More than they bargained for

Prekrashcheniye ognya. Two words that appear to mean nothing to Russian troops as Ukraine’s civilians attempt to escape the bombardment.

What was meant to be a humanitarian corridor twice turned into the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel at the weekend, except for bullets think artillery shells.

It’s a stark reminder that there’s no such thing as rules of engagement in warfare.

But it also shows that while Russian forces are very adept at tight formation marching through Red Square, they are far less skilled when it comes to the theatre of war and the main tactic appears to be just throwing everything they have at a target regardless of who they hit – women, children, journalists.

This is a war where only one side is on the attack. Everything Ukraine does is in defence of the country and to that end the rest of the world must continue to support them as effectively as possible.

However, we are dealing with an idealist who has already gone too far to press reset and go back to the day before the invasion.

And when people like that are backed into a corner it would be preferable if they didn’t have another button at their disposal.

With public protests (and arrests) growing by the day in Russia itself we can at least see that some real news is getting through, although those outlets are steadily being closed off by the authorities.

It is the Russian people who hold the key to this dreadful situation. Many are against what is going on and see it for what it is – a criminal act of aggression, not by Russians, but by the regime running Russia.

The people last rose up in 1991 and this generation needs to do it again now, for all of our sakes. The act of insurrection itself could be the catalyst needed to force the figures in government around Putin into acting themselves. Even those who are also hoping for a return to the old Soviet Union must be worrying about their frozen fortunes.

There’s nothing like a bit of greed to provide some much needed motivation in that department.

In the meantime, there must be trained Russian soldiers on the ground in Ukraine who are not only shocked by the degree of resistance they are meeting, (they’re certainly getting more than they bargained for) but also some of the orders they are being given, such as ignoring prekrashcheniye ognya – CEASE-FIRE!

While that remains the state of play it’s difficult to see any hope of a negotiated end to these hostilities, and it’s even less likely while Putin remains in power.

This is not a man who is prepared to lose face.

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A knighthood for Gavin Williamson?? What the actual…

What’s that for – services to getting sacked or remembering the Costa order at cabinet meetings?

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Quote of the week comes from Durham lasses Abbi and Georgia on Gogglebox

Abbi: What’s a glacier?

Georgia: Dunno. Some kind of ice sculpture I think.

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Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

For once, The Chase takes the honours for thickest contestants of the week

Q: David Attenborough has been a castaway four times on which radio programme?

A: The Archers?

Q: Which of these poets was a professional dancer and toured with a production of Porgy & Bess?

A: Pam Ayres

Mastermind:

Q: What word meaning extra large is often used in relation to elephants?

A: Steve

Tipping Point:

Q: Hever Castle was the childhood home of which wife of Henry VIII

A: Anne I (and this guy won!!)

Edward Case

Columnist