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Oscar Pistorius's trial goes on Tuesday
Oscar Pistorius's trial goes on Tuesday
Worldcrunch

"COUNTERTERRORISM" UNDERWAY IN EAST UKRAINE
The Ukrainian police arrested 70 pro-Russian protesters who were occupying government buildings in the eastern city of Kharkiv as part of what acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described as “a counterterrorism operation,” Ria Novosti reports. According to Reuters, the standoff continues in Luhansk and Donetsk.

  • The recent events have reignited the blame game between the West and Russia, with Kiev accusing Moscow of being behind the separatist movements. In a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, John Kerry warned Russia that any move to destabilize Ukraine “would incur costs.” Meanwhile, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia “to step back” and to pull back the “tens of thousands of troops” stationed on the border with Ukraine.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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