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On the Eastern Front, a breathtaking week of Ukrainian successes and Russian failures

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On The Eastern Front, A Breathtaking Week Of Ukrainian Successes And Russian Failures
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The past week has seen a stunning transformation of the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, as a rapid armored offensive by Ukrainian forces broke through Russian defense lines and recaptured more than 3,000 square kilometers of territory.

That’s more territory than Russian forces have captured in all of their operations in Ukraine since April.

As brilliantly as the offensive was conceived and executed, it succeeded thanks to Russian shortcomings. In swaths of the Kharkiv region, Russian units were poorly organized and ill-equipped – and many offered little resistance.

Their failures and disorderly retreat east made President Vladimir Putin’s special military operation goal of taking all of Lugansk and Donetsk considerably more difficult to achieve.

Over the weekend, the Russian retreat continued from the border areas occupied since March. Villages within five kilometers of the border hoisted the Ukrainian flag.

Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

The collapse of Russian defenses has sparked recriminations among influential Russian military bloggers and Russian state media personalities.

As the Ukrainian flag was raised in one community after another over the past few days, a question arose: how is the Kremlin reacting?

Ukrainian officials had telegraphed that an offensive was imminent – but not where it actually happened. There was much noise about a counterattack in the south, and even US officials spoke of Ukrainian operations to “shape the battlefield” in Kherson. Russian reinforcements – possibly as many as 10,000 – poured into the area over a period of weeks.

There was indeed a Ukrainian assault on Kherson, but the intention seems to have been to fix the Russian forces, when the real effort came hundreds of kilometers to the north. It was a disinformation operation the Russians could have been proud of.

Kateryna Stepanenko of the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based analysis group, says the deception worked.

“Ukrainian military officials reported that (Russian) elements from the Eastern Military District that had previously supported offensive operations towards Sloviansk had redeployed to the southern axis,” she told CNN.

Their replacements were clearly not up to the task – a mixed bag, Stepanenko said, of “Cossack volunteers, volunteer units, DNR/LNR militia units and the Russian Rosgvardia (National Guard) . Such forces were not sufficient to defend a vast and complex front line.

The Ukrainians chose the weakest point of the Russian defenses for their initial push – an area controlled by the Luhansk militia with Russian National Guard units further back. They were no match for a highly mobile armored assault that quickly rendered artillery irrelevant.

Igor Strelkov, a former head of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia and now a sharp critic of Russian military shortcomings, noted the poor training of these units and “the exceptional caution of Russian air force actions”. In short, frontline Russian units were hung to dry without sufficient air support.

Several videos geotagged and analyzed by CNN, as well as local accounts, depict a chaotic withdrawal of Russian units, with large amounts of ammunition and equipment left behind.

The poor quality of Russian defenses along a critical north-south axis supporting the Donetsk offensive is difficult to understand. Once launched, the intention of the Ukrainian offensive was perfectly clear: to destroy this artery of supply. In three days they had done it, partly because Russian reinforcements were slow to mobilize.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday sought to present the abandonment of Kharkiv as a planned redirection of efforts towards the Donetsk region – but it actually complicates those efforts.

Until this week, the Russians could attack the Ukrainian defenses in Donetsk from three directions: north, east and south. The northern axis has now disappeared: the threat hanging over the industrial belt of Sloviansk and its surroundings has greatly diminished, as has the prospect of encirclement of the Ukrainian defences.

Simply put, the battlefield in eastern Ukraine was redrawn in a matter of days.

The most influential – and perhaps surprising – public critic of the situation was Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who contributed thousands of fighters to the offensive. In a Telegram post on Sunday, he said he would contact senior Defense Ministry officials to spell out his message.

“It is clear that mistakes were made. I think they will draw some conclusions,” he said.

Alluding to the disarray among the commanders, Kadyrov said that “if the Russian general staff did not want to leave, the (troops) would not retreat” – but the Russian soldiers “had not received proper military training” and this led them to retreat.

Influential military bloggers in Russia were even more blunt. Zakhar Prilepin, whose Telegram channel has more than 250,000 subscribers, reposted a comment describing the events in Kharkiv as a “disaster” and a complete intelligence failure.

“We can now observe the result of the criminal irresponsibility of those who were responsible for this direction,” the post read, before concluding: “The special military operation is long over. There is a war in Classes. ”

Another pro-Putin blogger by the name of Kholmogorov reposted an equally scathing account from the Partizan Telegram channel from the front lines, which essentially accused Russian authorities of abandoning troops.

