“‘They just dropped rifles on the ground,’ Olena Matvienko said Sunday as she stood, still disoriented, in a village littered with ammo crates and torched vehicles, including a Russian tank loaded on a flatbed. The first investigators from Kharkiv had just pulled in to collect the bodies of civilians shot by Russians, some that have been lying exposed for months. ‘I can’t believe that we went through something like this in the 21st century,’ Matvienko said, tears welling.” Amid Ukraine’s startling gains, liberated villages describe Russian troops dropping rifles and fleeing. (And they’re leaving a lot behind.)

+ “Many things about this advance are unexpected, especially the location: For many weeks, the Ukrainians loudly telegraphed their intention to launch a major offensive farther south. The biggest shock is not Ukraine’s tactics but Russia’s response. ‘What really surprises us,’ Lieutenant General Yevhen Moisiuk, the deputy commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, told me in Kyiv yesterday morning, ‘is that the Russian troops are not fighting back.'” The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum on how the liberation of Russian-occupied territory might bring down Vladimir Putin. It’s Time to Prepare for a Ukrainian Victory. (Then it’s also time to prepare for desperate acts of wanton violence by a cornered monster.)