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Geopolitics

The New Face Of The Far Right In Europe

Essay: Marine Le Pen in France is the latest face of European neo-populism, which mixes ideals of freedom and feminism, with open hostility toward Islam.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Nilüfer Göle

With Marine Le Pen taking the leadership of the far-right National Front and her increasing popularity in polls, France has finally been hit by the wave of nationalist movements that has been sweeping across Europe. The new dynamics explaining the resurgence of the far-right movement are multifold: it acquires new faces, it ceases to be marginal, makes the ideals of France's May 68 social uprisings its own, targets Islam, defends national values and creates a whole new political vocabulary.

These movements are trying to gain legitimacy, taking up the debate over national identity, which has been gaining ground all over Europe over the past decade. Taking part in this debate has given them a new audience. They stand out because of their aggressive stand toward Islam, and their irreverence in taking on all the multiculturalism taboos. They pretend to embody personal freedom values, and an attachment to the land.

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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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