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Geopolitics

The Queen Mother Of The Arab Spring

Tawakkul Karman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the Yemeni uprising that toppled President Saleh after 33 years in power. But this global face of the Arab Spring still has plenty of work to do in her native land.

Charlotte Bozonnet

DOHA – She smiles and kindly obliges. In Qatar's capital Doha, where she just spoke at the US-Islamic World Forum organized by the Brookings Institution, Tawakkul Karman is greeted like a star. People rush to congratulate the "mother of the revolution," as the Yemenites nicknamed her, or to take a picture with her. "I was a journalist in 1979 in Yemen," says a man as he introduces himself. "That's the year I was born," answers the young Nobel laureate.

Eight months have passed since the day a BBC journalist called Karman to tell her she was co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She was under her tent on "Change Square" in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The young revolutionary member of the Islamist Al Islah party and emblem of the opposition to president Ali Abdallah Saleh couldn't believe it.

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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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