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Pat Leonard’s NFL Notes: Patrick Mahomes with a chip on his shoulder is bad news for rest of NFL

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Pat Leonard’s Nfl Notes: Patrick Mahomes With A Chip On His Shoulder Is Bad News For Rest Of Nfl
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Overlooking Patrick Mahomes was a huge mistake.

The Buffalo Bills were the preseason Super Bowl chalk with Las Vegas sportsbooks, even after they lost to Kansas City in last year’s playoffs.

The L.A. Chargers were the media darlings of a stacked AFC West that was supposed to humble Andy Reid, Mahomes and a fading Chiefs team that lost Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill.

Russell Wilson got traded to the Denver Broncos. Davante Adams became a Las Vegas Raider.

The Chiefs’ run of four straight AFC Championship Game appearances, with two Super Bowl appearances and one championship, is over. Right?

Wrong. The Chiefs are already 2-0, outscoring their opponents 71-45, with a Thursday Night division win over Justin Herbert’s Chargers here in Week 2.

And making Mahomes an underdog was a bad idea.

“I always feel like I have something to prove,” Mahomes said after the Chiefs’ 44-21 thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals. “I’m just this guy from Texas Tech that they said couldn’t play in the NFL. So I always have that mindset of going out there and proving that we’re the Kansas City Chiefs and we still have a chance to go out there and win the AFC championship and win the AFC West and win the Super Bowl.”

This is not to minimize what Josh Allen’s Bills did to the reigning champion L.A. Rams in the NFL season opener. Buffalo definitely has the firepower to compete with Kansas City, as they demonstrated in that 42-36 overtime divisional playoff loss in January.

Mahomes and the Chiefs benefited from some terrible officiating Thursday night that robbed the Chargers of two interceptions, too. And Kansas City’s secondary on defense is young and suspect.

But Mahomes’ talent is enough to keep winning, along with the coaching of Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. And adding a chip to the former MVP’s shoulder gives him another reason to unleash fresh firepower on the league.

Mahomes received a confusingly low grade from Pro Football Focus in Week 1, for example, after completing 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards and five TDs against the Cardinals.

So on Thursday, after beating the Chargers, Mahomes cracked about one of his near interceptions: “I’m sure PFF will have me at a low grade for that, but I’ll keep it rolling.”

PFF returned with these numbers after the Chiefs beat the Chargers: Mahomes is 21 of 32 against the blitz this season for 231 yards, six TD passes and no interceptions. He is 12 of 13 out of the pocket for 121 yards and three TDs.

“A couple of those throws were unbelievable,” Reid said of his quarterback’s 24 of 35 passing for 235 yards and two TDs against the Chargers. “Pushing up and throwing through traffic and getting his body in the right position… It was impressive. And I know he works … He’s relentless with that stuff. He always wants to know what he can do to be better.”

Relentless is a good way to describe Mahomes’ attitude now in his fifth full season as a starter. He’s out to remind everyone who he is, who the Chiefs are – they are the team you were unwise to overlook.

STALEY SUDDENLY PLAYS IT SAFE

Aggressive, analytics-driven Chargers coach Brandon Staley unexpectedly morphed on Thursday into an alarmingly conservative game manager against the Chiefs.

Staley, whose calling card as a rookie coach was his aggressive go-for-it calls on fourth down, kicked an early field goal on 4th and 2 from the Chiefs’ 13-yard line. And he punted twice in the first half on 4th and 2 from the Chiefs’ 47- and 48-yard lines, respectively.

It appears Staley’s failed fourth down calls in late season losses to the Chiefs and Raiders led to a dramatic shift in approach in his second year.

Look no further than Staley’s unrecognizable explanation for his strategy: field position.

“Just wanted to give our defense a chance to compete,” he said. “I really loved the way we were playing. I felt like we were aggressive when we needed to be. We converted all four of our fourth downs. Just felt like with who’s over there and the way our defense was playing, I felt like the field position would be a big edge for our defense. To be able to pin them back there. And I like the way our defense competed tonight.”

Staley went for 34 of 108 fourth downs (31.5%, league high) last season and succeeded 64.7% of the time (fourth best). So hearing him speak this way was hard to believe.