“The soldiers were on foot with a machine gun and a bag. Abandoned by command, not knowing the way, they walked haphazardly,” the post said.

The poster, who describes himself as a Russian Orthodox nationalist, says that if the hatred of the enemy grows, “the hatred of the government and the command grows even more.”

Adding his own thoughts, Kholmogorov said: “Lord, save Russian soldiers from blows from the front and even more from blows from behind.”

A similar analysis came from Pyotr Lundstrem’s Telegram channel.

“There are NO thermal imagers, NO bulletproof vests, NO reconnaissance equipment, NO secure communications, NO helicopters, NO first aid kits in the army.”

Referring to commemorations in Russia this weekend for Moscow Day, the city’s birthday, he added: “You are celebrating a billionth holiday. What’s wrong?”

On Saturday, as the rout continued, Putin inaugurated a Ferris wheel in Moscow.

The Institute for the Study of War notes that “the withdrawal announcement has further alienated Russian Milbloggers and Russian nationalist communities who support the Kremlin’s grandiose vision to capture all of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian Forces Liberated The Town Of Balakliya.

Leading media figures in Russia are trying to portray this week’s calamity as a planned operation. TV host Vladimir Solovyov reposted a Telegram comment which insisted that “the enemy, buying an easy advance on a given sector of the front, is falling into a trap”.

“Currently, Russian units are deliberately regrouping,” the commentary adds, although there are few signs of this.

This raises the question of how the Kremlin continues the war after suffering its worst week of the entire campaign. It seems to lack high quality units. Some existing battalion battle groups were reconstituted; volunteer battalions were raised across Russia to form a Third Army Corps. US officials say the Russians are running out of ammunition, even turning to North Korea for supplies.

Stepanenko of the Institute for the Study of War told CNN the remarkable success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive will force a reassessment of how the new army corps is used.

Stepanenko, who studies Russian military recruitment and organization, says the Russians “could still try to use these units to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv, albeit rushing poorly trained and unprepared raw units in such operations would be a highly dangerous business solution.

She believes that given the Russian need for fresh manpower, “it is likely that Russian forces will deploy these elements directly to the front lines in any case based on reports that some volunteer battalions are fighting already on the front lines of Kherson”.

The Russian military can still bring considerable power in terms of rocket, artillery and missile forces. But despite a reshuffle of the high command already, its land operations seem poorly organized, with little autonomy granted to the commanders. The past week has laid bare the issues of motivation and leadership.

Russian bloggers who have backed the offensive say a radical overhaul is needed. One commented: “A change in approach to the war in Ukraine is needed. Mobilization of economy and industry. Creation of a center of political control of the war.

Strelkov came to the same conclusion, saying it was time to “start fighting for real (with martial law, mobilizing the military and the economy).”

Throughout the conflict, Putin has avoided a general mobilization, which could be unpopular at home.

It is unclear whether the Kremlin will now double down on its efforts to complete the special military operation or begin to seek a negotiated settlement.

The first option seems like a tall order given the events of the past week; the second would be humiliating. The third possibility, perhaps the most likely, is that Russia persists in its meteoric inch-by-inch assault while taking little or no additional territory. But he now faces an adversary that is on the rise and new infusions of Western military aid in preparation for the winter months.

Ukraine’s advances on the battlefield have rejuvenated Allied support, with a meeting in Germany over the weekend yielding new pledges of long-term support.


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Cynthia M. Allen: When this high school banned cellphone use, it saw remarkable changes

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Cynthia M. Allen: When This High School Banned Cellphone Use, It Saw Remarkable Changes
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FORT WORTH, Texas — There’s something noticeably different at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth this year.

It’s not new uniforms or facilities. It’s the absence of something that accounts for what principal Oscar Ortiz calls a remarkable cultural shift.

There are no cellphones in use during the school day.

Students are required to keep them in backpacks inside their lockers.

If students are caught using their phones, the devices are confiscated and must be retrieved by a parent or guardian after a small fine is paid.

To a home-schooling parent like me, this doesn’t seem a novel or even particularly harsh policy.

Aren’t smartphones almost always prohibited in places of learning?

According to federal data, close to 77 percent of schools in the U.S. reportedly ban cellphone use in schools.

