Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – PRIGOZHIN PLANE CRASH
Russian President Vladimir Putin described Yevgeny Prigozhin as a “talented person” who “made serious mistakes in life.” Putin did not explicitly confirm Prigozhin’s death. Jaroslav Lukiv reports for BBC News.
Experts largely agreed yesterday that the plane reportedly carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin did not crash due to a simple mechanical problem or human error. However, they cautioned there is too little evidence to explain what happened conclusively. Evan Hill, Sarah Cahlan, Michael Laris, Sammy Westfall, and Jan Ludwig report for the Washington Post.
Preliminary U.S. government assessments suggest the plane reportedly carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed due to an assassination plot, detonating a bomb onboard. Social media accounts linked to the paramilitary organization Wagner group have claimed that a Russian missile downed the plane. However, U.S. assessments do not point to a surface-to-air missile behind the crash. Officials have emphasized that these early assessments are incomplete. Michael R. Gordon, Warren P. Strobel, Matthew Luxmoore, and Alan Cullison report for the Wall Street Journal.
The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin would “almost certainly have a destabilising effect” on the paramilitary organization Wagner group. This is because two other Wagner leaders, Dimitry Utkin and Valery Chekalov, died in the plane crash. Matt Murphy reports for BBC News.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – U.S. RESPONSE
Ukrainian pilots may begin training in F-16 fighter jets in the United States in September, Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson, said yesterday, marking Ukraine’s Independence Day. It was previously said that Ukrainian pilots would only train in the United States once the European effort reached capacity. However, Ryder now said, “We want to do everything we can to help move this effort along as quickly as possible in support of Ukraine.” Eric Schmitt and Lara Jakes report for the New York Times.
U.S. and Ukrainian officials have been clashing over the Ukrainian counteroffensive strategy. The United States urges Ukraine to concentrate on breaking through the frontline at a specific point to reach the Sea of Azov. U.S. officials believe the weaponry supplied to Ukraine in the previous months is sufficient for the task and that similar levels of support may not be repeated. “We built up this mountain of steel for the counteroffensive. We can’t do that again,” one former U.S. official said. Michael R. Gordon, Gordon Lubold, James Marson, and Vivian Salama reports for the Wall Street Journal.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Ukrainian special forces staged a brief overnight raid inside Russian-annexed Crimea, clashing with Russian forces, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry claimed yesterday. If the attack occurred, it would demonstrate Ukraine’s growing ability to strike deep behind Russian lines. Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports for the New York Times.
Forty-two Ukrainian drones attacked Russian-annexed Crimea last night, Russia’s defense ministry said. Nine drones were destroyed, and 33 crashed without reaching their “target” after being electronically jammed. The ministry added that a Ukraine-launched missile was also shot down over the Kaluga region. Matt Murphy reports for BBC News.
At least one person died and 16 were wounded across Ukraine yesterday following Russian attacks, local officials said. Mykhailo Moskalenko and Max Hunder report for Reuters.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – BRICS SUMMIT
The BRICS have agreed to admit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, Iran, Ethiopia, and the U.A.E. into the bloc, its leaders said yesterday. Both China and Russia pushed for the expansion in a bid to compete with Western-dominated fora. Alexandra Wexler reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed “to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation” along their shared border. The agreement came after Modi expressed concern about border issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, where 24 soldiers died in clashes three years ago. Bhargav Acharya and Tannur Anders report for Reuters.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
Fears mount in Mali that Islamist militants and separatists may increase their activity as Mali’s security partner, the paramilitary organization Wagner group, faces uncertainty. Wagner’s fate is uncertain as its leadership is believed to be dead. The Malian government previously turned down international peacekeeping forces, relying on Wagner instead. Feras Kilani reports for BBC Arabic.
Japanese jet fighters were scrambled today to monitor two Chinese air force bombers flying between Okinawa and Miyako islands, Japan’s defense ministry said. Reuters reports.
Thirteen Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s “response” zone today, and five ships carrying out combat readiness patrols were spotted around the island nation, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported today. Reuters reports.
Protests against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying in Government-held Suweida amid widespread anger over the decision to cut fuel subsidies. While protests against the government have taken place in Suweida, this protest saw a hardening of rhetoric, including, “Long live Syria and down with Bashar al-Assad.” Lina Sinjab reports for BBC News.
The E.U. Digital Services Act, which aims to protect users’ privacy, increase transparency, and remove harmful or illegal content, comes into force today. Social media giants like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook will be affected, as well as other tech companies such as Google and Amazon. Kelvin Chan reports for AP News.
Saudi Arabia is considering a Chinese bid to construct a nuclear power plant in the kingdom, Saudi officials said. The offer pressures the Biden administration to compromise on its conditions for U.S. help on nuclear energy, such as Saudi Arabia agreeing not to enrich or mine its own uranium. Summer Said, Sha Hua, and Dion Nissenbaum report for the Wall Street Journal.
Mutual fears of spying in the United States and China could deepen divides further as China frames the CIA as a villain following the recent arrests of two Chinese nationals for spying for the United States. The arrests were publicized soon after CIA Director William Burns said the agency was rebuilding its spy network in China, drawing much attention on Chinese social media. Chun Han Wong reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Former President Trump surrendered at an Atlanta jail yesterday and was booked on felony charges for his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Holly Bailey, Amy Gardner, and Isaac Arnsdorf report for the Washington Post.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed Oct. 23 as the trial date concerning former President Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Willis made the request after co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro demanded a speedy trial earlier this week. Willis previously requested Mar. 4, 2024, as the start date. Jacob Knutson reports for Axios.
The use of mental health-focused responders instead of police to avoid violent confrontations between police officers and the mentally ill has struggled to overcome what remains a chronic problem in U.S. policing. Even though these measures were adopted by dozens of police departments in the United States, funding shortfalls have meant their ability to respond has been limited. Since 2015, U.S. police killed between 200 and 300 people who showed signs of mental illness each year, according to the nonprofit Mapping Police Violence. Scott Calvert and Julie Wernau reports for the Wall Street Journal.