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Heroes and villains

Yvon Chouinard, Hans Niemann and Lt-Gen Igor Konashenkov


Yvon Chouinard, founder of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Chouinard, 83, and his family have donated the entire $3bn firm to a charitable foundation, which will use the $100m in yearly profits to combat climate change. It was being listed as a billionaire in Forbes magazine that “really pissed me off”, he tells The New York Times, and set the plan in motion.


Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old chess pro who has been accused of using anal beads to cheat after unexpectedly beating world champion Magnus Carlsen. The rumour, says Caitlin Moran in The Times, is that Niemann was sent supercomputer-approved moves by an accomplice, who communicated with the player “via a vibrating device hidden in, well, his bum”. The story prompted Elon Musk to put his own unique spin on a Schopenhauer quote: “Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one else can see (cause it’s in ur butt).”


Lt-Gen Igor Konashenkov, a Russian military spokesman who has mounted a “magnificent attempt at face-saving” as his fellow troops are routed in Ukraine, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph. He valliantly tried to claim the soldiers retreated deliberately in order to “further the aims of the operation to liberate Donbas”, an area mostly under Russian control already. I can only hope Konashenkov takes his military spin further: “Yes, our soldiers may have been running – but only to ensure that they reached Donbas all the more quickly. And yes, they may have left behind their weapons – but that was only to prevent these heavy, cumbersome objects from weighing our soldiers down, and thus hindering their swift redeployment.”