Update on Ukraine
The Russian offensive at Avdievka is failing. One of the military hospitals where wounded Russian soldiers are being sent, for instance, can no longer accept patients because it’s bursting at the seams. Others are still accepting the wounded but there are so many that things are looking bad.
Putin is furious. He just fired a bunch of high military officials. This defeat was not anticipated, especially since this time Putin has been sending regular troops quite openly. (Before, the troops had to pretend that the had wondered into Ukraine by mistake or that they were there while on leave.)
The reason why Russian troops are failing once again is that they are not fighting with Ukraine. They are fighting with their fantasy of Ukraine. It was much easier for them to achieve their goals in Syria because they are not emotionally attached to a fantasy of what Syrians should be like and could create real plans for actually existing situations.