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In The News

As Ground Forces Collapse, Russia Steps Up Air Attacks On Civilian Targets

Developments on both fronts are hard to gauge, even as Ukrainians advance at high speed and continuously liberate new towns.

photo of a apartment hit by a russian rocket

The apartment leveled by a Russian rocket

Cover Images via ZUMA
Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Jeff Israely and Meike Eijsberg

A series of missile attacks early Thursday on Ukraine's southern city of Zaporizhzhia have left at least three killed, and five people still unaccounted for. The barrage of at least seven missiles appear to have targeted civilian areas, flattening one apartment building. Russia also launched two rockets at the central Ukrainian city of Khmelnytsky, but both reportedly missed their targets.

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Experts warn that we may see more civilian targets hit, as we did in the first days of the successful Ukrainian counter-offensive last month when Russia knocked out the power grid that caused blackouts across the northeast region of Kharkiv.

Ukrainian authorities also report that Russia continues to use Iranian kamikaze drones to target cities, including Kharkiv and Odessa. Ukraine’s military says they managed to shoot down 18 additional drones before they reached their targets.


This comes as developments on both fronts are hard to gauge, even as Ukrainians advance at high speed and continuously liberate new towns. Die Welt’s chief foreign affairs writer Clemens Wergin notes that Ukraine's highly mobile units continuously outflank the battered Russian forces.

"Not since the early days of Operation Barbarossa in World War II has the Russian army suffered such a devastating series of battlefield setbacks," writes Australian military thinker and ex-general Mick Ryan on Twitter.

Video Shows Evidence Of Mutiny Among Russian Conscripts

YouTube screenshot


About 100 military men who had recently been drafted into the Russian army got off the train in the Belgorod region of Russia, and recorded a video saying that their service conditions were unbearable. They said they were forced to sleep on the ground and ate what they bought themselves. The soldiers refused to follow orders to head south to retake Lyman, a strategic Ukrainian town recently liberated by Kyiv forces.

Russian Telegram channel Sota reports that such acts of revolt within the ranks of mobilized Russians have become more and more frequent. Soldiers recently attacked a lieutenant colonel called them "meat" in the western Russian town of Penza; another incident saw conscripts beat up contract servicemen in Alabin, near Moscow.

How Russia Topped The U.S. As Leading Supplier Of Heavy Weapons To Ukraine

David Ryder/ZUMA


Ukraine’s weapons supply shortage is being eased thanks to all the ammunition left behind by fleeing Russian troops, according to intelligence consulting firm Oryx.

The Wall Street Journal published the findings: “Some Russian pieces of equipment were ready for immediate use, while others are being repaired to return to the front. Tanks, vehicles and guns too damaged to salvage are being cannibalized for spare parts. Crucially, Russia has also left behind large quantities of Soviet-standard artillery shells that had nearly run out in Ukraine.”

Calculating the quantity of Russian arms now in Ukrainian hands, the report estimates that Moscow is now the top supplier of weaponry to Kyiv, ahead of the U.S.

According to Oryx, Ukraine's armed forces captured 460 Russian tanks (Western countries supplied 320), 92 self-propelled guns, 448 infantry fighting vehicles (210 from the West), 195 armored fighting vehicles (40 from the West), and 44 rocket systems (70 from the West).

"We have so many trophies that we don't even know what to do with them," said Ruslan Andreiko, deputy chief of staff of the Carpathian Sech battalion. "We started as an infantry battalion, and now we're becoming a mechanized battalion.”

More Mass Graves Found In Lyman After Liberation

Ashley Chan/SOPA/ZUMA


Kyiv-based Hromadskereports that the Ukrainian military continues to find mass graves of civilians buried in the liberated territories. Another 50 graves were found in Lyman.

Residents told Hromadske that people were tortured and executed, and other prisoners were forced to dig their graves.

​OPEC Cuts Oil Production

OPEC headquarters

commons.wikimedia.org


OPEC stunned energy markets late Wednesday with the announcement of further cuts to oil production, in a move OPEC leader Saudi Arabia says is necessary to curb prices in light of extreme inflation rates and a weaker global economy.

U.S. President Joe Biden has expressed disappointment in the decision “while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact” of the war in Ukraine.

​U.S. Intelligence Suspects Ukrainian Involvment In Darya Dugina Murder

Photo of a tribute to late journalist Darya Dugina in MoscowTribute to late journalist Darya Dugina in MoscowMikhail Tereshchenko/TASS


U.S. intelligence believes Ukraine was behind the car bomb that killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of prominent Russian politician Alexander Dugina. The U.S. did not have knowledge of the plot beforehand, and it is unclear whether it believes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was aware of the plot or authorized it.

Kyiv has denied its involvement in the attack, which was most likely intended to target the father, a Russian ultranationalist and philosopher and an avid supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Miss Crimea Fined Over Pro-Ukrainian Song

Taras via Twitter


Olga Valeyeva, the winner of this year’s Miss Crimea beauty pageant, was fined by Russian authorities after a video showed her singing a patriotic Ukrainian song, state-run TASS news agency reports.

In the video, Valeyeva and a friend are seen singing "Chervona Kalyna," a song that has become a Ukrainian resistance anthem in recent months, according to the Moscow Times.

Valeyeva received a 40,000-ruble ($677) fine while her friend was sentenced to 10 days in prison. Both have since apologized in a video published on the Crimean Interior Ministry's Telegram channel.

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Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Freedom on social networks can result in insults and defamation

Jean-Marc Vittori

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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