Thursday Briefing: Drone Attacks Reach Deep Into Russia

by Pelican Press
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Exploding drones attacked six regions of Russia yesterday morning, suggesting that, after months of enduring missile and drone strikes with little recourse, Ukraine is increasingly able to hit back deep inside Russia.

In what appeared to be the most successful of the strikes, four Russian military cargo planes were damaged at an airfield in Pskov, near the border with Estonia. The Russian regional governor posted video footage of smoke billowing from an airfield, where he said drones had damaged the planes, although the extent was unclear.

Russia also launched a wave of attacks on Ukraine early yesterday that targeted at least three regions, killing at least two people, Ukrainian officials said. Local officials in Kyiv said the barrage was the most significant in the region in months.

Ukrainian officials did not claim responsibility for the strikes, in keeping with their practice regarding attacks inside Russia. But they have made clear that they view bringing the war home to ordinary Russians to be a legitimate tactic.

A proposal in Australia to change its constitution, requiring that it recognize the original inhabitants of the land and enshrine an advisory body in Parliament for Aboriginal people, was billed as a modest step to help unite the country. But over the past year, the proposal has exposed racial fault lines and become ensnared in a bitter culture war.

One former prime minister said it would “entrench victimhood,” while another opponent said Aboriginal people wanting “a voice” should “learn English,” and suggested that those who receive welfare payments should prove their heritage with blood tests.

A referendum on the issue will be held on Oct. 14. But right now, public polling indicates that it is likely to fail.

With wind speeds approaching those of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes, Typhoon Saola passed close to Taiwan yesterday and was headed northward toward Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

The powerful tropical cyclone prompted evacuations in the Philippines and some school closures and travel disruptions in Taiwan, but has not been linked to any deaths or injuries.

Forecasters say it is hard to know exactly where — or if — the storm will make landfall. But the Philippine meteorological agency said that it was likely to move parallel to the coast of the Chinese province of Guangdong on Saturday, and that landfall in the mainland was possible on Sunday.

Huddled in the North Atlantic between Iceland, Scotland and Norway, the Faroe Islands are “surrounded by otherworldly scenery that fuels the creative spirit,” our colleague wrote.

Across the islands, she found human innovation that took its cue from nature, including homey dining rooms, unpretentious art galleries and shops selling minimalist clothing made from thick Faroese wool.

In a district of Paris, a grass-roots initiative is working to improve ties among neighbors. Members of the group, called the Republic of Super Neighbors, communicate via WhatsApp, hold weekly brunches, after-work drinks and community gatherings. Their mission is to transform neighbors who interact five times daily into those who do so 50 times a day.

The initiative is just one in many cities around the world, riffing on the idea of hyperlocality. Barcelona has created 503 Superblocks — microneighborhoods that are focused on community projects, green space and mobility. In other cities, such as Stockholm, similar experiments have led some people to spend 400 percent more time outside their homes.

“When we awaken the sense of place and community, the citizens and urban fabric are transformed,” said Patrick Bernard, the founder of the Parisian group.

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