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Dark cloudy skies surround the Kremlin.

It was December 5th, 1989, a calm normal day in the East German city of Dresden. Barely four weeks ago on 9th November, the Berlin Wall, infamously known as the Iron Curtain was demolished by the German people. The atmosphere was still euphoric, and protestors' ambition knew no bounds. Until a year ago, the secret police agency of the German Democratic Republic, officially known as the Stasi was one of the most hated and feared institutions. And now it lay siege to the frenzied mob.

The Stasi headquarters were combed thoroughly by the unruly mob, ransacking all the secret archives and freeing political prisoners. All this was happening right in the backyard of the KGB outpost in Dresden. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin was on the fringes, watching the mob closely. A new officer Major General Vladimir Shirokov had replaced the previous one, earlier that year. He was not present at the outpost, leaving Putin as the senior-most in line of command.

A fraction of the unruly mob broke from the main demonstration and turned outside the KGB outpost. A sole security guard posted outside, scrambled inside to inform Lieutenant Colonel Putin about the unruly mob. Being the only one in charge, he ordered the guards to ready for an assault and dialled the Soviet Military Command in Dresden for additional military reinforcements.

An officer on duty told him he could do nothing because "There were no orders from Moscow."Albeit he promised to inquire through other channels. When the officer did not call back, Putin called again and prodded him for an answer. The officer replied, "Moscow is Silent ".

A mosiac of Vladimir Lenin.Photo by Soviet Artefacts on Unsplash.

This single phrase hit Vladimir Putin like a freight train. It was one of the formative moments in his lifetime. And he realized the whole country was no more. Recalling the bitterness still raw years later, he said "It became clear that the Soviet Union was ailing. It was a deadly, incurable disease called paralysis — a paralysis of power." He could imagine the end of his career, and altogether his life.

With the mob getting unruly by the hour and with no reinforcements on the way, it was in this nadir that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin donned his KGB uniform and went outside to confront the mob himself. Before venturing out he had ordered his staff to burn all the classified documents in the furnace, which they duly obeyed until the furnace broke.

Eye-witness accounts of the event, tell that once the guard ran inside, a short officer emerged from the main door, walked a few steps, and approached the people. He did not speak initially but was calm and composed in his demeanour.

"This house is strictly guarded. My soldiers have weapons. And I gave them orders: if anyone enters the compound they open fire." He spoke in fluent German, astounding the mob.

He then turned his back on the mob and calmly walked back into the house. The crowd murmured amongst themselves and left. They had already toppled the Stasi but toppling the KGB was for another day. A few hours later, the Soviet Military Command in Dresden received orders from Moscow and sent in reinforcements, only now they were not needed.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, calmly with a stoic determination avoided a security fiasco for the KGB. He avoided any kind of intelligence failure all without any bloodshed. And yet there was no official recognition of his actions, that night. No commendations, medals or accolades whatsoever. Moscow is Silent, that single phrase haunted him for years afterwards.

A statue of Lenin in front of the Central Pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh), later known as the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, in Moscow's Ostankinsky District, 1988.Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash.

Analysts, sceptics all agree that Vladimir Putin is deeply motivated to restore Russia's might at par with the former Soviet Union. He has a great ardour for the former Soviet Union. It is quoted that Putin once famously said, " Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains. " Putin is smart enough to understand that restoring the former Soviet Union is an unviable option. Instead, building a stronger, reliant Russia is feasible.

Moreover, he has assumed a role of a messiah in Russia. He believes he has been chosen to resurrect Russia from the ashes of the Cold War and recast itself as a global superpower. The humiliating trounce of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the subsequential fall of the Berlin Wall, and the tragic collapse of The Soviet Union all made a deep lasting impact on Russian society.

The flexing of Russia's military muscle under Vladimir Putin is seen as the revival of Russia might by ordinary Russians. It is not surprising that amidst the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, Russia has decided not to vacate its embassy in Kabul. Global policy analysts are clueless in terms of deciphering Russia's new stratagem in Afghanistan. On a concluding note, one can surely state that Vladimir Putin is going to avenge the lost Soviet pride in Afghanistan.



The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

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Clean and maintained hands boost confidence in daily life activities.

If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.

Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:

* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.

Soap bars organic You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

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Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds.

Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.

Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold

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