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Putin's Gruesome Playbook

Russia’s indiscriminate bombing in Ukraine looks startlingly familiar.

A Chechen woman passes by a tank of Russian federal troops on the main street of Gehy-Chu village, south from Grozny, Chechnya, on Feb. 16, 2000. STR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

All wars have a different stamp when it comes to atrocities.

The crimes of the 1970-1975 Cambodian war were different from the concentration camps in northwest Bosnia in 1992. The crimes of the 1983-2009 Sri Lankan Civil War were different from those in Sierra Leone in 1999. There, random civilians were chosen and amputated at the wrist or the elbow: the intent to leave their victims as human monuments of terror.

But although the origins of the wars are different, Russian President Vladimir Putin's reckless, indiscriminate bombing – a standard part of his playbook – in Ukraine has startling parallels to other Putin wars I have witnessed in my time as a reporter.

Read the full story in Foreign Policy here.

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