War often seems like a terrible game, involving both strategy and chance but with grim real-life consequences for the innocent civilians on the playing field.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Anton Oleinik of Memorial University of Newfoundland writes about how Vladimir Putin has often been considered among the most powerful leaders in the world. But is that due to the luck of his circumstances? He has at his disposal the military manpower, including a nuclear arsenal, deemed to be the second most potent in the world, as well as a country rich in the natural resources that Ukraine’s western allies need. But is he also a brilliant military strategist, combining luck with power?

Oleinik suggests he’s not, and that luck — just like in any game — can only take someone so far. A combination of luck and skills is necessary, and Oleinik points out that Ukrainians may possess a secret weapon that Russia and the West have under-estimated: the will to fight.

Also today:

Lee-Anne Goodman

Politics, Business + Economics Editor

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Russia’s commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow on May 26, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian roulette in Ukraine: Is Vladimir Putin powerful, or just lucky?

Anton Oleinik, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Russia’s war in Ukraine calls for drawing a line between power and luck. Putin, who was widely considered among the most powerful people in the world, may have been simply lucky.

In some global fishing communities, women influence decisions, resulting in stronger claims to area-based fishing rights, improved economic returns and greater women’s empowerment. (Shutterstock)

For more equitable and sustainable fisheries, women must be empowered to lead

Madu Galappaththi, University of Waterloo; Andrea M. Collins, University of Waterloo; Derek Armitage, University of Waterloo

Creating opportunities to meaningfully engage women in governance and decision-making is necessary to achieve gender equality in small-scale fisheries.

Game jams are powerful spaces for galvanizing creativity in disenfranchised communities. (Shutterstock)

Making video games can help support addiction recovery

Sandra Danilovic, Wilfrid Laurier University

Game making is an art form that many aren’t intimately familiar with. Unlike other creative practices, game makers must create the rules and laws that govern and shape player behaviours.

In the last three decades, the world has made considerable progress in reducing child malnutrition, but there is still work to do. (Shutterstock)

Ending child hunger and food insecurity needs to be a top priority in Canada as well as globally

Tina Moffat, McMaster University

Child malnutrition is no stranger to high-income countries. In Canada and the U.S., food insecurity affects one in six children under 18, but policies to address the issue are still lacking.

Holberg Inlet, along the north shore of Vancouver Island, is a rich site for Cretaceous flora. (Az Klymiuk)

New prehistoric plant discovery highlights the unexpected diversity of non-flowering plants

Az (Ashley A.) Klymiuk, University of Manitoba

How flowering plants evolved has been a mystery, but a new fossil discovery hints at the unknown complexity of ancient plant diversity.

Activists defending women’s rights to choose abortion dress up as characters from Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ at the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, in October 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Fiction about abortion confronts the complicated history of gender, sexuality and women’s rights

Sharon Engbrecht, University of British Columbia

Before and after abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1969, fiction has explored how abortion intersects with cultural imaginings about women’s bodies and humanity’s future.

La Conversation Canada

Alors que la violence misogyne continue, les chercheurs et les journalistes devront prendre garde quant au traitement à accorder à la sous-culture du célibat involontaire (Incel). (Shutterstock)

Il faut qu’on parle de la manière dont on parle des incels

Luc Cousineau, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Donner trop de temps et d’énergie à l’idéologie incel finit par la perpétuer, au lieu de l’arrêter.

La formation en ligne « Le point sur le TDAH : comprendre, soutenir et accompagner les jeunes » vise à mieux outiller le personnel enseignant. (Shutterstock)

La formation en ligne ouverte à tous pour favoriser le développement professionnel des enseignants

Marie-Pier Duchaine, Université Laval; Nancy Gaudreau, Université Laval

Considérant que le développement professionnel des enseignants est associé à un mieux-être au travail, il convient d’envisager des activités de formation continue adaptées à la profession enseignante.

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