Patterico's Pontifications


Popular Russian Pundits Publicly Express Frustration About Recent Military Setbacks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While Russia is “regrouping” its forces after suffering a drubbing in the Kharkiv region, the knives are out on Russian state television:

The same pundits who used to threaten NATO countries with nuclear strikes are begrudgingly acknowledging that Russia’s Armed Forces have suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in Ukraine.

There is quite a litany of complaints at the link, including a call for the heads of military leaders to be delivered to Putin:

“For two months, Ukrainian Armed Forces and military equipment have been massing in that area, all Telegram channels have been writing about it. Where was our damn reconnaissance? All of their heads should be laying on Putin’s desk, hacked off at the base… Of course, this is a tactical defeat. I hope it will be very sobering.”

One critic even called the “regrouping” an actual defeat:

Political scientist Sergey Mikheyev described recent developments in Kharkhiv as “a serious failure,” on the part of Russia. “Call it ‘regrouping’ or whatever else… This is our most serious defeat during the last six months, and the most significant success of our adversary… Perhaps this failure is beneficial, because being so obvious, now it’s impossible to pull the wool over our eyes, pretending that everything is wonderful,” he said.

Additionally, because defeat by NATO troops would be easier to stomach for Russia, doubt is being publicly cast about the Ukrainian troops:

“In the process of preparing the battle-ready Ukrainian troops, it turns out they’ve been rapidly turning darker in color and becoming fluent English speakers. They’re becoming indistinguishable from the mercenaries… Some of them have a Southern drawl, others speak with a British accent. Stop pretending already,” [filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov ]said.

In the meantime, the Kremlin is warning against counting Putin out – just yet anyway:

The Kremlin on Tuesday offered a quiet rebuke after Western speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calamitous decision to invade Ukraine will inevitably lead to his ouster.

“Russians support the president,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov… Peskov cited voter turnout for Putin’s last election, in 2018 – one marked by apathy and fear for the future as the autocratic leader solidified his grip on the levers of power – and current, purportedly accurate polling that shows he enjoys relatively high popularity among average citizens.

But Peskov issued a warning immediately after, citing new legislation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 that harshly criminalizes open criticism of the government and its decisions: “The line is very, very thin. You have to be very careful here.”

All good signs, don’t you think?

Oh, and did you hear that another close ally of Putin’s has died after falling overboard from his boat?

Ivan Pechorin’s body was found washed up around 100 miles from Vladivostok in Russia’s far east, on Monday after a two-day search, local outlet reported…Pechorin fell off his moving boat on September 10 as it sailed near Russky Island, the outlet reported. He was the Aviation Director for Russia’s Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (KRDV), which described his death as an “irreparable loss.”…According to the Mirror’s Russia correspondent, he was personally selected by Putin for his role…


Sen. Lindsey Graham Introduces National Abortion Bill

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

Almost three months after the Roe decision and two months before the midterm election, Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill this morning that would limit abortion on demand to 15 weeks nationwide:

“I think we should have a law at the federal level that after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand, except in the case of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother…If we adopted our bill, we would be in the mainstream of almost everybody else in the world. I think there are 47 of the 50 European countries have a ban on abortion from 12-15 weeks. And I picked 15 weeks…because…the science tells us that the nerve endings are developed to the point that the unborn child feels pain..”

Graham also pointed out that this bill would put us in line with most European nations’ abortion laws, and that it would put us in line with both science and the civilized world.

Rather than both parties’ extreme views on abortion: legal abortion up to the moment of birth or no abortion ever, no exceptions, Graham’s proposed bill seems more representative of America at large:

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows many Americans back some restrictions on abortion, especially after the first trimester, but the most extreme measures introduced in some Republican-led states are at odds with the public — and with many of the people who live in them.


Overwhelming majorities also think their state should generally allow abortion in specific cases, including if the health of the pregnant person is endangered or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Few think abortion should always be illegal, and most Americans support their state generally allowing abortion six weeks into the pregnancy.

Those patterns persist even in the 23 states in which laws banning or tightening access to abortion have taken effect, will soon take effect or are being debated in court.

Views about abortion at the 15-week mark are muddled. The poll shows Americans in states that have deepened restrictions on abortion are closely divided over abortion at 15 weeks into a pregnancy. That compares with about 6 in 10 Americans in other states saying abortion should be allowed at that point. That gap is similar on allowing abortion for “any reason.”

Support dwindles across the board at 24 weeks into the pregnancy, with only about a third saying their state should generally allow for that.

Democrats should allow a debate and vote on Graham’s bill. After all, if Democrats really believe what they’ve repeatedly said (that abortion through the ninth month is what a majority of voters want), then there shouldn’t be any problem – or fear – in granting Graham’s request…

P.S. Mitch weighs in:


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