A byproduct of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and media focus on the war’s developments is that growing tensions between other former Soviet republics wanting their place in the world are largely obscured. The rumblings that have serious local effects aren’t reaching the world’s eyes and ears while the louder conflict drowns out these smaller ones.
Thirty-one years after claiming its independence, Azerbaijan is trying to move through a slippery world of history and judgments and war with its neighbor Armenia to become recognized as a neutral, non-aligned country, a friend of both NATO and Russia.
Some of the Ukrainians fighting Vladimir Putin’s Russian army are also French.
When Putin’s threats toward Ukraine increased in seriousness in mid-February, France encouraged its citizens there to leave. As war damage increased after Russia’s invasion began Feb. 24, there was a second wave of emigrants, said Sen. Hélène Conway-Mouret, the senator for French citizens living in other countries. But some French, she said, usually with dual Ukrainian citizenship, “made the choice to stay … and fight.”
Hours after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Douglas Webber, emeritus professor of political science and a Europe specialist at the prestigious business school INSEAD, framed the conflict starkly.
“It’s really a decisive turning point we’re looking at here, and for me certainly I think that it’s the most dangerous moment in international politics if not since the end of World War II, at least since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962,” said Webber to an online meeting of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris.
La Nonna’s name was Jone Corti then. Jo-ne. It slid off the tongue like a berry gelato. It
was strange to burden a young Italian girl with a Greek name, especially one that referred so specifically to Ionia and the adjacent sea. It annoyed me when her biddy friends mispronounced it, suffering the harsh J instead of the more lithe Y. p>
TEXT BY IRENA DRAGAŠ JANSEN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MANUELA THAMES
As I observe the global pandemic unfold from the comforts and safety of my Washington, D.C., metro area home, I am transported back to the basement shelters where my parents, sister, relatives, neighbors, and I hid from the daily deadly mortar attacks during the most recent war in Croatia.
This week we’re joining the ranks of media outlets offering longer-read stories, because sometimes we all need a break from the sound-bite version of the world. So lean back, kick off your shoes, and tuck into this reminder of the less flashy ways the world’s countries interact with each other. No need to wait to be appointed as an ambassador, for you already are one.
Pull up a chair and lean in as new Culture Keeper contributor Scott Will introduces us to family members you’ll wish you could know too.
I knew it would be hard. I had started preparing my heart and mind nearly one year before the day arrived. And when it did arrive, I knew it was time, and felt great peace with my decision, but I also longed for those last few moments to linger on and on. I stepped up to the six-passenger plane, like numerous times before when I had left for short stretches, but this time I felt the weight of the finality of it all.