The Chargers did convert a 4th and 1 Austin Ekeler run at the Chiefs’ 18 in the third quarter, leading to a Mike Williams touchdown on the next play. So maybe Staley will be able to find a middle ground rather than abandoning his principles.

SHAMELESS BRETT

Newly released text messages show that Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre may have been more involved than previously known in funneling millions of federal welfare dollars to pay for a new volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played the sport, a lawsuit alleges.

The messages show that former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant was aware of the arrangement and even guided Favre on how to submit a funding proposal. The text messages do not establish that Favre knew the funds were welfare money but clearly indicate he was aware of some impropriety.

“If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” Favre allegedly texted Nancy New, the executive director of the education center through which the funds were funneled.

The money was originally intended to help low-income families in the poorest state in the country. Favre denied any wrongdoing in the past.

NFL ECSTATIC OVER OPENING WEEKEND

Pro sports leagues love parity. The NFL is no different. The league had seven games decided by a field goal or less in Week 1, the most on a kickoff weekend in NFL history. Five games were decided by a score in the final two minutes or overtime — the most in a Week 1 in 20 years. Eight teams won games with quarterbacks under 27 years old, the second most ever to open a season. And the NFL had more than 121 million viewers, up 5% from last year and the best opening weekend since 2016. The most watched game was the Cowboys-Bucs Sunday night game, which drew 23.3 million. … The league says the “guardian caps” worn over helmets by players up to the second preseason game had a positive impact on limiting concussions. The NFL said its average number of 23 concussions in that period decreased to 11 among the position groups who were required to wear the caps (O-line, D-line, tight ends and linebackers). And six of those 11 were determined as caused by blows to face masks, not to a player’s helmet. More than 200 players continued wearing the caps after the mandated period was over, as well.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: STEELERS LOSE WATT

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 1 upset of the Cincinnati Bengals was dampened in a big way by the loss of star pass rusher T.J. Watt. A torn pectoral muscle has the reigning NFL defensive player of the year out for at least six weeks, if not more. So it’s hard to see the Steelers, with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, dethroning the Bengals in the AFC North even after beating them head to head in the opener. … Jets coach Robert Saleh can’t say what he said on ESPN Radio, that the Jets were “worse than an expansion team” when Joe Douglas arrived as GM. Even if it’s true, it fires too many shots at people both inside and outside Saleh’s building. The Jets’ primary problem, like the Giants’ and other perennial losers of late, goes way above any GM or head coach. But Saleh puts a target on his back when he talks that way. And if the losing spirals, it will help turn him into the next scapegoat, while the real problem goes unaddressed. … Cooper Rush is quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys against Joe Burrow’s reigning AFC Champion Bengals this Sunday with Dak Prescott injured and out at least several weeks. It’s possible the Giants could be hosting an 0-2 Cowboys team on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

THEY SAID IT

“He didn’t urinate down his leg, man. That’s a great place to begin.” — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on rookie running back Jaylen Warren’s NFL debut.

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Another month of solid US hiring suggests more big Fed hikes

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Another Month Of Solid Us Hiring Suggests More Big Fed Hikes
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By PAUL WISEMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers slowed their hiring in September but still added 263,000 jobs, a solid figure that will likely keep the Federal Reserve on pace to keep raising interest rates aggressively to fight persistently high inflation.

Friday’s government report showed that hiring fell from 315,000 in August to the weakest monthly gain since April 2021. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, matching a half-century low.

The Fed is hoping that slower job growth would mean less pressure on employers to raise pay and pass those costs on to their customers through price increases — a recipe for high inflation. But September’s pace of hiring was likely too robust to satisfy the central bank’s inflation fighters.

In September, hourly wages rose 5% from a year earlier, the slowest year-over-year pace since December but still hotter than the Fed would want. The proportion of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one slipped slightly, a disappointment for those hoping that more people would enter the labor force and help ease worker shortages and upward pressure on wages.

The jobs report “was still likely too strong to allow (Fed) policymakers much breathing room,” said Matt Peron, director of research at Janus Henderson Investors.

Likewise, Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said she didn’t expect September’s softer jobs and wage numbers to stop the Fed from raising its benchmark short-term rate in November by an unusually large three-quarters of a point for a fourth consecutive time — and by an additional half-point in December.

Last month, restaurants and bars added 60,000 jobs, as did healthcare companies. State and local governments cut 27,000 jobs. Retailers, transportation and warehouse companies reduced employment modestly.

