Your Tuesday Briefing: Ukraine’s Advance Continues

Russia launched multiple missile strikes yesterday at a Ukrainian police station in Kharkiv.Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times

Ukraine’s advance continues

Ukraine reclaimed more ground yesterday and redoubled its calls for Russia to surrender in the south. In the northeast, Moscow acknowledged the loss of almost all of the Kharkiv region. Here’s a map of Russian losses.

Russian officials described the retreat as a planned “regrouping operation,” and Moscow does still hold large areas of eastern and southern Ukraine. In apparent retaliation, Russian cruise missiles knocked out power to regions in the east and northeast as forces retreated, but Ukrainians in Kharkiv worked quickly to repair damaged infrastructure.

Moscow’s stunning setback calls into question how much territory its once-daunting military can retain, especially amid a growing domestic backlash, which has made its way onto state television. Yesterday, municipal deputies from 18 councils in Moscow and St. Petersburg signed a petition calling on Vladimir Putin to resign. Here are live updates.

Details: Ukraine has advanced faster than expected and is moving to consolidate control over the recaptured territory. Ukraine’s military said it pushed into an additional 20 towns and villages in 24 hours and claimed to have recaptured nearly 200 square miles in the southern region of Kherson.

What’s next: The prosecutor general’s office in Ukraine is investigating possible war crimes in a recently liberated village near Kharkiv.

Allies: Ukraine’s success has encouraged European allies ahead of what is expected to be a hard winter of rising fuel costs. It will most likely increase pressure on NATO members to supply Ukraine with heavier weaponry.

In 1982, Queen Elizabeth II visited Tuvalu on a tour of the South Pacific.Credit…Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Former colonies mull their future

From the Caribbean to the Pacific, the death of Queen Elizabeth II accelerated a push to address the past in several former British colonies.

Some countries are holding to the status quo. Yesterday, Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, said that she thought her country would most likely become a republic in her lifetime. “But I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda anytime soon,” Ardern said.

The State of the War

  • Dramatic Gains for Ukraine: Ukraine’s lightning offensive in the country’s northeast has allowed Kyiv’s forces to score large battlefield gains against Russia and shift what had become a grinding war.
  • Putin’s Struggles: Russia’s retreat in Ukraine may be weakening President Vladimir V. Putin’s reputation at home, and pro-war bloggers who cheered on the invasion are now openly criticizing him.
  • Southern Counteroffensive: Military operations in the south have been a painstaking battle of river crossings, with pontoon bridges as prime targets for both sides. So far, it is Ukraine that has advanced.
  • Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant: After United Nations inspectors visited the Russian-controlled facility last week amid shelling and fears of a looming nuclear disaster, the organization released a report calling for Russia and Ukraine to halt all military activity around the complex.

Republicanism is more entrenched in Australia, which has a larger population of Irish descent. There, the queen’s death has created a political maelstrom.

Australia’s government suspended Parliament for two weeks to commemorate her death, the BBC reports, a historic protocol. The move prompted blowback, The Sydney Morning Herald reports, among politicians who feared the suspension would delay or weaken integrity reforms promised by Anthony Albanese, the prime minister. Here are live updates about the queen’s death.

Context: Fourteen former colonies retain the British sovereign as their head of state.

Caribbean: On Saturday, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic within three years. Barbados voted to remove the queen as head of state last year.

Scotland: New debates arose about the future of the independence movement.

England: Anti-monarchists are treading lightly. They see King Charles III as an easier target than his revered mother — but are aware that they risk alienating people during the period of official mourning.

“Sometimes I tell myself I’m not going to get sad, but I can’t help it,” said Hasmik Tutunjian, 66. “At night, I get into bed angry, I cry.”

Lebanon’s grinding electricity crisis

Oppressive blackouts have drastically changed the rhythm of life in Lebanon.

State-supplied power comes at random times, and for only an hour or two a day. Many residents have had to find coping strategies, my colleague Raja Abdulrahim reports from Beirut. Often, people do laundry and charge devices in the hours after midnight.

This profound electricity crisis is a subset of Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in decades, which the World Bank said could rank among the world’s three worst since the mid-1800s in terms of its effect on living standards.

The blackouts also underscore the country’s sharp socioeconomic inequalities. Lebanese inflation rose to 168 percent in the year that ended in July, and unemployment is skyrocketing. Now, only a few people can afford diesel-powered backup generators to combat the heat and darkness.

Context: Lebanon has long had a dysfunctional electricity sector. But over the past year, acute fuel shortages have worsened power cuts.


Asia and the Pacific

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, said it was time to “turn the page” on Covid.Credit…Marty Melville/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • New Zealand has removed most of its Covid restrictions, The Guardian reports.

  • Japan may remove some pandemic border controls, the BBC reports.

  • Pakistan is trying to protect a critical power station from floodwaters, Reuters reports. Millions rely on it for electricity.

  • In Thailand, a 25-year-old activist who was said to have dressed up as Queen Suthida was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the monarchy, Reuters reports.

Around the World

  • Sweden is still counting votes from its Sunday elections. A coalition of right-wing parties narrowly leads the governing center-left bloc.

  • A new analysis showed that child poverty in the U.S. fell by 59 percent from 1993 to 2019, highlighting the role of increased government aid.

  • Wealthy countries snapped up monkeypox vaccines and treatments, leaving few for the rest of the world.

What Else Is Happening

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest man to win a Grand Slam title since Rafael Nadal in 2005.Credit…Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
  • Carlos Alcaraz, a 19-year-old from Spain, won the U.S. Open men’s title.

  • The Emmy Awards begin at 8 a.m. Hong Kong time, 10 a.m. Sydney time. Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” is hosting. Here’s how to watch.

  • Scientists have sequenced complete fern genomes for the first time, to learn why the plants have twice as much DNA as humans.

A Morning Read

Sulfur-crested cockatoos, native to Australia, teach each other to open the bins. Credit…Ken Griffiths/Alamy

There’s an innovation arms race raging in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The front line: Garbage bins. The factions: humans and sulfur-crested cockatoos.


Student debt: No longer taboo

In the U.S., federal student loans are a legacy of the Cold War: They were first issued in 1958 in response to the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik. (The government was worried that Americans were falling behind in science.)

Now, Americans collectively owe $1.7 trillion in federal student loans, and the cost of college has nearly tripled since 1980, even when adjusted for inflation. Last month, President Biden announced a student debt forgiveness program that could cost taxpayers $300 billion or more.

Student debt has become a national dialogue, as more Americans have come to see it as a structural problem, rather than a result of poor personal decisions, and its stigma slips away.

It’s even cropping up as a narrative device in contemporary fiction. In The Times, Jennifer Wilson describes the typical loan-crisis novel as “a stymied bildungsroman for a generation who have been robbed of the possibility of becoming, sold a story that would cost them everything.”


What to Cook

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Serve herb-marinated seared tofu over grains.

What to Watch

In “The Fabelmans,” the director, Steven Spielberg, is the star. But Michelle Williams steals the show.

What to Read

“Like a Rolling Stone” is a new memoir from Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine.

Now Time to Play

Play today’s Mini Crossword. And here’s a clue: Unattractive (four letters).

Here are today’s Wordle and today’s Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia

P.S. The U.S. midterm elections are sure to get confusing. Nate Cohn, The Times’s chief political analyst, will parse polling and politics in “The Tilt,” a new newsletter. Subscribe here.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Serena Williams.

You can reach Amelia and the team at [email protected].

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