But practice looks different than policy.

Before this year, Nolan had a no-cellphone policy in place. But as Ortiz explained, when such policies don’t take into account what that means for teachers in the classroom, they are difficult to enforce and make other rules seem arbitrary.

That isn’t just the case at Nolan.

A friend who has taught at an area public school for nearly a decade laughed when I asked about his experience with cellphones in the classroom.

The school had a policy, he said, but kids were on their phones anyway and there was nothing he could do about it.

“I would teach to the two or three students who actually came to learn,” he said.

Ortiz, though, has seen previous cellphone policies implemented successfully. At Nolan, he wanted to be intentional about “creating a space where children can learn the right way,” free from distraction.

Thus far, this more robust policy seems to be working.

Ortiz estimates the school has minimized cell phone use by 85%-90%.

In the first seven weeks of school, teachers and administrators have collected only 12 devices, compared to last year’s 12-15 a day.

Device denial is a difficult adjustment at first, but teachers report that students are already more engaged, livelier and more attentive.

But what’s truly extraordinary about the policy is the effect it’s had on student culture.

“For the first time in a long time, (the students) can actually have friendships again,” Ortiz said. “Real conversations in the hallways and lunch rooms. Real human interactions.”

It seems that when kids are allowed to use their devices during the school day, they ambulate the hallways like extras on the set of “The Walking Dead,” barely lifting their eyes, never acknowledging each other.

Now, they greet adults in the hallway.

Even their posture has changed. Now, they look up.

Parents are reporting that the positive behavioral changes extend beyond the classroom and into the home, Ortiz said. Family dinners are more engaging. Conversations are more frequent. Cell phone use in the home is now comparatively minimal.

It’s a throwback to a simpler time, before the ubiquity of smartphones changed the way we interact with the world around us, frequently for the worse.

There is a bounty of data which suggests that smartphone use — social media apps in particular — is a primary factor driving teenage anxiety and depression.

Smartphones allow for constant communication, but they also expose kids to a litany of vices and dangers, from prolific online pornography and sexting to cyberbullying and online predators.

Being off their phones during the school day won’t eliminate those dangers, but it certainly reduces the number of opportunities for kids to be exposed to them.

“Most schools are already dealing with issues regarding porn and (cyber) bullying,” Ortiz said. “We have not this year.”

Protecting kids from online dangers, keeping them focused on academic work and allowing them the freedom to “be kids again” without the sense that every interaction could end up circulating through school in a social media post — all are positive outcomes of cell phone policies like Nolan’s.

But for Nolan, which is a Catholic institution, the cell phone policy also serves a higher purpose. It creates an atmosphere conducive to pursuing what is true, beautiful and good.

“We don’t want our children changing their behavior only due to external factors,” Ortiz said.

Prohibitions help reduce distractions, but motivating kids to want to do good for its own sake takes something a bit more, something a bit harder to pinpoint.

But if Nolan’s cell phone policy success is any indicator, the school is well on its way to achieving that goal.

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her email address is [email protected]

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French feminist rabbi captivates multi-faith crowds with thoughts on mortality

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As Paris was locked down for Passover, a rabbi began holding weekly Zoom chats about Jewish texts. Thousands of people tuned in to hear his thoughts on death. “He’s my rabbi,” said an atheist.

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Ravens rookies take center stage more quickly than expected with injuries to key veterans mounting

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Ravens Rookies Take Center Stage More Quickly Than Expected With Injuries To Key Veterans Mounting
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In the seconds after Marcus Peters cradled the ball within inches of the sideline, Kyle Hamilton let loose a roar from deep inside. A “primordial scream” Ravens coach John Harbaugh called it.

Hamilton had spent the previous week answering for his football sins, mental and physical, in a Week 2 collapse against the Miami Dolphins. When the rookie safety saw New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor break free on a potential go-ahead scoring drive in Week 3, he knew he could not let it happen again. So Hamilton chased Agholor down, and with a violent swipe of his arm punched the ball Peters’ way. It turned out to be the decisive blow in a hard-fought 37-26 road victory.

“That’s a play not too many people make,” Harbaugh said a day later.

If Hamilton, the first player selected in the Ravens’ 11-member draft class, goes on to a decorated career in Baltimore, this forced fumble might go down as his opening statement. It was a loud moment in a collective story that’s gaining momentum as Ravens rookies leap into the deep end of the pool a few weeks into their NFL careers.