The public anxiety that has arisen over high prices and the prospect of a recession is carrying political consequences as President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party struggles to maintain control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

In its epic battle to rein in inflation, the Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate five times this year. It is aiming to slow economic growth enough to reduce annual price increases back toward its 2% target.

It has a long way to go. In August, one key measure of year-over-year inflation, the consumer price index, amounted to 8.3%. And for now, consumer spending — the primary driver of the U.S. economy — is showing resilience. In August, consumers spent a bit more than in July, a sign that the economy was holding up despite rising borrowing rates, violent swings in the stock market and inflated prices for food, rent and other essentials.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has warned bluntly that the inflation fight will “bring some pain,” notably in the form of layoffs and higher unemployment. Some economists remain hopeful that despite the persistent inflation pressures, the Fed will still manage to achieve a so-called soft landing: Slowing growth enough to tame inflation, without going so far as to tip the economy into recession.

It’s a notoriously difficult task. And the Fed is trying to accomplish it at a perilous time. The global economy, weakened by food shortages and surging energy prices resulting from Russia’s war against Ukraine, may be on the brink of recession. Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned Thursday that the IMF is downgrading its estimates for world economic growth by $4 trillion through 2026 and that “things are more likely to get worse before it gets better.’’

Powell and his colleagues on the Fed’s policymaking committee want to see signs that the abundance of available jobs — there’s currently an average of 1.7 openings for every unemployed American — will steadily decline. Some encouraging news came this week, when the Labor Department reported that job openings fell by 1.1 million in August to 10.1 million, the fewest since June 2021.

On the other hand, by any standard of history, openings remain extraordinarily high: In records dating to 2000, they had never topped 10 million in a month until last year.

Friday’s report underscored how resilient the job market remains.

“The U.S. labor market continues to decelerate, but there are no signs that it’s stalling out,’’ said Nick Bunker, head of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “Payroll growth is no longer at the jet speed we saw last year, but employment is still growing quickly.”

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GBPUSD’s latest decline attempts to break and stay below the 200 hourly MA again

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Gbpusd'S Latest Decline Attempts To Break And Stay Below The 200 Hourly Ma Again
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GBPUSD is trading above and below the 200 hourly moving average

Focusing on the hourly chart above, the pair is back below the 200 hourly MA and is currently trading at 1.1109.

GBPUSD tested the broken 38.2% retracement and the former trendline

Last week, GPBUSD closed at 1.1183. This week’s high price stalled just before the 1.1500 level before reversing lower over the past few days. Current prices have moved lower over the week, but still well above last week’s low which hit 1.0353.

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Proud Boys member pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy in Capitol Riot

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Proud Boys Member Pleads Guilty To Seditious Conspiracy In Capitol Riot
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A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring with other members of the far-right Proud Boys to violently prevent the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election, making him the first member of the extremist group to plead guilty to a charge of seditious conspiracy.

Jeremy Joseph Bertino, 43, has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation into the role Proud Boys leaders played in the Jan. 6, 2021 mob attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, a prosecutor has said. federal.

Bertino’s cooperation could increase the pressure on the other Proud Boys charged with the siege, including former National President Henry “Enrique” Tarrio.

The guilty plea comes as the founder of another extremist group, the Oath Keepers, and four associates separately charged in the January 6 attack stand trial for seditious conspiracy – an offense rarely used in wartime civilian that requires up to 20 years behind bars.

Bertino traveled to Washington with other Proud Boys in December 2020 and was stabbed during a fight, according to court documents. He was not in Washington for the Jan. 6 riot because he was still recovering from his injuries, according to court documents.

Bertino participated in planning sessions in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and received encrypted messages as early as Jan. 4 that Proud Boys were planning to storm the Capitol, authorities say.

A statement of offense filed in court says Bertino understood the Proud Boys’ purpose in traveling to Washington was to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s victory and that the group was prepared to use force and violence if necessary to do so.

Bertino also pleaded guilty to an unlawful possession of firearms charge in March 2022 in Belmont, North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly agreed to release Bertino pending a sentencing hearing, which was not immediately scheduled.

Justice Department prosecutor Erik Kenerson said the sentencing guidelines for Bertino’s case recommended a prison term ranging from four years and three months to five years and three months.

