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Russia

Victims of Beslan Terror Still Search For Comfort, Wait For Answers

On the first day of school in Sept 2004, after terrorists took hundreds of children and parents hostage in Russia's Northern Caucasus region, a bloodbath ensued. Questions and scars linger.

Russian schoolboys standing where the Beslan hostage crisis took placeon Sept.1, 2004
Russian schoolboys standing where the Beslan hostage crisis took placeon Sept.1, 2004
Zaur Farniev and Lana Parastaeva

BESLAN — Along the road that once connected the North and South Caucasus stands Holy Alanskii, the only functioning convent in North Ossetia.

The original structure was first built sometime before the Russian Revolution, but had been completely abandoned in 2004 when the current nuns moved in. Now there is a stone fence and a whole complex behind it: a church, living quarters for the nuns, a house for pilgrims and a rehabilitation center.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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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.

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