2023年10月5日 星期四

Grinding Counteroffensive Hands Ukraine a Flash of Success 烏軍反攻殺出一線生路

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2023/10/06 第453期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Grinding Counteroffensive Hands Ukraine a Flash of Success 烏軍反攻殺出一線生路
Climate Is Now a Culture War Issue 氣候如今已成為文化戰爭議題
Grinding Counteroffensive Hands Ukraine a Flash of Success 烏軍反攻殺出一線生路
文/Carlotta Gall


For 10 days, Ukrainian marines fought street by street and house by house to recapture the southeastern village of Staromaiorske, navigating artillery fire, airstrikes and hundreds of Russian troops.


The Russians put up a ferocious defense, but that ended Thursday when they folded and the Ukrainians claimed victory. "Some ran away, some were left behind," said an assault commander from Ukraine's 35th Marine Brigade, who uses the call sign Dikyi, which means Wild. "We were taking captives," he added.


The recapture of Staromaiorske, a small village that is nonetheless critical to Ukraine's southern strategy, was such a welcome development for Ukraine that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced it himself.


The counteroffensive has largely been a brutal lesson for Ukrainian troops, who have struggled to seize back territory across the southern region of Zaporizhzhia. In two months, Ukrainian troops have advanced less than 10 miles at any point along the region's 100-mile front.


Victories, such as the one at Staromaiorske, represent a potential breakthrough in the fighting, Ukrainian officials said, perhaps opening the way for a broader push by their country's forces.


Ukraine is focused on two main southward thrusts, with the aim of cutting off Russian resupply routes. One line of attack goes through Staromaiorske toward the city of Berdiansk on the Azov Sea, and another, farther west, toward the city of Melitopol.


Both cities command strategic transit routes for Russian forces occupying southern Ukraine and Crimea.


For weeks, Ukrainian artillery and long-range missiles have been pounding Russian supply lines and rear bases in an effort to break their operational capability and undermine Russian morale.


Rockets fired from an American-made HIMARS mobile launcher surprise drivers on country roads near the front line as Ukrainian units attack targets deep behind Russian lines.


As Ukrainian forces deploy Western-supplied weapons, Russian troops are making use of deadly new tactics and weapons of their own, including attack drones and remote-detonated mines.


In Staromaiorske, Russian soldiers dug bunkers underneath the village's houses with multiple exits so a house would erupt like an anthill when under attack, said Dikyi.


The key to the Ukrainian success in the village, he said, was wearing down the Russian soldiers' will to fight. The first sign of the Russian collapse was when 20 soldiers abandoned their position after complaining that reinforcements had failed to arrive, he said.


Climate Is Now a Culture War Issue 氣候如今已成為文化戰爭議題
文/Paul Krugman


Understanding climate denial used to seem easy: It was all about greed. Delve into the background of a researcher challenging the scientific consensus, a think tank trying to block climate action or a politician pronouncing climate change a hoax and you would almost always find major financial backing from the fossil fuel industry.


Those were simpler, more innocent times, and I miss them.


True, greed is still a major factor in anti-environmentalism. But climate denial has also become a front in the culture wars, with right-wingers rejecting the science in part because they dislike science in general and opposing action against emissions out of visceral opposition to anything liberals support.


And this cultural dimension of climate arguments has emerged at the worst possible moment — a moment when both the extreme danger from unchecked emissions and the path toward slashing those emissions are clearer than ever.


Worldwide, July was the hottest month on record, with devastating heat waves in many parts of the globe. Extreme weather events are proliferating.


At the same time, technological progress in renewable energy has made it possible to envisage major reductions in emissions at little or no cost in terms of economic growth and living standards.


About attitudes toward science: As recently as the mid-2000s, Republicans and Democrats had similar levels of trust in the scientific community. Since then, however, Republican trust has plunged as Democratic trust has risen; there's now a 30-point gap between the parties.


The fact that the climate war is now part of the culture war worries me, a lot. Special interests can do a great deal of damage, but they can be bought off or counterbalanced with other special interests. Indeed, an important part of President Joe Biden's climate strategy is the idea that renewable energy investments, which have been soaring since his legislation passed, will give many businesses and communities a stake in continuing the green transition.


But such rational if self-interested considerations won't do much to persuade people who believe that green energy is a conspiracy against the American way of life. So, the culture war has become a major problem for climate action — a problem we really, really don't need right now.


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