Center Tyler Linderbaum, defensive tackle Travis Jones, offensive tackle Daniel Faalele and punter Jordan Stout could all start Sunday against the mighty Buffalo Bills, with Hamilton, tight end Isaiah Likely and cornerback Damarion “Pepe” Williams also expected to play significant roles. Cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis could also play, though he was pulled after a rough start against the Patriots. Only injured outside linebacker David Ojabo and tight end Charlie Kolar and practice squad running back Tyler Badie will not factor in the Ravens’ game-day calculus.

If the Ravens build on their promising start and return to the playoffs with serious ambitions for the Super Bowl, first-year players will carry a significant load. The team’s decision-makers saw this 2022 draft class, which included two first-round picks and six fourth-round picks, as a major part of their plan for building a roster around quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s about to become very expensive. But the process has accelerated more quickly than they could have anticipated because of injuries to veterans such as left tackle Patrick Mekari (ankle), nose tackle Michael Pierce (torn biceps) and cornerback Kyle Fuller (torn ACL).

Faalele, for example, had not played a single snap at left tackle at Minnesota and was regarded as a developmental prospect — albeit a historically massive one at 6-foot-8, 380 pounds — on the other side of the offensive line. On Sunday, he suddenly found himself protecting Jackson’s blind side against a Bill Belichick-coached defense.

His afternoon did not start out well. Twice on Faalele’s first two series, Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. whipped around his left shoulder as if the rookie was stuck in concrete. Jackson seemed in peril, as did an offense that had been humming around him.

“It was definitely a different experience — baptism by fire,” a grinning Faalele said Wednesday.

So he practiced his sets on the sideline, trying to redial his perspective so he would be in tune with Jackson’s silent snap count and feel as comfortable on the left side as he had on the right. He’s a calm guy by nature, and by the start of the second half, he looked like a different player, one prepared to keep his quarterback off the ground.

“He hasn’t had snaps at left tackle; he’s been a right tackle all his life,” Jackson said. “And for him to get in and do an amazing job like that, when we need him, where it counts, it’s tremendous to see.”

“Yes, I feel calm,” Faalele said, looking ahead to a possible start against the Bills and the great Von Miller. “Especially when we prepare as much as we do here. I feel like I’ve seen every situation. I feel good about going against everything. I trust my teammates and my coaches. I am a calm person because of that.”

Faalele had at least played in an NFL game. Jones, the 6-4, 334-pound powerhouse from the University of Connecticut, missed the first two weeks as he recovered from a knee injury suffered in the preseason. He was active for the first time Sunday. Then Pierce tore his biceps, and Jones had to step in for 29 snaps. He made just one assisted tackle but looked like he belonged.

“Travis Jones played great,” veteran defensive tackle Calais Campbell said. “He’s a talented guy. His biggest thing is going to be experience. It’s not going to take him long; I think he’s just so gifted, and he’s going to make a lot of plays. But he’s going to get a whole lot better and in a hurry, hopefully. Obviously, there is going to be mistakes — everybody makes them; even 15-year vets make them — but he makes them big [in] the right way. If he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he blows stuff up, which you can appreciate.”

Likely received the most hype of all the rookies going into the season because of his steady stream of highlight catches in training camp and his overpowering performance in the Ravens’ second preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. His introduction to the regular season proved rougher. He caught none of the four passes thrown his way and committed a holding penalty in the opener. After he bounced back with four catches in Week 2, he hurt his groin and caught just one pass for 8 yards against the Patriots.

“We’re throwing a lot at him; there’s a lot on his plate,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “He’s had to do some dirty work as a young rookie in some of these games, but there’s nothing but a bright future for him in every sense.”

The team’s No. 3 cornerback spot has been the busiest center of rookie activity thanks to the season-ending knee injury Fuller suffered and more temporary health setbacks for starters Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. Armour-Davis played 38 defensive snaps in Week 2, suffering his share of coverage defeats, and lasted for just nine against the Patriots after he allowed a pair of big gains by DeVante Parker. Williams, picked 22 slots after Armour-Davis in the spring, was beaten on Agholor’s crossing route that ended with Hamilton’s forced fumble. But he has generally played more consistently than his rookie classmate and now seems the likeliest candidate to play with Peters and Humphrey going forward.