A trial is due to begin in December for Tarrio and four other members charged with seditious conspiracy: Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola. The charging document for Bertino’s case names these five defendants and a sixth member of the Proud Boys as his co-conspirators.

The indictment in the Tarrio case alleges that the Proud Boys held meetings and communicated via encrypted messages to plan the attack in the days leading up to January 6. On the day of the riot, authorities said, the Proud Boys dismantled metal barricades set up to protect the Capitol and mobilized, directed and led members of the crowd into the building.

Bertino’s video testimony was shown in June during the first hearing of the House committee investigating Jan. 6. The committee showed Bertino that the band’s membership had “tripled, probably” after Trump’s comment during a presidential debate that the Proud Boys should “step back and be ready.”

Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6, but authorities say he helped spark the violence that day. Police arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the riot and accused him of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a protest in December 2020. Tarrio was released from prison on January 14 this year after serving his five-month sentence. for this case.

More than three dozen people charged in the Capitol riot have been identified by federal authorities as leaders, members or associates of the Proud Boys. Two – Matthew Greene and Charles Donohoe – pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct an official process, the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote.

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UPSC Recruitment 2022: Golden opportunity to get job in these posts in UPSC without examination, apply soon, salary will be available according to 7th pay

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Upsc Recruitment 2022: Golden Opportunity To Get Job In These Posts In Upsc Without Examination, Apply Soon, Salary Will Be Available According To 7Th Pay
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UPSC Recruitment 2022: Golden opportunity to get job in these posts in UPSC without examination, apply soon, salary will be available according to 7th pay

UPSC Recruitment 2022 Sarkari Naukri 2022: Before applying, candidates should read all these important things given carefully. Also, under this recruitment process, candidates can get jobs in UPSC (Govt Jobs).

UPSC Recruitment 2022: There is a good opportunity for the youth who are looking for a job (Sarkari Naukri) in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). For this (UPSC Recruitment 2022), UPSC has sought applications for recruitment to other posts including Assistant Professor, Specialist Grade-III (UPSC Recruitment 2022). Interested and eligible candidates who want to apply for these posts (UPSC Recruitment 2022), they can apply by visiting the official website of UPSC, upsc.gov.in. The last date to apply for these posts (UPSC Recruitment 2022) is 13 October.

Apart from this, candidates can also directly apply for these posts (UPSC Recruitment 2022) through this link Also, by clicking on this link UPSC Recruitment 2022 Notification PDF , you can also see the official notification (UPSC Recruitment 2022). A total of 43 posts will be filled under this recruitment (UPSC Recruitment 2022) process.

Important Dates for UPSC Recruitment 2022

Last date to apply: 13 October

UPSC Recruitment 2022 Vacancy Details for

Serious Fraud Investigation Office Prosecutor(SFIO)-12

Specialist Grade III (General Medicine)-28

Assistant Professor (Ayurveda)-01

Assistant Professor (Unani)-01

Veterinary Officer-10

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Recruitment 2022

Candidates should have the relevant qualification given in the official notification.

Application Fee for UPSC Recruitment 2022

Candidates will have to pay Rs 25 as application fee.

The post UPSC Recruitment 2022: Golden opportunity to get job in these posts in UPSC without examination, apply soon, salary will be available according to 7th pay appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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Adam Carrington: The illegitimate attacks on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy

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Adam Carrington: The Illegitimate Attacks On The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy
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Legitimacy. The word has dominated discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court for years. Some, mostly on the left, claim that the court has lost its legitimacy. The debate on this question even has spread to the court itself, with comments on the matter made by Justices Elena Kagan, John Roberts and Samuel Alito over the summer.

But what does it mean for the current court to be illegitimate? Illegitimacy describes one or both of two conditions: First, it refers to someone occupying a position to which he or she possesses no right. Second, illegitimacy pinpoints the exercise of one’s power in ways flagrantly beyond its proper scope, so much so as to involve powers entirely foreign to the office.

Critics of the Supreme Court make both claims regarding its legitimacy. They argue the last three justices to be appointed — Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — have no right to their seats. They further declare that recent decisions, especially during the court’s last term, go so far outside the court’s rightful powers as to make the institution itself illegitimate.

