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Monday, October 10, 2022
Cameron Hood, Newsletter EditorCameron Hood
Newsletter Editor
Welcome to Grid Today, bringing the best of Grid to your inbox. In this issue:
Some Grid news: Our Executive Editor Laura McGann has been named AdWeek’s Media Editor of the Year! Read AdWeek’s profile of Laura and what we’re doing at Grid. 🏆

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ON THE GRID

What might happen if Putin loses the war?

The news 

This morning, Russian missile strikes hit Kyiv and
more than a dozen other areas across Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities reported that more than 80 missiles had been fired at cities around the country, while half were shot down by air-defense systems. Meduza reported at least five people were killed and dozens others injured in Kyiv. 

“They purposefully chose such a time and such targets to cause as much damage as possible,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
said in a video address he recorded outside of his office in central Kyiv. “There may be temporary power outages now, but there will never be interruptions in our confidence in [Ukraine’s] victory.” 

At a Security Council meeting this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that the strikes were in response to an
explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge on Saturday, the only bridge connecting Russia with the annexed region of Crimea, causing sections of the bridge to collapse into the Azov Sea. (Notably, it was Putin’s 70th birthday on Friday.)  

And though a Russian Defense Ministry official said that the missiles targeted “objects and systems of military coordination, communications, and of the Ukrainian energy complex,” photos, videos and
reports from the ground showed that the strikes had hit civilian areas and infrastructure, including homes, a pedestrian bridge and a playground in Kyiv.  

What this could mean 

What prompted these strikes across Ukraine? And could they be a display of force or a sign of desperation? 

“This weekend’s explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge is both a symbolic and strategic blow to Putin and his war,” writes special contributor John McLaughlin in his story
on what Russia’s defeat would mean. “Symbolic, because the bridge — which links the Russian-held Crimean peninsula to Russia — was a point of pride for the Russian leader. ... It’s a strategic nightmare because the bridge is a critical supply route for the Russians in Crimea.”  

“It’s only the latest in a series of events that raise questions about
what a Russian defeat might look like — and then what it will mean for the region and the world,” he continues.  

And as my colleague Joshua Keating discussed with Samuel Greene and Graeme Robertson, the authors of “Putin vs. The People: The Story of a Popular Dictator and the Struggle for the Future of Russia,” in the latest
Global Grid conversation on Russian public support for Putin, the Russian president is in an increasingly difficult – and even vulnerable – position.  

Putin’s facing
military setbacks for Russian forces in Ukraine, the aftereffects of hundreds of thousands of Russians fleeing abroad following his recent partial mobilization order, and open criticism of the war from Kremlin insiders and supporters. His problems are growing in both Ukraine and Russia.  

“I think he’s more vulnerable now than he’s been, really, since he took office,” Robertson said.  

Read more: 


Like this format? Have questions about the day’s news? Let me know. 📩

NEWS IN CONTEXT

What Indigenous Peoples Day is all about. And why it’s gaining in popularity over Columbus Day

If you live in the U.S., depending on where you are, you may have today off for Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, or both. (You also might not have today off – so neither.)  

How did Christopher Columbus get his own federal holiday, anyway? What are the origins of Indigenous Peoples Day? And what’s next for both holidays? 

To mark the day, Anna Deen
explores five aspects of Indigenous Peoples Day you might not know about and what’s behind the shift away from Columbus Day in the U.S.  

MORE FROM GRID

💠 Market weirdness: As many renters, homeowners and Zillow scrollers know all too well, something strange has been going on with the housing market lately. “Housing is getting more expensive for anyone unlucky enough to need a mortgage, thanks to relentless increases in interest rates. At the same time, sellers are reluctant to play in the current market, limiting the inventory of homes for sale,” Domestic Economics Reporter Matthew Zeitlin writes. “But demand is also falling as potential buyers shudder at high interest rates. The result is that home prices are finally declining — but the cost of homeownership is as high as ever.” The result: “It’s a market where no one is winning.” See what this weird housing market means for buyers, sellers and renters. 🏠

LISTENING GRID

🎧 Don’t miss Grid’s new podcast, Bad Takes! Each week, Executive Editor Laura McGann and Editor-at-Large Matthew Yglesias discuss a take that’s gotten under their skin, peeling back its layers to figure out what it tells us about American politics and society.   ▶️ Catch up on all of the episodes here.
New episodes come out each Wednesday. Have a bad take for Laura and Matt to review in a future episode? Send it to us📩

👋 Thanks for joining me today. See you this time tomorrow. –Cameron

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Lillian Barkley also contributed to this edition of Grid Today.
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