CBS NFL analyst Charles Davis said the hiccups in the Ravens secondary — their pass defense is ranked last in the league, just like it was last season — are inevitable given injuries and the inexperience of players such as Armour-Davis, Williams and Hamilton.

“Younger players equal more mistakes. I don’t care who they are, where they come from, what their pedigree is,” he said. “You’re learning on the fly. You’re learning at a faster rate of speed. You’re learning against guys who are going to make bigger plays against you than 99% of the guys you faced in college. … They’ll evolve. They’ll learn. They’ll grow. If we talk about this in about six weeks, I don’t think we’ll see the same errors.”

Conversely, Linderbaum has been the source of zero drama, at least since he returned from a foot injury that kept him out for part of the preseason. The Ravens expected their second first-round pick to start from Day 1, and he has done just that. Despite a few rough pass-protection snaps against New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in Week 1, Pro Football Focus graded Linderbaum the seventh best center in the league through three weeks. Like any standout offensive lineman, he’s good enough that we rarely talk about him.

Asked if his new center plays with acumen that belies his years, Jackson said: “He does. We watched film, and he was doing things — passing off blocks, going to the next ’backers, to the safeties. He was looking like a pro. You’ve got to watch the film; I can’t even describe how intense it was out there for him and how high he was performing. It looked incredible — just to see a rookie out there doing what he’s doing. It looks like he’s been here before.”

Hamilton, the first name the Ravens called in the draft, has taken more grief from fans than the rest of his classmates because of obvious mistakes in the preseason and the loss to Miami. He played just 16 defensive snaps against the Patriots, down from 38 the week before, but made the most of them, contributing to the Ravens’ excellent performance out of their dime packages and forcing the decisive fumble from Agholor.

Pro Football Focus graded Hamilton the seventh-best safety in the league through three weeks, and though that’s misleading, given that teammates Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams play every snap while he does not, he’s making a positive impact, critics be damned.

“Obviously, [he] had a learning experience the week before, as a lot of young guys did and do, especially on the back end,” Harbaugh said. “So, he worked hard all week, he had a sense of urgency to try to become a little bit better of a player this week than he was last week, and he became a much better player. To see him come up and make that play in that critical moment was kind of a reward for that.”

Asked to grade himself, Hamilton said his performance against the Patriots was his most consistent to date. “I’ve just got to stack them now,” he added. “Five games from now, we’ll probably forget this even happened.”

Spoken like a young veteran.

Week 4

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Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Bills by 3


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Furious conscripts go after commander: Senior officer ‘beaten after saying ‘you’re all cannon fodder”

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Furious Conscripts Go After Commander: Senior Officer 'Beaten After Saying 'You'Re All Cannon Fodder''
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A senior Russian officer reportedly had his face shattered in a scuffle with furious conscripts after telling them their lives were going to be wasted on the front lines in Ukraine.

The mobilized recruits turned against the Russian lieutenant colonel after he said bluntly: “You are all cannon fodder, you are going to be slaughtered”.

The high-ranking officer had his face ‘smashed’ and facial bones shattered in a fight in which ‘everyone of them was drunk’, according to reports.

Many reservists – among hundreds of thousands thrown into the war under a decree by Vladimir Putin – were left devastated after learning they would die at the front.

However, the commander was probably right that Putin’s appeal will lead to mass deaths of untrained reservists sent to the front.

This is just the latest story of chaos, fighting and drunkenness among newly mobilized Russian conscripts, with reports that many have been sent to the front with little or no training while being told to buy their own supplies and equipment.

Fight In A Barracks

Fight In A Barracks

Fight In A Barracks

A senior Russian officer reportedly had his face shattered in a scuffle with furious conscripts after he told them their lives would be thrown on the front lines in Ukraine -MailOnline have been unable to verify whether these images capture the moment

The Scuffle Took Place At Moscow's Rubin Sports Palace In The Russian Town Of Penza, Where The Men Were Stationed In A Makeshift Barracks Before Being Sent To Fight In Ukraine.

The Scuffle Took Place At Moscow's Rubin Sports Palace In The Russian Town Of Penza, Where The Men Were Stationed In A Makeshift Barracks Before Being Sent To Fight In Ukraine.

The scuffle took place at Moscow’s Rubin Sports Palace in the Russian town of Penza, where the men were stationed in a makeshift barracks before being sent to fight in Ukraine.

