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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Poland held its most significant military parade since the Cold War yesterday. During the parade, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced a record defense budget and said Poland “will not be provoked.” The demonstration of military power was held as the war in Ukraine raged and tensions at Poland’s border with Belarus rise. Kelly Kasulis Cho report for the Washington Post.
A pro-Ukraine Republican campaign launched yesterday calling on Republican lawmakers to maintain support for Ukraine amid growing fatigue from some factions of the party. Sarah Fortinsky reports for The Hill.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Former Ukrainian prisoners of war detained in south-western Russia say they were subjected to torture. Dozens of testimonies describe a consistent pattern of extreme violence and ill-treatment at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility Number Two in Taganrog. Hugo Bachega reports for BBC News.
As Russia strikes Ukrainian grain facilities and boards ships bound for Ukraine in the Black Sea, a Romanian route for cargo vessels provides an alternative. The Sulina Channel, a 40-mile stretch of water leading from the Black Sea to Romanian, Ukrainian, and Moldovan ports in the Danube delta, is covered by NATO’s security umbrella. Andrew Higgins reports for the New York Times.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu yesterday said that Ukraine’s ability to fight had been “almost exhausted” and that the war exposed vulnerabilities in Western weapons systems. “We have data on … the destruction of German tanks, American armored vehicles, British missiles, and other weapons systems,” Shoigu added. “We are ready to share our assessments … with our partners.” Guy Faulconbridge reports for Reuters.
Ukrainian forces retook the village of Urozhaine from Russia in the southeast, the Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said today. Urozhaine is part of a cluster of small rural settlements that Ukraine has liberated since June. “Our defenders are entrenched on the outskirts,” Hanna Maliar said. Reuters reports.
The Ukrainian security service, SBU, has, for the first time, claimed responsibility for attacks on the bridge connecting Russia to annexed Crimea using experimental drone boats. The SBU warned that more attacks would follow. Nick Paton Walsh, Victoria Butenko, and Florence Davey-Attlee report for CNN.
Three Bulgarian nationals suspected of spying for Russia in the U.K. have been arrested and charged with possessing identity documents with “improper intention.” The three Bulgarians were among five people arrested in February on suspicion of an offense under the Official Secrets Act. Daniel De Simone and Jeremy Britton report for BBC News.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to deepen relations with Russia to “smash the imperialists’ arbitrary practices and hegemony” in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday. Min Joo Kim reports for the Washington Post.
At least 27 people have been killed and over 100 injured as fighting erupted between Libya’s factions in the capital city, Tripoli, on Monday. The escalation follows months of relative peace after nearly a decade of civil war in Libya. Jack Jeffery reports for AP News.
The International Criminal Court should prosecute Taliban leaders for denying education and employment to Afghan women and girls, the U.N. special envoy for global education, Gordon Brown, said. Brown has suggested that denying education and employment to women and girls in Afghanistan is a crime against humanity. Edith M. Lederer reports for AP News.
North Korea today said that Travis King, the U.S. soldier who dashed across the demilitarized zone into North Korea last month, wanted to seek refuge because “he harbored ill feelings against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.” North Korea did not indicate whether King was in good health or whether he would receive refugee status in North Korea or a third country. Choe Sang-Hun reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Deteriorating U.S.-China relations may end one of the most productive scientific collaborations of the 21st century, as some lawmakers are willing to let the Science and Technology Agreement signed in 1979 expire this month. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R. WI), chair of a congressional select committee on China, is leading the push to let the agreement expire. Scientists have warned that because China is at its peak of contributing to scientific advancement, U.S. progress in biotechnology, clean energy, and telecommunications could be adversely affected by the decoupling. Karen Hao and Sha Hua report for the Wall Street Journal.
The United States is pressing Iran to stop selling military drones to Russia as Washington and Tehran are trying to ease tensions and revive broader talks over Iran’s nuclear program. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he would welcome any Iranian steps to de-escalate its “growing nuclear threat.” Reuters reports.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Federal prosecutors accessed a trove of former President Trump’s private Twitter messages concerning his plot to overturn the 2020 election. It is unclear what information the messages contain and who exactly wrote them. The fact that there were any private messages associated with Trump’s Twitter account is a revelation because he was famously cautious about using written communication with aides and allies. Alan Feuer and Maggie Haberman report for the New York Times.
Former President Trump’s defense will likely be that his First Amendment rights and honest concerns about voter fraud protect him from charges that he pressured Georgia officials to change the results of the 2020 election. Legal experts say the case will turn on whether Trump knowingly broke the law, regardless of whether he thought his actions were justified. Jack Queen reports for Reuters.
Former President Trump announced, “A Large, Complex, Detailed but irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud which took place in Georgia is almost complete & will be presented by me at a major News Conference at 11:00 A.M. on Monday.” The report was partly compiled by Liz Harrington, a Trump communications aide, who is said to believe the stolen election conspiracy theory fully. Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan report for the New York Times.
Mark Meadows, former President Trump’s chief of staff during the 2020 election, is trying to move his Georgia state prosecution to a federal court. Meadows hopes the move to federal court would allow him to argue he is immune from prosecution under the U.S. Constitution because the charges amount to “state interference in a federal official’s duties.” Andrew Zhang reports for POLITICO.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Charles McGonigal, the former chief of counterintelligence in the FBI’s New York City office, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to violate sanctions and laundering money on behalf of a Russian oligarch he had been investigating. McGonigal faces up to five years in prison and will be sentenced on Dec. 14. McGonigal also faces federal charges in Washington for allegedly taking $225,000 in bribes. Shayna Jacobs reports for the Washington Post.
Special counsel David Weiss said the plea deal with Hunter Biden to resolve a felony gun possession charge was not approved by a probation officer and is not binding. Kara Scannell reports for CNN.