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Germany

The WikiLeaks Worst-Case Scenario, As Floodgates Open To Reveal Informants

Op-Ed: Julian Assange and his former German cohort Daniel Domscheit-Berg blame each other for the circulation on the Internet of the identities of secret informants from diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. Now, with lives in danger, the organization

Julian Assange (New Media Days)
Julian Assange (New Media Days)
Clemens Wergin

It's the story of two bickering computer nerds vying for a place in history -- of ideologues putting peoples' lives at risk to serve some bizarre notion of "transparency." What critics of WikiLeaks always feared would happen has now happened: the entire batch of 251,000 cables from US embassies around the world has become publicly available -- un-redacted, which means that the names of informants are out there for all to see.

That could not only cost some people their job: in repressive countries and crisis areas, many people could be facing prison -- or death.

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Geopolitics

Fall Of The Empire? Ethnic Separatism On The Rise In Russia

Far from being a unified state, Russia is full of federal subjects — many of which have spawned separatist movements. Moscow, far from Siberia or the Caucasus and focused on Ukraine, is finding it harder to contain them.

Kalmyks attend the unveiling ceremony of a Buddha statue in Kalmykia, Russia

Pavel Lysyansky

They began to show up more and more in 2019: people were displaying symbols of separatism at protests in different regions of Russia. One example that marked this movement were the flags of the Ural People's Republic at protests during the spring of 2019 against the construction of a temple in Yekaterinburg, the industrial city in the Ural mountains 1,100 miles east of Moscow.

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

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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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