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Assyrian Christian families who have fled ISIS and have taken refuge in the Mar Matta Monastery in northern Iraq.
Assyrian Christian families who have fled ISIS and have taken refuge in the Mar Matta Monastery in northern Iraq.
Jacques Follorou

SAJE — Father Kriakosmi, the priest of the village Saje outside Dohuk, doesn't complain about the inconveniences caused by masses of displaced people arriving here. As he undoes the top button of his black shirt, revealing his white collar, it's not a sign of fatigue or defeat, simply a reaction to the suffocating heat in this northern part of Iraqi Kurdistan.

He opened his church and his school to accommodate the Christians, most of them Chaldeans like him, who came from towns and villages conquered by ISIS terror groups south of Dohuk, such as Mosul, Qaraqosh, Tel Keppe and Alqosh. "We don't welcome just Christians," he insists. "This morning, 150 Yazidi families settled in the village."

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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