Learning to Fight
Joao Bolan and Sandra Alek | Roads & Kingdoms
“In August 2014, the small city of Ilovaisk became a battlefield, with Ukrainian government forces battling pro-Russian insurgents. Caught in the crossfire, civilians fled the city. Those with nowhere to go hid in damp basements for months.
Since then, the frontline has moved; however, residents cannot forget the bloodshed during that summer.
Three years later, the new flag of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) flies above the city. Today, the government of the self-proclaimed DPR calls Ilovaisk “the city of heroes” and invests money into propaganda campaigns to attract new military recruits. Posters depicting militia fighters decorate almost every façade in Ilovaisk, reminding its citizens who those heroes are.
The first thing that students attending secondary school Number 12 see when they arrive in the morning is the smiling face of militia commander Mikhail Tolstykh on a black memorial poster hanging at the entrance. “The hero of DPR,” declares the poster. As a child, Tolstykh attended this school.”
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While Cambodian Democracy Withers, Washington Stands Aloof
Martin de Bourmont | Foreign Policy
“Since the end of August, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government has imprisoned political opposition leader Kem Sokha, ordered the U.S. State Department-funded National Democratic Institute to stop its activities and expelled its foreign staff, suggested the U.S. withdraw the Peace Corps, closed a leading independent newspaper, and intimidated Radio Free Asia into suspending its Cambodian operations, among other crackdowns.