The Bet Offensive: “As Ukraine launches its long-awaited counteroffensive against entrenched Russian occupiers, both Kyiv and its backers are hoping for a rapid retaking of strategically significant territory. Anything less will present the United States and its allies with uncomfortable questions they are not yet prepared to answer.” WaPo: As Ukraine’s counteroffensive heats up, Washington holds its breath.

+ EU Pumps the Breakup: “The European Commission has made a formal antitrust complaint against Google and its ad business. In a preliminary opinion, the regulator says Google has abused its dominant position in the digital advertising market. It says that forcing Google to sell off parts of its business may be the only remedy.” EU suggests breaking up Google’s ad business in preliminary antitrust ruling.

+ Air-fried: “Instant Brands, the maker of Pyrex glassware and Instant Pot pressure cookers, has filed for bankruptcy, saying high-interest rates, tighter credit conditions and falling consumer demand made its debt load unsustainable.” (Unsustainable debt loaded by private equity emerged long before higher interest rates or pandemic purchasing trends.)

+ Unable to Reverse the Hearse: “On the same day the Nevada Senate voted to approve $380 million in public money for a Las Vegas ballpark for the Athletics, fans in Oakland held their long-planned Reverse Boycott intended to fill the Oakland Coliseum and prove their worth to owner John Fisher and Major League Baseball. The timing felt cruel in a cosmic sort of way. It turned out to be a party without a celebration.”

+ Icing on the Cake: The one thing more surprising that the idea of baseball in Vegas is ice being there. But chill, it worked. How Golden Knights disrupted the NHL, won the Stanley Cup.

+ Law of the Jungle: “The four children who survived an almost unfathomable 40 days in the Colombian jungle after their tiny plane crashed in the Amazon rainforest had boarded the plane because they were fleeing for their lives.” NYT: The father of two of the survivors said the family had feared the children would be recruited by a violent armed group.

+ Cormac Book Pro: “Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who in prose both dense and brittle took readers from the southern Appalachians to the desert Southwest in such novels as ‘The Road,’ ‘Blood Meridian’ and ‘All the Pretty Horses,’ died Tuesday. He was 89.” And, some quotes from Cormac McCarthy. “Someone asked Flannery O’Connor why she wrote, and she said, ‘Because I was good at it.’ And I think that’s the right answer. If you’re good at something it’s very hard not to do it.”

+ Gasbags: “The White House said the administration ‘has been clear that it does not support any attempt to ban the use of gas stoves.'” But that hasn’t prevented the culture-war inventing House GOP from preemptively protecting them.