A Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast is driving Russian forces and collapsing Russia’s northern Donbas axis. Russian forces are not making a controlled withdrawal and are fleeing southeastern Kharkiv Oblast to avoid encirclement around Izyum. Russian forces have previously weakened the northern Donbass axis by redeploying units from the region to southern Ukraine, complicating Ukraine’s efforts to slow the advance or at least deploy a covering force to retreat. . Ukrainian benefits are not limited to the Izyum region; Ukrainian forces reportedly captured Veliky Burluk on September 10, which would place Ukrainian forces within 15 kilometers of the international border. Ukrainian forces have penetrated Russian lines as deep as 70 kilometers in some places and captured more than 3,000 square kilometers of territory in the five days since September 6 – the most Russian forces have done in all their operations since April. More territory than occupied.
Well, then. The 1904–5 Russo-Japanese War ended badly for the Tsar, and led directly to the 1905 Russian Rebellion (setting the stage for 1917).
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Kremlin’s ‘newspaper of record’, is as harsh as you might expect, but given Ukraine’s extraordinary successes over the past few days, it’s instructive to see what it’s telling Russians today (and what it is not). A short thread
First, and most obvious, there is no sign of Ukrainians advancing from Kharkov into Russian-held territory. In stark contrast are the tallies drawn directly from MOD briefings of alleged enemy losses (4000 KIA since 6 September).
The Kremlin is happy to lie, but cannot ignore the facts, and thus really struggles to create any positive narrative on issues where some basic fact-checking is possible. This is the kind of dilemma we saw in the Soviet wars in Chechnya (x2) and Afghanistan, and is a sign that the state’s control over the narrative is crumbling. It’s not so much IMO that the Russians so far necessarily believed the official line that they had no reason to *disbelieve* it as that it’s politically and morally dangerous as well. I remember a parent of a doctor from Afghanistan whom I interviewed for my Ph.D. She said, “I didn’t want to believe what people were saying about the war, because if I did, I would either have to work or be a part of it.”
Slowly, then suddenly
“How did you go bankrupt?”
Two ways. Slowly, then suddenly.”
– Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.
As with bankruptcy, so with military defeat. What seems like a long, painful grind can quickly turn into a rut. A supposedly resilient and well-equipped army can break through and find means of escape. This is not uncommon in war. We saw this happen with the Afghan army in the summer of 2021.
And in other news:
David M. Drucker/Washington Examiner:
‘The president walks most of the conversation’: New Hampshire GOP Senate contenders navigate Trump
Republican Senate contender Chuck Morse acknowledged that Donald Trump is a polarizing figure in the Granite State but said the former president’s agenda was a boon to the country while declaring he would “love to have his support.”
While campaigning before Tuesday’s primary, Morse said Washington Examiner Trump has been a hot topic in an interview as Republicans battle for the right to challenge Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in the general election. Most Republican voters spoke of wanting a rollback on Trump’s policies, he said, while noting all of them missed the continuing controversy the former president has stirred up with his flamboyant attitude.
“The president comes up in most conversations in the state of New Hampshire,” Morse, the state Senate president and a key aide to Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH), said Friday in Rochester, a town of 35,000 people 40. MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE miles northeast of , it is something of a political bellwether in statewide elections.
“In almost every conversation, people want to go back to Trump’s policies,” Morse added. “They believe what he did on the border, what he did with energy, what he did with the budget, was the right way to lead as a country. What they didn’t like was the way it was presented, so when I’m on the campaign trail I get both sides of it.
his opponent, Retired Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc, And the more hard right, currently leading in the polls.
Rachel Monroe/New Yorker:
The Supreme Court’s abortion decision has given Beto O’Rourke a fighting chance
As a candidate for governor of Texas, the Democrat was considered a long shot. But the state’s new — and extreme — restrictions have accelerated his campaign.
Even before the trigger law took effect, Texas’ punitive abortion policies were creating uncertainty and fear — and political opportunity for Democrats. O’Rourke appeared alongside Elizabeth Weller, one of several Texas women with non-viable fetuses who have been forced to continue their pregnancies despite the physical and emotional risks. In May, during the eighteenth week of Weller’s pregnancy, her water broke. Doctors determined that her amniotic sac had ruptured; The fetus will not survive outside the womb. After consulting with her doctor, Weller and her husband decided to terminate the pregnancy, but, due to uncertainty about the legal situation in Texas, the hospital refused to perform the procedure unless she had some serious symptoms. Born, he said. “The hospital administration told me that I wasn’t that sick when it happened to me,” she said. “And they sent me home to wait for my baby to die or for me to get infected.” Several days later, as Weller’s symptoms worsened, an ethics board finally determined that she could undergo the procedure.
Americans are finally feeling better about the economy
Gas prices are falling, and there are signs that households are learning to deal with inflation
After months of depression, Americans are finally starting to feel better about the economy And resigned to more inflation.
Consumer sentiment, which hit a rock bottom in June, has begun to inch up in recent weeks. Gas prices have dropped. Decades of high inflation appear to be easing. And at the same time, Americans are making small changes— Buying meat in bulk, for example, or shifting their purchases to discount chains—suggests that many families are learning to cope with higher prices.
“Although consumer sentiment is still quite low by historical standards, we are starting to see a very dramatic improvement,” said Joanne W. Hsu, an economist at the University of Michigan and director of its closely watched consumer surveys. “A lot of that is being driven by the slowdown in inflation, especially with the drop in gas prices.”
Where Things Stand: Watching the Power of the Christian Right Play Out in Real Time
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters yesterday that a vote on the bill could take place in the coming weeks. He also suggested that Democrats would instead vote on the bill as its own package with enough GOP support to overcome the filibuster, then have to fold it into a short-term spending bill. But getting Republicans on record on same-sex marriage ahead of the midterms is proving to be an uphill battle as some key senators, like Johnson, come out against the bill. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also used the same religious freedom language to explain his opposition.
As we wait for more clarity on the dynamics of any possible upcoming vote, I want Re-upload this piece from last month From TPM contributor Sarah Posner.
In it, Sarah argues that the leaders of the powerful political apparatus of the Christian Right are already signaling that, for them, Oberfell is new cry. Senate Republicans have heard the message. And they fear the power of the movement.
Can Mastriano win in a purple state while living in a right-wing bubble?
It’s not uncommon for candidates to work to appeal to their party’s core as they try to win primaries. Often, they then return to the middle. But when [PA Republican Senatorial candidate Doug] Mastriano won his primary in May, he clarified the same night That he wouldn’t be doing anything like that. His acceptance speech was a mix of culture-war rhetoric and talking points that could have been pulled from a Tucker Carlson monologue. Not only was he going to govern as a hard-right conservative, he assured any observers, but it became clear that he was going to continue to run as one.