More to ignore, Book 46..........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: 'Those who fight monsters...'
Mark Sumner

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As Ukrainian soldiers recapture areas that have been occupied by Russia, the revelations appearing hourly in the news are nothing short of monstrous. They are not indescribable, because it’s all too easy to describe the horrors that have been discovered, and are still being found, along roadways, in ditches, and in the ruined walls of town as the Russians fall back mile by mile.

On a purely military front, Ukraine has won the Battle of Kyiv, that includes not just the recovery of all areas west of the Dnieper River, but also the area east of the city and north all the way to Chernihiv, where the last Russian troops seem be in retreat across the Belarus border. Even these estimates from Saturday evening now seem woefully out of date, as it seems the entire area around Chernihiv is clear and Russian forces are continuing to move away to the northeast. The whole of the war in Ukraine now moves to the Donbas, where Russia is both relocating forces from the north and bringing in fresh convoys of troops and equipment.

But as the tide rolls back, more and more evidence emerges of the kind of acts that Russian forces have engaged in over the last month. The images of bodies with their hands bound, slumped against a wall after having being shot, of women stripped of their clothing and left lying in a heap in the street, of local officials and their families pulled from their homes and tortured, and of bodies, so many bodies, even bodies of Russian soldiers, left to simply rot on the pavement … they are sickening. Hideous. Enraging.

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Body of a man with hands tied behind his back in Bucha

What’s been seen at Bucha, at Hostomel, at Velyka Dymerka, is likely to be only the beginning of a catalog of horrors. There is always a tendency to dehumanize the enemy in any war, and that’s a danger—because once they’ve been dehumanized, it’s easy to treat them with the same disdain and cruelty that you’re supposed to be fighting against. “Those who fight monsters...” etc. But the monstrousness of these acts should never be excused or minimized.

The evidence of photographs and testimony cannot help but color the way we view this war. It should. An act of unprovoked hostility against a peaceful nation was always evil. Now that evil has been underscored in blood. That doesn’t make the men who did this orcs or trolls. It makes them evil men. Efforts are already underway to secure evidence of specific units, commanders, and soldiers involved, to catalog the recollections of survivors, and to sort through images captured on everything from cell phones to satellites so that those involved can be prosecuted and punished for their actions. The entire world has a stake in seeing that this happens.

As for claims now circulating on social media along the lines of “bad things always happen in war,” or “the United States has done bad things too” or “this happened in other countries and we ignored it “ or “this is just an excuse to get us more involved in Ukraine,” the only answer worth delivering is simply this: **** that.

That bad things have happened in the past is no excuse for accepting them in the present. That bad things have been done in our name doesn’t absolve us of the need to seek justice. The idea that we must shrug off torture and murder because somewhere someone else has done as much, or worse, is as hideous as anything found under the rubble in Bucha. Or at Buchenwald.

We are all the descended from, related to, and have been governed by people who have committed atrocities. That does not either taint us beyond making a judgement or absolve us from seeking to do better. Quite the opposite. It charges us to improve.

Even as the crimes being uncovered in Ukraine cannot help but generate anger and loathing, those emotions can’t overwhelm the need to prosecute the war itself in a way that seeks not just an end, the most humane outcome in an inhumane situation. Marching on Moscow, damn the nukes, full speed ahead, is no better an idea after seeing those bodies in the street than it was before. This is exactly the time to not go forward in malice, but with careful consideration and reasoned action. Hard as it might be to set aside anger and desire for vengeance, that has to be done because it remains the best way to reduce the threat of even more deaths, even more horrors.

Ukraine must be given everything it needs to draw this war to a successful conclusion. The U.S. and other nations must act to see that such evil—on every scale—can never produce the desired outcome. The leaders of all these nations are as human as the rest of us, and like the rest of us they cannot help but see their own parents, siblings, friends, and children when they look at those bodies on the streets of Ukraine. The pressure on them to do the right thing is immense. None of them knows that that right thing is.

