In Brazil, judicial officials said they could not approve a US request to extradite Sergey Cherkasov, whom the US accused of being a Russian spy, because they are already processing Moscow’s request for him over drug-trafficking allegations.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Russia’s extradition request was conditionally approved by Brazil’s Supreme Court earlier this year, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Justice. Cherkasov, who is serving time in Brazil on charges of using fraudulent documents, was accused by the US Department of Justice of acting as an illegal agent for a Russian intelligence service while attending Johns Hopkins University in Washington as a master’s student. One of his lawyers has it denied the spy charges.
The International Olympic Committee invited Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan to compete at next year’s Paris Games after she was disqualified from the World Fencing Championships in Milan for refusing a mandatory handshake with Russian opponent Anna Smirnova. She will be allotted “an additional quota seat” if she did not qualify, the chairman of the committee wrote in a letter shared by Kharlan Instagram. “As a fellow fencer, it is impossible for me to imagine how you feel at this moment,” it said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law moving the date of Christmas from January 7 to December 25, as part of an attempt to “renounce Russian heritage”. The government said that Christmas is a Christian holiday that is an integral part of Ukraine and that observance of the Julian calendar, which celebrates Christmas on January 7, had long been imposed on the Ukrainian people.
“An upsurge of fighting” has gripped southern Ukraine in the past 48 hours, including near the village of Robotyne, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defense on Saturday. Ukrainian officials say they have made some progress in their latest counteroffensive push to smash through Russian defenses in the south.
Russia claimed it intercepted two Ukrainian missiles, including one that local officials said landed in a town in Russia’s Rostov region on Friday, injuring nine people. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that air defense intercepted a Ukrainian drone aimed at Moscow, with no casualties or damage. The Washington Post could not independently confirm the claims.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken accused Russia’s defense minister of visiting North Korea to secure weapons. “I highly doubt he is there on vacation,” Blinken told AFP. “We see that Russia is desperately looking for support, for weapons, wherever it can find them,” Blinken was quoted as saying on a trip to Australia. finished Saturday. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang this week as the city marked the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
The global need for aid has increased dramatically during the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, according to to Carl Skau, deputy director of the World Food Programme. He said the UN had to cut food, cash payments and aid to millions of people in countries including Afghanistan and Yemen because of “a crippling funding crisis.”
By repeated bombings of Odessa, Putin deepens the economic war against Ukraine: Since Russia canceled the UN-brokered grain deal that allowed Ukrainian exports from the Black Sea, attacks have intensified on Odessa, one of Ukraine’s major port regions, John Hudson and Anastacia Galouchka report.
As a result of the strikes, “Odessa’s grain industry suffered tens of millions of dollars in damage,” they write. “The attacks destroyed at least 60,000 tons of grain, enough to feed more than 270,000 people for a year, according to the United Nations’ World Food Program.”