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Ukraine

When Zelensky Met Putin : How It Looked In Kiev, Moscow, Paris

An end to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine doesn't necessarily seem closer, though at least it's not farther away.

When Zelensky Met Putin : How It Looked In Kiev, Moscow, Paris
Anna Akage

PARIS — They are called the "Normandy Four," an allusion to the French region where the plans for future peace negotiations between the four parties was first proposed. That was back in 2014, but it's been three years since the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France last met. This week in Paris they finally sat down to discuss a way to end almost six years of armed conflict between Moscow and Kiev in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.

Those expecting a miracle were disappointed by Tuesday's encounter between Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. Still, as one observer noted, it was already good news that the first meeting ever between Putin and Zelensky didn't actually make matters worse. Not surprisingly, the views on the one-day summit from Ukrainian, Russian and French media didn't always align.

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Ideas

Ukraine Has Exposed The Bankruptcy Of Germany's "Never Again" Pacifism

A group of pro-peace German intellectuals published a letter asking the country not to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, but they're missing the point completely. Germany needs to reinvent itself in order to face today's challenges — and threats.

The Bundestag, or German federal government, meets at the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Sascha Lehnartz

-OpEd-

BERLIN — When even the brightest minds — some of whom have shaped the intellectual life of this republic for decades — suddenly seem at a loss, it can mean one of two things. Either the clever minds are not as clever as we were always led to believe. Or the times have changed so brutally that old pieces of wisdom are suddenly no longer valid.

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If you don't want to give up your childhood faith in the Federal Republic of Germany quite yet, you can settle on the second option.

Alexander Kluge, one of Germany's most versatile artists, founded a television production company, proving that there can even be television for intellectuals. Journalist and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer has done more for the liberation of women in this country than anyone else. Yet Schwarzer and Kluge, along with another two dozen intellectuals, have written an open letter that basically recommends Ukraine to submit to Vladimir Putin for the sake of the authors' peace of mind.

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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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