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'He clutches a magic wand as if it's his only hope.'
A view of Beirut’s notorious Roumieh prison
Gaja Pellegrini-Bettoli

BEIRUT – Few women have ever gained access to Block B of Beirut's notorious Roumieh prison. This is where Lebanon holds radicalized criminals. It is also a place where suicide bombings have allegedly been planned, and has been called an "operations room" for the so-called Islamic State by Lebanon's interior minister. So when Maya and Nancy Yamout first began interviewing convicted jihadists in the prison, the Lebanese sisters aroused both confusion and suspicion among guards and prisoners alike.

The Yamouts' interest began with a university project, but it took the support of the former minister of justice to get them inside Roumieh. It was unheard-of for two young women, even professionals, to attempt such a project. The sisters are forensic social workers, which means they tackle issues relating to law and legal systems, such as recommendations about mental status, child custody or neglect.

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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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