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Geopolitics

The Woman Who Accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn

From Day One, the African-born New York hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault has either been seen as the most innocent of victims, or the center of a plot to take advantage of an influential leader with a weakness for women.

The New York hotel where Strauss-Kahn's accuser said he attacked her (Rob Young)
The New York hotel where Strauss-Kahn's accuser said he attacked her (Rob Young)
Marion Van Renterghem

It's been one stunning revelation after another. Since that Sunday morning, on May 15th, when news hit that the head of the International Monetary Fund -- the man the French thought might be their next president -- had been charged with attempted rape, the Strauss-Kahn affair has brought a rapid-fire succession of astonishing twists.

The most recent of these were prosecutors uncovering "major holes in the credibility" of Strauss-Kahn's accuser, as first reported by the New York Times. The credibility issue forced investigators to take a new and careful look at the relatively sparse information they have about the presumed victim, a hotel chambermaid.

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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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