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A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news.


Kenneth Harrelson and Jessica Watkins, two members of the Oath Keepers, were sentenced to prison on Friday for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack. District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Harrelson to four years in prison and Watkins to eight and a half years. Harrelson and Watkins were convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding. Harrelson was also found guilty of conspiring to prevent members of Congress from certifying President Biden’s election win and tampering with documents and proceedings. Watkins was also convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of officers during the riots. Jacqueline Thomsen reports for Reuters.  

The Justice Department is trying to prevent Jan. 6 attackers from being able to personally profit from participating in the attack as it aims to clawback $25,000 raised by Daniel Goodwyn, who was promoting a fundraiser on Fox News after he pleaded guilty to storming the U.S. Capitol. Dozens of defendants have set up online fundraising appeals for help with legal fees. A review of court records shows that prosecutors in the more than 1,000 criminal Jan. 6 attack cases are increasingly asking judges to impose fines on top of prison sentences to offset donations. Michael Kunzelman reports for AP News.  

Review the status of cases of the more than 1,000 people charged for their role in the Jan. 6 attack with the Wall Street Journal’s data visualization tool, as reported by Randy Yeip and Sadie Gurman. 


President Biden yesterday said a bipartisan debt ceiling deal is ready to move forward for congressional approval. Biden acknowledged that neither side got everything they wanted out of the deal. Some key provisions are that non-defense spending will increase by 1 percent in 2025, new work requirements for some assistance programs will be imposed, billions in unspent COVID-19 relief funds will be clawed back, the IRS’s planned expansion will be reduced, and the Biden administration’s plan to restart federal student loan payments will be codified. Lauren Egan reports for POLITICO

The Texas House of Representatives impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday. The impeachment was approved in a 121-23 vote, with 60 Republicans, including the House speaker voting against one of their own. A two-thirds majority of the Senate will be needed to remove Paxton from office permanently. Shannon Najmabadi reports for the Wall Street Journal


Brazil is caught between the United States and Russia, which both call for the extradition of an alleged Russian spy detained in Brazil. Brazilian and U.S. authorities say Sergey Cherkasov, arrested last year in São Paulo and sentenced to 15 years in a Brazilian prison, posed as a Brazilian student under the name of Victor Muller Ferreira in Washington to spy on the West for Russia. Russia has sought the extradition of Cherkasov, saying he is wanted on drug-trafficking charges. Cherkasov’s extradition could shape negotiations to free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Luciana Magalhaes and Louise Radnofsky report for the Wall Street Journal

Russia’s interior ministry today put U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on a wanted list, according to the ministry’s database. Yesterday, Russia’s Investigative Committee said it was opening a criminal probe into Graham’s two unlinked comments. Graham said, “the Russians are dying,” and then said U.S. support was the “best money we’ve ever spent.” It is unclear what crime Graham is suspected of committing. Reuters reports. 


Russia yesterday launched its largest drone attack on Kyiv since the war began, using a massive wave of suicide drones that also targeted other sites across Ukraine. The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 52 of 54 Iranian-supplied drones, which Russia deployed against infrastructure and military objects, mainly in central Ukraine and the capital. Matthew Luxmoore reports for the Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put forward a bill to impose sanctions on Iran for 50 years, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said yesterday. The sanctions would respond to what Kyiv says is Tehran’s weapons supplies to Moscow. Reuters reports. 

Large numbers of war casualties appear to negatively affect Russian public opinion, according to data by FilterLabs AI. FilterLabs AI has analyzed messages on the Telegram app, social media posts, and internet forums discussions to determine that views on war casualties have become increasingly negative since late February. Julian E. Barnes reports for the New York Times

Russia’s air defense systems destroyed drones as they neared the Ilsky oil refinery in the Krasnodar region, local officials said yesterday. On Saturday, Moscow said Ukraine had struck oil pipeline installations deep inside Russia. Reuters reports. 

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has said that nations who “join the Union State of Russia and Belarus” will be given nuclear weapons. The statement was made after the transfer of some tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow to Minsk had begun. It was unclear to whom Lukashenko had extended the invitation to join the Union State. Mariya Knight, Uliana Pavlova, and Helen Regan report for CNN

At least 19,718 people have been arrested for opposing the war, according to the legal rights group OVD-Info. Criminal cases have been launched against 584 people, and administrative cases mounted against 6,839. Many others faced intimidation or harassment from the authorities, denunciation by peers, lost jobs, or had relatives targeted, OVD-Info said. According to the rights group Memorial, 558 political prisoners are being held in Russia. Robyn Dixon reports for the Washington Post


The United States and Saudi Arabia yesterday urged Sudan’s rival military factions to extend a week-long truce that has allowed humanitarian aid to reach civilians. The past week was one of the quietest since fighting began. The ceasefire ends this evening. Hafiz Haroun and Miriam Berger report for the Washington Post

Marauding militias have targeted Sudan’s West Darfur region, causing widespread looting and the destruction of vital infrastructure. Despite a ceasefire between Sudan’s rival military factions, fighting has continued in Darfur. Barbara Plett-Usher reports for BBC News


Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Kenya on an unannounced trip this morning. Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave no substantive details of the visit. The Russian embassy in Nairobi tweeted that the visit would be “a very fruitful week for Russia-Kenya bilateral relations.” Basillioh Rukanga and Wycliffe Muia report for BBC News

Recep Tayyip Erdogan won yesterday’s vote, securing another five years in the presidency. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the opposition leader, denounced the election as “the most unfair” in recent years. Paul Kirby and Ece Goksedef report for BBC News

Japan put its ballistic missile defense systems on alert today, vowing to shoot down anything threatening its territory after North Korea notified Japan of a satellite launch between May 31 and Jun. 11. Hyunsu Yim and Nobuhiro Kubo report for Reuters

Deputy Director of the Chinese Manned Space Agency, Lin Xiqiang, confirmed today that China plans to land astronauts on the moon before 2030. Space is becoming a new area of competition between China and the United States. NASA plans to put astronauts on the moon by the end of 2025. AP News reports. 

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol hosted the country’s first summit with leaders of Pacific islands today in a bid to boost South Korean influence in a region rife with geopolitical rivalry. Yoon’s strategy indicates closer alignment with the United States, which has also engaged in diplomatic efforts in the region. Hyunsu Yim reports for Reuters