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Two of Spain’s wealthiest families united through marriage yesterday at Liria Palace in Madrid
Two of Spain’s wealthiest families united through marriage yesterday at Liria Palace in Madrid

Welcome to Tuesday, where EU leaders impose sanctions on Belarus following brazen Ryanair arrest, the U.S. marks one year since George Floyd's murder and the brother of all viral YouTube videos goes the way of the NFT. Les Echos also looks at the drama featuring Netflix and French cinema.

• EU leaders impose sanctions on Belarus, as airlines shun airspace: European leaders have agreed to sanction Belarus after the country's agents "hijacked" a Ryanair plane to arrest Raman Pratasevich, a journalist critical of the regime. In addition to sanctions, the EU has also banned its airlines from flying over Belarusian airspace.

• Malian president detained by army: Malian military officers arrested the interim President and Prime Minister. The United Nations and African Union have demanded their "immediate and unconditional release."

• Death toll rises to at least 32 after volcanic eruption in Congo: Thousands have been displaced by Mount Nyiragongo's eruption on Saturday. UNICEF reports that at least 100 children are missing, with dangerous tremors continuing.

• One year since George Floyd's death: Amid marches and protests commemorating the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death, his family will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House. Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked protest movements against racism and police brutality across the world.

• Shining Path militants in Peru kill 14: The Peruvian government says that the rebel group, Shining Path, has killed 14 people in what they refer to as a terrorist incursion intended to discourage people from voting in the upcoming election.

• U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Israel to support ceasefire: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel this morning to begin his Middle East tour. The visit is intended to fortify last week's ceasefire after the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent years.

• 1,000 doses of vaccine lost after storage fridge unplugged ... to charge phone: A clinic in Kyrgyzstan lost 1,000 precious doses of the Sputnik coronavirus vaccine after an unknown person unplugged the refrigerator storing them in order to use the outlet to charge their phone. The incident occured in April, but has taken several weeks to be released publically.

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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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