgur Mumcu

-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — Although he later tried to correct himself, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on the record saying these simple words: "We have entered Syria to end the rule of Assad, nothing else." Let me remind you that the word of a president, prime minister and foreign affairs minister is binding for the state under international law. It is clear that people at such positions should repeat this simple rule of law to themselves everyday in the mirror while shaving. They are frequently confused about the difference of making a populist speech at the square of a small town and governing a state.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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