They are wrong on both counts. First, they morph the meaning of legitimacy into conformity with their preferences. They say that, in 2016, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never should have refused to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, a move that led to Gorsuch’s appointment in 2017. They also claim that the unproven accusations made against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford disqualified him. Finally, they chafe at President Donald Trump’s nomination of Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, coming as it did right before the 2020 presidential election.

None of these accusations has anything to do with real legitimacy. In each case, the appropriate and constitutional process was followed. A sitting president made the nomination. The Senate either refused its consent, as it did in 2016, or gave it, as the body did in the cases of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett. That is the only standard for a justice’s legitimacy to be on the court. It is the only one because it is the constitutional one, the dictate of the supreme law of the land.

We may debate the fairness of refusing a vote on Obama’s nominee. We can argue over the merits of the accusations against Kavanaugh. We even can question the choice of not waiting for the people’s decision in 2020 before adding a new member to the bench. But even if all these objections were right, they would not make any of the appointed justices illegitimate.

On the second count, the court’s last term did not render it an illegitimate institution. Those accusers again seek to replace constitutional standards with their own opinions. To be sure, the court announced monumental decisions last term on a host of hot-button issues concerning religious liberty, gun rights, the administrative state and, of course, the abortion precedents of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Yet, too many attack these decisions based on whether they follow popular opinion. Kagan, for one, argues, “If, over time, the court loses all connection with the public and with public sentiment, that is a dangerous thing for democracy.” The court’s role, however, isn’t to follow the lead of often-flawed opinion polling. The justices follow the people’s will insofar as that will is expressed through the law — the Constitution and subordinate congressionally passed statutes. Both get their ultimate origin in “we, the people.” In this written form, they encompass a much more stable and discernible articulation of public sentiment.

Kagan also critiqued the majority’s approach to ascertaining the people’s will as expressed through law, indicating that the majority hide behind claims of impartially applying the words of laws as written in order to realize their policy preferences. “If you’re a textualist, you’re not a textualist just when it’s convenient. You’re not a textualist just when it leads to the outcomes that you personally happen to favor,” she said.

This accusation doesn’t hold up to scrutiny when turning to particular cases. Justices will certainly disagree on the precise meaning of legal texts. But in last term’s decisions, the majority painstakingly parsed the words of the laws and the accompanying history. They then ruled not on the basis of their partisanships but on what the law meant at the time of its composition. The abortion ruling did not outlaw terminating a pregnancy, as anti-abortion-rights activists would want, but merely returned the decision to the political process. The court’s decision on guns made extensive use of history to understand the nature of that right in relation to current law. Finally, the court’s limiting of the administrative state defended the principles of separation of powers and consent of the governed that are essential to our constitutional framework.

Critics of the current Supreme Court should be more honest in their attacks. They object to how certain justices were nominated. They disagree strongly with the court’s recent decisions. But, even if true, neither makes the current court illegitimate. They’d be better served to focus their arguments on the majority’s decisions and reasonings.

Given the rightness and strength of both, critics are in for an uphill battle.

Adam Carrington wrote this column for the Chicago Tribune.

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Trudy Rubin: Putin is on the rocks. Ukraine is surging. If U.S. support stays strong, Kyiv can win

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Trudy Rubin: Putin Is On The Rocks. Ukraine Is Surging. If U.s. Support Stays Strong, Kyiv Can Win
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Last week was a turning point in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Kyiv’s astonishing gains will continue, and it is possible to envision a Ukrainian victory, so long as its Western supporters don’t lose their nerve.

After staging sham referendums at gunpoint in four occupied Ukrainian regions, Vladimir Putin announced Friday that residents had “chosen” to rejoin their “historic (Russian) motherland.” At a televised pop concert Friday in Red Square, he celebrated the forced annexation and led the chant of “Russia, Russia,” shouting exuberantly, “Welcome home!”

The very next day, Saturday, Ukrainian forces made stunning advances in the east and south, taking back land within the “annexed provinces” and breaking through Russian lines as they had in Kharkiv province earlier in September. Suddenly, over the weekend, the tightly controlled Russian airwaves that only broadcast Russian “victories” featured talk show debates over how to stem Russian losses.

Yet once again, Putin is hinting he might use nukes if desperate. Some of his acolytes are calling on him to use “tactical nuclear weapons.”

So where does Putin’s war go from here? Here are a few of the key questions and how I size up where things stand.

