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Geopolitics

For Ukraine, It's Time To Shift To Guerrilla Warfare

Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia's superior military power. But it can at least try not to lose it — with methods like those used in Vietnam or Algeria. Last week's sinking of the Moskva warship was a perfect example.

Two members of the Ukrainian military walk on the debris caused by Russian shelling in Kharkiv

Ukrainian military walk amid the debris from Russian shelling in Kharkiv last week.

Jacques Schuster

-Analysis-

Moscow's major offensive has begun in Donbas. The Russian military machine now appears ready to waltz mercilessly over eastern Ukraine, bringing death and terror.

Can the horror of the images that have been spread for weeks be surpassed? We have to assume so with an army like Russia's, which has made wanton murder and cruelty its trademarks.

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Let there be no illusion: Ukraine will not win this war. Moscow's military power is overwhelming — no matter how clumsily its invasion was planned. Even if Germany were to supply all the weapons it possesses to Kyiv, the Ukrainian army would not be able to defeat the Russians.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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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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