“I don’t think Americans fully understand what’s been fed to Russians about the U.S. and the West for literally the past decade. It’s been an information war — a totally one-sided information war — and it has been waged so fully and artfully that it’s made a lot of what’s happening now preemptively possible.” WaPo: Americans may be greatly underestimating the impact of 10 years of Putin’s propaganda. That propaganda is all about playing the victim card via phony claims of the West’s desire to destroy the Russian way of life. (Sound familiar? It’s all connected.)

+ Evan Neumann: US Capitol riot suspect gets asylum in Belarus. “The 48-year-old first settled in Ukraine, before reaching Belarus where he asked for asylum – claiming he faced ‘political persecution’ in the US.” (See above parenthetical.)

+ “Former Trump adviser Paul Manafort was removed from a plane at Miami International Airport before it took off for Dubai because he carried a revoked passport.” (See above parenthetical.)

+ “Putin faces a dangerous question with destabilizing consequences for the West and the world beyond: How does he want to lose this war? What more of Russia’s treasury, economy, and people—and, not least of all, his own political power—is he willing to risk to either grind down Ukraine or preserve his hold on the country he’s led for nearly a quarter-century? Meanwhile, half a world away, Biden faces his own, fraught choice—how to punish and defeat Russia without risking a war he’s clearly chosen not to fight and hold the line on American aid in the face of popular and political pressure to escalate.” Garrett Graff in Wired: Putin, Biden Face a Dangerous Choice: How Does Russia Want to Lose?

+ So far Putin has answered the question of how he plans to lose: In the worst way possible. That’s true for his own soldiers. AP: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine. And, of course, it’s even more true in Ukraine. NYT: Russia’s Attacks on Civilian Targets Have Obliterated Everyday Life in Ukraine.

+ U.S. image soars across NATO countries. (I can’t imagine what changed their minds…)

+ Biden is on the way to Europe for a NATO summit, Ukraine has retaken some territory from Russian troops, NATO is sending more troops to eastern Europe. Here’s the latest from BBC.

+ I’ll be donating $20K to three worthy organizations fighting for truth and safety in Ukraine and Russia later this week. I’ll report back with the details. In the meantime, wear the new NextDraft colors proudly and be a part of the effort.