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Ukraine update: Russian war crimes in Bucha; new Russian moves in eastern Ukraine

As Russian troops retreat from their positions around Kyiv—a retreat forced by increasingly successful Ukrainian counterattacks that put a significant chunk of Russia’s committed forces in danger of encirclement–the world is in shock tonight as images of Russian war crimes continue to flow in from towns now liberated from Russian control.

Ukraine update: Russian artillery covers for its retreats; Russian troops are in bad shape

Russian artillery bombardments reportedly intensified significantly yesterday in the areas around Kyiv and Chernihiv that Russia announced it would be moving its forces out of, but that’s not necessarily a sign that Russia was lying about the withdrawals: Using artillery bombardments to provide cover for retreating troops is a standard tactical move, and Russia desperately needed to move some of its battered frontline battalions out from positions that Ukrainian counterattackers were th

Ukraine Update: Ukraine recaptures Irpin; Putin’s pal Trump can’t help himself

Ukrainian defenders continued to make incremental gains over the weekend, using small-unit tactics to great effect against overextended Russian troops. Larger-scale operations appear to be successfully forcing Russian retreats in several key locations, including a retaking of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, again pushing Russian artillery positions away from the city.

Federal judge rules Trump ‘more likely than not’ tried to ‘corruptly’ obstruct Congress

In a ruling ordering John Eastman, who is alleged to have helped architect the scheme that would have seen Donald Trump’s vice president throw out the certified electors from a handful of Biden-won states so as to overturn the November 2020 presidential elections, to turn over evidence to the House select committee investigating the coup, a federal judge determined that Donald Trump himself likely sought to criminally obstruct Congress on that day.

Ukraine update: Making sense of a battlefield that defies logic in a war that defies reason

There has been little new news on the ground in Ukraine—that is, of the confirmable sort. Video footage continues to suggest Ukraine continues to make some headway in rolling back the most tenuous of prior Russian advances, continuing to close in on Kherson and making substantial apparent progress northeast of Kyiv. Russian forces, meanwhile, continue to direct much of their fire towards non-military targets.

Ukraine update: Russian ship sinks after explosions, fire; Ukraine liberates still more ground

It was a day of shifting narratives as media outlets, their pundits, and even the mapmakers began to cautiously explore a notion that was scoffed at in the days immediately before Russia invaded Ukraine: Could Russia lose? Not just face economic and diplomatic isolation, but suffer an on-the-ground military loss?

It’s no longer unthinkable, though the situation in Ukraine is far too unstable to presume it to be the most likely end scenario.

Ukraine update: New Ukrainian victories now pose significant threat to Russia’s forces around Kyiv

Reports of successful Ukrainian offensives continued today, potentially putting Russian supply lines both northeast and northwest of Kyiv in significant jeopardy. Russian forces, meanwhile, continue to show little skill in responding to such threats—and indeed, even continue to focus what little air power they are willing to risk on bombing less-protected civilian areas to the south while avoiding military-to-military engagement.

Ukraine update: New Ukrainian counterattacks continue to deal major damage to Russian forces

Today saw news of significant new Ukrainian counterattacks against Russian forces. Northwest of Kyiv, a Ukrainian offensive appears to have retaken Makariv, with additional Ukrainian attacks northward potentially endangering the long Russian supply lines that feed the Russian artillery lines threatening Kyiv. Ukraine also appears to be having some success dislodging Russian forces around Kherson in the south.

This doesn’t necessarily mean those successes will continue.

Ukraine update: Ukraine retakes territory; Koch Industries says it will stay in Russia

Today saw major developments with the Ukrainian recapture of a town 75 miles into Russia-held territory, yet another indication that the stretched-thin nature of Russian advances may be rendering their territorial gains tenuous at best. Ukraine is also using more artillery attacks, which might suggest that weapons held in the western edge of the country to defend against a Russian incursion there are being redeployed to batter now-stagnant Russian positions.

Ukraine update: Zelenskyy addresses Congress; Putin vows purge of disloyal Russians

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a virtual address to the United States Congress today, a key portion of which was video footage of the devastation caused by Russian attacks—and the many, many civilians now injured or dead. Zelenskyy again asked the United States to intervene directly in the war with the imposition of a military “no-fly” zone.

Ukraine update: Russian advances stall again, even as air strikes broaden

What was predicted to be a swift Russian victory continues now as day-by-day slog as Russian forces continue to “shore up” or “regroup” for further incursions while Ukrainian defenders pick at supply lines and hold off Russian attempts to capture new ground.

The Russian “strategy” of shelling urban centers in an apparent attempt to level what they cannot militarily capture, however, continues. And the civilian death toll is rising rapidly.

Ukraine update: China’s choice

In the days before Russia’s massive military assault on Ukraine, most analysts focused their attention on whether Ukraine’s much smaller military could offer any meaningful resistance to Russia’s near-certain victory. The Russian assault that actually took place, however, was not the one both Russia’s own leaders and outside military observers were suspecting.

Ukraine update: Ukraine’s defense still holds; U.S. bans Russian oil

Though Ukraine still faces long odds in being able to fend off a far larger Russian military, optimism still appears to reign among Ukrainian defenders. At the beginning of the war, both sides were preparing for a swift Russian takeover that would necessitate a Ukrainian defense centered around small units and guerrilla warfare; instead, Ukrainian forces continue to inflict shocking damage on spread-out, under-supplied, and under-protected Russian attackers.

Ukraine update: Scarce Russian gains, but an escalating humanitarian crisis

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues to grow, with 1.7 million refugees seeking safety across the border while civilians in Ukrainian cities under Russian artillery and missile attacks remain trapped. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to push forward with only modest gains, and Ukrainian defenders continue their success in reaching far into Russian supply convoys.

Ukraine update: Russia begins new, more brutal phase of their assault

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is now in a new phase, and it is the one observers feared Putin would turn to after the humiliating performance of Russian forces in the first days of the war. After surrounding Ukrainian cities, Russia is shifting to artillery attacks on civilian areas, attacks on television broadcasting towers, and the apparent use of large-scale thermobaric weapons.