After A Counteroffensive By Ukraine This Month Caused Heavy Setbacks For Moscow's Forces On The Battlefield, Putin Called On 300,000 Reservists To Join The Fight.

After A Counteroffensive By Ukraine This Month Caused Heavy Setbacks For Moscow's Forces On The Battlefield, Putin Called On 300,000 Reservists To Join The Fight.

After a counteroffensive by Ukraine this month caused heavy setbacks for Moscow’s forces on the battlefield, Putin called on 300,000 reservists to join the fight.

Russian officers – often conscripts themselves – advised new recruits to bring their own sleeping bags, tourniquets, medicine and mats.

Video shows a punch, but it’s unclear if it was the scuffle in which the officer was punched in the face, or just another scuffle between disgruntled grunts.

The recruits turned to the senior officer at the Rubin Palace of Sports in the Russian city of Penza, where the men were stationed in a makeshift barracks before being sent to fight in Ukraine.

Later reports said the face of the unnamed lieutenant colonel was “all shattered” with broken bones.

The brother of a conscript said: ‘My brother messaged me just now.

‘There was a lieutenant-colonel walking among [the newly-mobilised]telling them: “You are all cannon fodder, you are going to be massacred”.

“There was a fight, the Colonel’s face was shattered.

“They could barely separate them. A person fell ill [after the cannon cannon fodder threat].

“Two ambulances rushed there within an hour. Many people felt sick, many were in tears.

“One tried to escape, they caught him. It’s a fucking nightmare what’s going on there.

‘There were 1,080 people there now, in Rubin [sports palace]. They will end up in knife fights, it’s a complete mess there.

“They are all drunk. Each of them.’

Meanwhile, another footage showed what appeared to be a female quartermaster talking to new recruits and advising them to bring tampons.

Russian Troops In Ukraine

Russian Troops In Ukraine

Russian Troops In Ukraine

Russian Troops In Ukraine

A Russian soldier claiming to be already in a fox hole in Ukraine says he and his comrade (right) have been left without food or water and are bombarded

Sanitary products can be used to plug gunshot wounds and stop bleeding in the absence of a medical kit, the woman tells new recruits.

“They won’t give it to us?” asks one of the new recruits.

“It’s all up to us boys,” the woman shouts back. “You will receive a uniform and armor, nothing else.”

Yet other videos have emerged showing a newly recruited tank commander who was told he would deploy to the Kherson front line in just two days without even firing a shot at a training range.

Other footage shows two soldiers sitting in a field in Ukraine complaining that they were abandoned by their commanders without food or water, and that they had better fight for the other side.

These are just the latest examples of poor morale and preparedness in Russian ranks after Putin’s army was exhausted in seven months of war in Ukraine.

In images posted online, the tank commander says: “Officials told us that there would be no training before we were sent to the conflict zone.

Our commander has officially confirmed that we will be sent to Kherson on September 29. Make your own decisions on what to do with this moving forward…

“There was no training – no shooting, no theory training…nothing. F***.’

Mark Krutov, a journalist with Radio Free Europe, managed to track down the commander and confirmed that he was in a barracks called Kalininets in Moscow.

The man said he was a night shift worker from Moscow who was sleeping at home when soldiers knocked on his door and ordered him to the front.

Asked to elaborate on his complaints, he replied, “I can’t speak now, things have changed drastically, hopefully for the better”, and lost contact.

Russian Tank Captain

Russian Tank Captain

Russian Tank Captain

Russian Tank Captain

A newly enlisted Russian tank commander complains that he and his crew were told they would deploy to Kherson within two days of not receiving any training

Meanwhile, other footage showed two men claiming to be Russian soldiers sitting in a foxhole in a forest, allegedly in Ukraine.

“We are here in the forest,” the man says to the camera as his comrade sits behind him.

“We were just shelled, they hit us from meters away. We were left in the forest… Like cannon fodder sent to the fucking forest.

‘What [are our commanders] mess with this army that just doesn’t work? It’s worse than working in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

‘F***ing f***ers… And none of our team commanders are here, they all fucked up, they were the first to go. Now it’s just us, the “entrepreneurs”.

“There’s nothing on our machines, no supplies, no electronics. No binoculars, no thermal cameras, nothing at all. Machine gun and ammunition. And the bayonet. But there’s nothing screwed up Here we sit, waiting. Let’s see what will happen.

