Mariupol Pot: “The capture of Mariupol would make it the biggest city to be taken by Moscow’s forces yet and would give the Kremlin a badly needed victory, though the landscape has largely been reduced to rubble.” Fall of Mariupol appears at hand; fighters leave steel plant.

+ Finnishing School: “During the Cold War, the term Finlandization was coined to describe a nominally independent country whose foreign (and, to some extent, domestic) policies were dictated by a neighboring great power.” Slate: Why Finland Joining NATO Is More Shocking Than Anyone Realizes. The big question now is whether or not Erdogan will let them join. All NATO members have to give a thumbs up. Turkey threatens to block Finland and Sweden Nato bids.

+ Transformer: The vaccines are doing a great job of preventing serious illnesses. But Covid is doing a great job at morphing just enough to reinfect people. NYT: How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus? (Repeatedly, sometimes within months.) Meanwhile, the FDA authorized Pfizer Covid booster for children.

+ Rock Bottom: “I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here. Feeling a little bit insecure, like, ‘I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore’ — all this bulls— that I tell myself in my head. So I talked to these guys, and they helped me — as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling onstage, we’ve got your back.’ And I tell you, it means the world to me.” Metallica frontman opens up about mental health struggles, cries onstage in Brazil. Depression doesn’t care how metal you are. We all just have to find a way to rock on.