Thank God that Joe Biden is president.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine’s intelligence agency on Saturday said that two Russian soldiers have died and 28 others were placed in intensive care after being poisoned by Ukrainian civilians.

The Ministry of Defense’s intelligence unit said in a Facebook post on Saturday that civilians in Kharkiv baked poisoned cakes for troops from Russia’s 3rd Motor Rifle Division. Two Russian soldiers died after eating the food and 28 others were taken to intensive care, the agency said.

The condition of the hospitalized soldiers remains unclear.

“Ukrainians are resisting the occupiers by all available means,” the agency said.

The agency also claimed that about 500 more soldiers are in hospital suffering from heavy alcohol poisoning “of unknown origin,” and that the Russian command is writing off these cases as “not combat losses.”

The reported poisonings come after Ukrainian officials said civilians were executed and buried in mass graves in Bucha, officials said.

Reports on Russian casualties in Ukraine vary widely, with Russia reporting some 1,400 deaths, while Western intelligence says losses could be well over 10,000 troops.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine believes that Russia’s image will be tainted by the murders of civilians in Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel committed by the Russian troops.

Source: Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address on Telegram

According to Zelenskyy: "This is how the Russian state will be perceived now. This is your image. Your culture and your humanity have died alongside the citizens of Ukraine whose land you have come to."

Details: Zelenskyy noted that he wants the mothers of all Russian soldiers to see the bodies of those murdered in Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel.


"What have they done? Why were they killed? What did the man who was riding his bicycle on the street do? Why were regular, peaceful civilians tortured to death in a regular, peaceful city? Why were women strangled after having earrings ripped out of their ears? How could they rape and kill women in front of their children? To assault their bodies even after their death? Why would they crush people’s bodies with their tanks? What did the Ukrainian city of Bucha do to your Russia?" the President asked.

Zelenskyy wants the Russian government to see how their orders are executed.


"These are your orders. This is their carried out. Responsibility is shared. For these murders, for this torture, for these arms torn away from their bodies by explosions that are lying on the streets. For shooting tied-up people in the back of the head," he said.

Background: On 1 April, Anatoliy Fedoruk, Mayor of Bucha, reported that Bucha was liberated from the Russian occupiers.

Since then, information has begun to emerge about the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in the occupied city. In particular, Fedoruk said that a mass grave was found where almost 300 people are buried, dozens of corpses are lying on the streets, some of them with their hands tied behind their backs. Naked bodies of murdered women have also been found on the streets.

In light of the atrocities committed by the Russians, President Zelenskyy rebuked NATO for delaying Ukraine’s invitation to join the Alliance. He also sternly addressed Russian mothers.


The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation does not acknowledge the atrocities committed by its soldiers in Bucha and insists that no local residents have suffered from violence during the occupation of the city.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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  • Chernihiv—Ukrainian General Staff reported that all Russian troops have withdrawn from the region.
  • Donetsk—Russian troops attacked Ukrainian positions near Donetsk suburbs of Avdiivka and Marinka without success.
  • Mykolaiv—Ukrainian troops have reached Oleksandrivka on the regional border of Kherson and Mykolaiv.
 

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Abstract

Partisan media impacts voting behavior, yet what changes in viewers’ beliefs or attitudes may underlie these impacts is poorly understood. We recruited a sample of regular Fox News viewers using data on actual TV viewership from a media company, and incentivized them to watch CNN instead for a month using real-time viewership quizzes. Despite regular Fox viewers being largely strong partisans, we found manifold effects of changing the slant of their media diets on their factual beliefs, attitudes, perceptions of issues’ importance, and overall political views. We show that these effects stem in part from a bias we call partisan coverage filtering, wherein partisan outlets selectively report information, leading viewers to learn a biased set of facts. Consistent with this, treated participants concluded that Fox concealed negative information about President Trump. Partisan media does not only present its side an electoral advantage—it may present a challenge for democratic accountability.