“At night, we sit on the battlefield, in the front line. It’s just across the field. Those bastards left us with no fucking water. No food. Let’s see what will happen next.

In an attempt to solve Russia’s chronic manpower problem, Putin ordered what he called the “partial mobilization” of Russian military reserves on September 21.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of men have been rushed to military bases where they have been hastily outfitted and given minimal training before being rushed onto the battlefield.

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How Raymond Antrobus’ Spoken Poetry Offers a Variety of Sounds: NPR

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How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr
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Album cover for The first time I wore hearing aids.

Ian Brenan

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Ian Brenan

How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr

Album cover for The first time I wore hearing aids.

Ian Brenan

Raymond Antrobus was born deaf. When it came to poetry, much of his work was built on the history and foundations of poetry slams and spoken word performance.

“I really felt a lineage of poets in music, poets in voice, poets in performance,” says Antrobus.

Author of two collections of poetry – The Perseverance and All given names – Antrobus has just released a spoken word album titled The first time I wore hearing aids. It was produced by Grammy-winning music producer Ian Brennan.

Brennan had read poems by Antrobus before, but it wasn’t until a few months ago – in June this year – that he heard the poet perform on stage. “It was such a beautiful night,” he said.

Realizing that he and Antrobus were both going to be at a festival in London the following month, he wrote to the poet to collaborate. And Antrobus was excited about that.

“I came to poetry thanks to so many poets who also record their work,” says Antrobus. The poet played some of Brennan’s past works to his then 10-month-old son, who responded well. “I wanted to be part of this company with this album and with my poetry.”

Antrobus’ poems often reflect a person’s experience of hearing sound in different ways. Brennan – whose own sister was born with Down syndrome and is deaf in her left ear – became interested in these dimensions.

“[Music] was always one of the things she was most connected to, and certainly more sensitive than others who had full hearing,” Brennan says of her sister. I don’t have the same sound for Raymond as for another individual or vice versa.”

In July, when Brennan and Antrobus met to record his spoken word album, they recorded enough to fill two discs.

“Most of what’s out there is Raymond,” Brennan said. “So even the sound elements you hear are Raymond, it’s his voice.”

Of the 16 tracks that make up the album, some – like the track “Closer Captions” – recreate sound as it is experienced by the hearing impaired.

“We were at a festival and that meant I had a limited load on my hearing aids,” says Antrobus. “And there were times when between takes I had to take off my earpiece and sort of sit down – not quite silence, but kind of a quieter, muffled sound.”

How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr

Poet Raymond Antrobus

Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

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Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr

Poet Raymond Antrobus

Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

The artists recorded most of the tracks in one take. This meant that Brennan sometimes played music in the background. Speaking of the track “Captions & a dream for John T Williams of Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribe”, the producer recalls a special moment from the festival. He had met a musical group the day before the recording of the album by the artists.

“[The group’s] luthiers built me ​​a Ndzendze. It’s a very rare instrument – ​​a two-sided guitar. So it’s eight strings, four strings on each side,” Brennan says. “I could kind of play it intuitively because it’s a string instrument.”

Here is an excerpt from the poem:

He fell in front of the policeman,
four bullet holes on the left side of his body,
hands holding a block of cedar wood
and a three inch blade he used to whittle
canoes and faces in totem poles.

(announcing that it’s not over)

The policeman said:
I yelled at him to drop the knife.

(sound of something left out)

It took five seconds to shoot.

“The poem is about a deaf individual killed by the police who was a sculptor, who lived by the water and carved canoes,” Brennan says. “And I play this instrument that was handmade and carved by someone who carves canoes.”

Antrobus, who is Jamaican-British, often captures the experience of police brutality in his work.

“The boundaries of identity are so heavily guarded, guarded and patrolled,” Antrobus says of these poems. “And look how dangerous it is for some people when we cross those borders. You could literally end up with a gun in your face, a bullet in your back.”

He also often writes about how this experience can be particularly traumatic for deaf people, who, without trained interpreters, stand a high chance of being misinterpreted by law enforcement.

“That’s why so many elements of the record are Raymond’s voice, but Raymond’s voice changes — maybe double-track or triple-track,” Brennan explains.

How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr

Poet Raymond Antrobus

Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

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Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

How Raymond Antrobus' Spoken Poetry Offers A Variety Of Sounds: Npr

Poet Raymond Antrobus

Marilena Umuhoza Delli/Ian Brennan

Other sound elements on the album include sounds recorded underwater, such as on the track “Miami Airport Immigration”.