 

Are Ukrainians winning?

They are demonstrating that they can win — if Western support remains strong and new weapons arrive in time.

Putin’s imperialist call to restore the “unity” of “great historic Russia” revealed a total misunderstanding of the Ukrainian people. He conveniently ignored the fact that, in 1991, in a genuine referendum, every region of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union (the four Putin annexed voted in 1991 by margins of 90%, 90%, 83% and 83%). Even Crimea voted 54% to join an independent Ukraine.

So Ukrainians rightly believe they are waging an existential battle for their freedom, while many Russian conscripts are unsure why they are fighting. As Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it succinctly, “If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

 

Is Russia losing?

Russian troops are demoralized. The Russian military system has become so disorganized that new troops are told to bring their own sleeping bags and food, and sent in with little or no training. Resistance is growing in Russia to Putin’s new, unjust mobilization of at least 300,000 new forces, from which hundreds of thousands are fleeing abroad.

New precise Western long-range multiple rocket systems with a range of 50 miles, especially the U.S.-built weapons known as HIMARS, have enabled Ukraine to disrupt Russian supply lines and command centers behind the front lines. The U.S. just announced it will send four more HIMARS to Ukraine; it should also expedite the arrival of long-range munitions for the launchers. Sending as much vital weaponry as possible before winter, and before the arrival of newly mobilized Russians, is key.

However, Russia still holds more than 15% of Ukrainian land, and its missiles and rockets are destroying civilian infrastructure across the country. “They are killing ordinary families and children every night in our cities,” I was told on WhatsApp by former parliament member Yehor Soboliev, who volunteered for military service. “We will win in any case, but we will meet many more deaths,” he said.

Kyiv military sources tell me their greatest need right now is for air-defense systems to protect their cities, and for tanks (where are those Leopard tanks, Germany?) to roll back fortified Russian positions as Ukrainian troops move forward on the flat steppe lands of the east and the south.

 

Would Putin use tactical nukes?

I am still skeptical that this will happen.

In military terms, it makes no sense. These weapons, with a much smaller payload than the Hiroshima bomb, are meant for the battlefield. But as the Institute for the Study of War, one of the best think tanks closely following the fighting, puts it: “The Russian military in its current state is almost certainly unable to operate on a nuclear battlefield even though it has the necessary equipment. Exhausted contract soldiers, hastily mobilized reservists, conscripts and mercenaries … could not function in a nuclear environment. Any areas affected by Russian tactical nuclear weapons would thus be impassable for the Russians, likely precluding Russian advances.”

Moreover, the wind could blow radiation back onto Russian troops or even inside Russia. And if a tactical nuclear weapon were dropped on a city, killing, say, 5,000 to 10,000 civilians, Russia would become a global outlaw, even to India and China. And the Ukrainians would keep fighting.

That said, the U.S. and its allies must leave Putin in no doubt that there would be “catastrophic consequences for Russia” — as national security adviser Jake Sullivan put it on ABC News — if Russia breaks the post-World War II taboo against nuclear weapons, plunging the world into a new nuclear era. That doesn’t necessarily mean a nuclear response, but it should mean military strikes by NATO members on Russian bases inside Ukraine, Russian ships in the Black Sea, and possibly on Russian bases in the homeland. It should also finally trigger a NATO invitation to Ukraine.

“Putin has to know it would be a suicide weapon for them,” I was told by H.R. McMaster, a former national security adviser in the Trump administration. Yes, indeed.

 

Will Europe hold strong in support of Ukraine?

In a historic first joint visit to Pennsylvania Monday, a large group of ambassadors from European Union countries insisted that Europe would hold firm in support for Ukraine, despite the pain of skyrocketing gas prices, and despite far-right gains in Swedish and Italian elections. Speaking to the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU ambassador to the United States, said: “Putin cannot win this. It is existential to all of us. This is not a war against Russia. It is a battle for values. You don’t invade to wipe countries off the map.”

Ukrainian courage and strategic skills, combined with Western intelligence-sharing, have opened the way for a Ukrainian victory before winter. All now depends on whether Western allies have the guts to match their Ukrainian compatriots with vital weapons and a united front against Putin. Kyiv is fighting not just for Ukraine’s freedom, but to prevent Putin from threatening Europe and, inevitably, the United States.

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