Counting chickens before they’ve hatched in Ukraine

Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

The buzz around “a [reported Ukrainian] presence on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region”[2] is huge.

“Russian forces may be prioritizing maintaining defenses in urban areas such as Oleshky and Nova Kakhovka, leaving the islands in the Dnipro River delta unmanned,” the [Institute for the Study of War] wrote. “The extent and intent of these Ukrainian positions remain unclear, as does Ukraine’s ability and willingness to maintain sustained positions in this area.”[3]

My instincts are screaming for caution and the Wall Street Journal entertains the possibility that this is a diversion as a feint in the Kherson region last fall preceded “a successful surprise assault in the northeastern Kharkiv region.”[4] I just want to see how it ends: When the name of the game, as it must be for Ukraine, is surprise, I don’t want to read anything more than what’s actually there.

The Ukrainian military has asked for “patience” on reports of a possible offensive. A large-scale advance over the wide [Dnipro] river under the threat of Russian strikes would be a large and difficult undertaking.

“The conditions of a military operation require silence until it is safe enough for our military,” a Ukrainian military spokesperson said, adding she could not confirm or deny the [Institute for the Study of War’s] report.[5]

Ian Lovett and Ann M. Simmons, “Ukrainian Forces Recapture Land Across Key River in South, Think Tank Says,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukrainian-forces-recapture-land-across-key-river-in-south-think-tank-says-8fc9a06

Peter Beaumont, “Russian forces ‘forcibly evacuating’ civilians in Kherson, says Ukraine,” Guardian, April 24, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/24/russian-forces-forcibly-evacuating-civilians-kherson-ukraine


Gilead

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 2. In terms of geographic area, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

Clare Malone, “The Gospel of Candace Owens,” New Yorker, April 22, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-communications/the-gospel-of-candace-owens

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 1. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Oliver Darcy and Marshall Cohen, “Tucker Carlson out at Fox News,” Cable News Network, April 24, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/24/media/tucker-carlson-fox-news/index.html

Philip Bump, “How unpopular can be Biden be while still winning reelection?” Washington Post, April 25, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/04/25/biden-trump-2024-election-popularity/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Infrastructure


Fig. 3. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

You know the old line about how there are no atheists in foxholes? I was thinking about that driving across the Swindell Bridge yesterday.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh to begin work on Swindell Bridge, 30th Street Bridge next week,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 22, 2023, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-to-begin-work-on-swindell-bridge-30th-street-bridge-next-week/


California

Secession movements


Fig. 4. “Greater Idaho” would include much of the proposed state of Jefferson. Screen capture by the Sacramento Bee published November 3, 2021.[6]

Dani Anguiano, “A California journalist documents the far-right takeover of her town: ‘We’re a test case,’” Guardian, April 22, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/apr/21/california-journalist-far-right-takover-shasta-county


Banking

Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Credit Suisse, 2023


Fig. 5. “The monument sign in front of the parking lot of the Silicon Valley Bank headquarters at 3003 West Tasman Drive, Santa Clara, California.” Photograph by Minh Nguyen, March 13, 2023, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Aaron Back, “First Republic Joins the Living Dead,” Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/first-republic-joins-the-living-dead-3a7704ec


  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [2]Ian Lovett and Ann M. Simmons, “Ukrainian Forces Recapture Land Across Key River in South, Think Tank Says,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukrainian-forces-recapture-land-across-key-river-in-south-think-tank-says-8fc9a06
  3. [3]Ian Lovett and Ann M. Simmons, “Ukrainian Forces Recapture Land Across Key River in South, Think Tank Says,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukrainian-forces-recapture-land-across-key-river-in-south-think-tank-says-8fc9a06
  4. [4]Ian Lovett and Ann M. Simmons, “Ukrainian Forces Recapture Land Across Key River in South, Think Tank Says,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukrainian-forces-recapture-land-across-key-river-in-south-think-tank-says-8fc9a06
  5. [5]Peter Beaumont, “Russian forces ‘forcibly evacuating’ civilians in Kherson, says Ukraine,” Guardian, April 24, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/24/russian-forces-forcibly-evacuating-civilians-kherson-ukraine
  6. [6]Maddie Capron, “Should Idaho swallow parts of Oregon? Thousands of Oregon voters want it considered,” Sacramento Bee, November 3, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article255509141.html

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