“When you think about the amount of land covered in water, that’s perhaps the majority of the soundscape on the planet,” Brennan says. “Yet this is something largely unknown to many people.”

To this, Antrobus adds that the human body is made up mostly of water, which then creates an atmosphere where we wonder exactly what we are made of. “Where do we belong? What is really being questioned? What are the real reasons for this confinement of identity, of language, of experience, of ideas?”

The artists hope that bringing listeners to these questions with the album will show them that the experience of sound – like most experiences – is not binary.


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Democrats blame climate change for Hurricane Ian at odds with science, experts say

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Democrats Blame Climate Change For Hurricane Ian At Odds With Science, Experts Say
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Several experts contacted by Fox News Digital argued that there was not enough evidence to suggest that climate change caused Hurricane Ian or any individual natural disaster.

The expert comments come as a slew of media, Democrats and progressive commentators continue to blame the hurricane on man-made global warming. Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, knocking out power to more than a million residents and prompting stern safety warnings from Florida officials.

“What they’re trying to do is politicize the pain and suffering of these people to promote their green agenda,” Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of climate policy think tank CO2 Coalition, told Fox News. Digital in an interview. “Well, their policies and program promoting renewable energy will result in far greater economic destruction for the country and for Florida.”

In the past few days, news outlets including The New York Times, Associated Press, Politico, NPR and Axios have run stories reporting that climate change is behind Hurricane Ian and the intensifying fast from the storm. A Time magazine article said “the science is well known” that climate change created the conditions for Hurricane Ian.


The city of Naples, Florida is pictured during Hurricane Ian on Wednesday.
(City of Naples)

Also, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared to suggest that Americans should vote for Democrats to avoid future hurricanes during an interview Tuesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., tweeted Thursday that “the rapidly intensifying storms we are seeing with Hurricane Ian will become more common and more dangerous” as the climate changes.

And a string of progressive commentators and climate activists have taken to social media to similarly link the hurricane to global warming.


“Ian is a climate change hurricane,” Pam Keith, a former Democratic Senate candidate and founder of the left-leaning Center for Employment Justice, tweeted on Wednesday.

“[Hurricane Ian] is a classic example of the impact of climate change on people,” added Nina Turner, senior fellow at the progressive think tank Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy. “Climate change is not politics, it is reality.

However, Wrightstone and the other experts contacted by Fox News Digital dismissed those arguments, arguing that individual storms cannot be linked to climate change.

“If you read this [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] said about hurricanes, there just isn’t enough data,” Steve Milloy, senior legal officer at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, told Fox News Digital.

“There is nothing to back up what they say,” he continued. “There were about 16 major hurricanes between 1916 and 1965, but only six since 1965. So clearly major hurricanes are happening with lower levels of carbon dioxide. That doesn’t matter to them.”


A NOAA study last reviewed in July concluded that its models and analysis did not support the idea that greenhouse gas-induced warming is driving a sharp increase in the number of tropical storms or hurricanes. in the Atlantic. The study, authored by NOAA senior scientist Tom Knutson, added that it was “premature to conclude with great confidence” that the increase in human-made greenhouse gases had an impact on the world. hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

Jamie Rhome, acting director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, echoed the study’s findings in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, pushing back against presenter Don Lemon’s argument that Hurricane Ian’s intensification is related to climate change. Rhome said he would “warn against” associating a storm with climate change.

A Satellite Image Of Hurricane Ian Approaching The Florida Coast.

A satellite image of Hurricane Ian approaching the Florida coast.
(NOAA via Getty Images)

“Trying to blame global warming for Hurricane Ian not only defies scientific evidence – the clear weight of scientific evidence – but it is a despicable politicization of a real tragedy that requires our attention and focus on those negatively affected. “, James Taylor, the president of the conservative think tank Heartland Institute, said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

“These types of hurricanes existed before the invention of SUVs and coal-fired power plants,” Taylor added. “In fact, they were much more frequent and severe before coal-fired power plants and SUVs.”


Wrightstone, who is also an expert reviewer for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), added that the number of hurricanes this year has actually been lower than in previous years.

“The IPCC sees no correlation between warming temperatures and more hurricanes,” he told Fox News Digital. “And we’ve seen it this year. Until this hurricane, which is massive, the number of hurricanes was almost historically low.”


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