Two Russian Fighter Jets and Two Military Helicopters Crashed in Southern Russia While Ukrainian Forces Struck Deep Into Russian-Controlled Territory in Ukraine

From a Wall Street Journal story by Stephen Kalin and Georgi Kantchev headlined “Four Russian Military Aircraft Downed Near Border With Ukraine”:

DNIPRO, Ukraine—Two Russian fighter jets and two military transport helicopters crashed in southern Russia on Saturday, while Ukrainian forces struck deep into Russian-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, moves that suggest Kyiv’s military capabilities are growing.

The crashes are the worst losses for Russia’s military aviation since the first week of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, when Moscow mistakenly assumed that Ukrainian air defenses had been destroyed. It has lost more than 70 planes since then.

Putin Says Ukraine Doesn’t Exist—That’s Why He’s Trying to Destroy It

From a New York Times guest essay by Olesya Khromeychuk headlined “Putin Says Ukraine Doesn’t Exist. That’s Why He’s Trying to Destroy It.”:

How did people imagine Ukraine before Feb. 24, 2022? If pressed, some might have conjured mail-order brides and shaven-head gangsters roaming one big post-Soviet Chernobyl. But most probably didn’t think even that; instead, they didn’t imagine Ukraine at all. The country popped up on most people’s radar only in connection to Western political scandals and Russian war making. Few Westerners visited it, and those who did might have concluded — as one Western journalist confessed to me recently — that “Ukraine was just like Russia but without all the crap.”

After Six Months of War in Ukraine, Momentum Tilts Against Russia

From a Wall Street Journal story by Marcus Walker and Gordon Lubold headlined “After Six Months of War in Ukraine, Momentum Tilts Against Russia”:

Six months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, signs are accumulating that the balance on the military and economic battlefields is slowly tilting the way of Kyiv and its Western backers.

In the biggest war between European countries since World War II, the death and destruction have no end in sight. Ukraine is still struggling against Russia’s advantage in raw firepower, but the country’s defenders are increasingly hitting Russian logistics and bases, including in Crimea, as they receive more Western weapons.

NATO Is Unified Now—The Question Is How Long That Unity Will Last

From a story on by Alexander Ward and Quint Forgey headlined “NATO is unified now. Will ‘war fatigue’ set in later?”:

NATO just showed unprecedented unity in the face of one of the alliance’s greatest-ever challenges. The question now is how long that unity will last.

President JOE BIDEN has an answer: Indefinitely. “We are going to stick with Ukraine and all of the alliance is going to stick with Ukraine as long as it takes to, in fact, make sure that they are not defeated…by Russia,” he told reporters in Madrid during a Thursday news conference.

Poynter’s Updates on Media Coverage of the War in Ukraine

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

While the Russian government is doing its best to limit (and control) what information is getting to its citizens, a new website is working to get around the Kremlin and get the real story to individuals in Russia.

Politico’s Update on the War in Ukraine

Politico’s update on the war in Ukraine:


— U.S. officials still believe “a large Russian military convoy headed toward Kyiv is ‘stalled,’” CNN’s Ellie Kaufman reports . “The official said the U.S. has ‘no reason to doubt Ukrainian claims’ that they have ‘contributed’ to the convoy being stalled by attacking it, the official said.”

— A diplomatic solution appears unlikely: “Barring some unexpected development, U.S. and European officials said they see no possibility for any diplomatic resolution to head off what they expect to be a brutal assault on key parts of Ukraine,” NBC’s Carol Lee, Courtney Kube and Josh Lederman report . “The only way to do so would be if Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN decided to de-escalate by agreeing to a cease-fire and beginning to leave Ukraine, a U.S. official said.”

Three Scenarios on Ending the War in Ukraine

From a New York Times column by Ross Douthat headlined “Looking for an Endgame in Ukraine”:

Let’s start with a very cold-sounding observation. The first week of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been the best week for American grand strategy in a very long time.