Ukrainian military analysts assessing drone footage, near Bakhmut.Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times
Fierce fighting in Bakhmut
In the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Russia and Ukraine are going toe to toe in one of the longest-running battles of the war. The situation stands in contrast to Ukraine’s strategy elsewhere along the front line, where it has avoided direct confrontations, relying instead on nimble maneuvers, deception and Western-provided long-range weapons.
Fierce fighting continued to rage yesterday along the front line that extends from Bakhmut northeast toward the city of Soledar, with the Russians claiming to have taken a nearby village and Ukraine saying that it had repelled Russian attempts to storm Soledar itself. Bakhmut’s strategic value is debatable, but it carries symbolic importance for both sides.
In an earlier phase of the war, Ukraine’s leadership had been more equivocal about pitched battles like that in Bakhmut, after about 100 Ukrainian soldiers per day died in the fight for the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. But new research has vindicated the attritional fighting, which analysts said had weakened the Russian Army enough for two Ukrainian counterattacks in the fall to succeed.
Mercenaries: The Wagner Group’s Kremlin-aligned founder said that Soledar was “being taken solely by Wagner units,” which Western security officials and analysts say operate largely outside the Russian military’s chain of command.
Hundreds detained in Brazil
At least 1,200 protesters were detained after the storming of government buildings in Brazil’s capital, Brasília, the police said yesterday. The authorities began dismantling the tent city where supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president, had been camping out since he lost October’s election. As of yesterday, the dispersal of the protesters had been peaceful.
Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters broke into the government buildings on Sunday to protest what they falsely claim was a stolen election. In the weeks after the vote, Brazil’s military and independent experts said they had found no credible evidence of fraud. Official counts on the number of people arrested ranged from at least 200 to more than 400.
The protesters will be questioned by law enforcement officials, and some could be charged with committing crimes against democratic institutions or attempting to unseat a democratically elected government.
The latest developments:
Brazil’s Congress was called back from recess for an emergency session. Lawmakers could decide to start an investigation into the attacks.
A Supreme Court judge suspended Ibaneis Rocha, the governor of the Federal District, which includes Brasília, for 90 days while investigations take place into security failures on Sunday.
Bolsonaro criticized the protests, saying on Twitter that peaceful demonstrations were part of democracy but that “destruction and invasions of public buildings, like what occurred today,” were not.
Restoration of the ozone layer is back on track
Recovery of the ozone layer could happen within a few decades, scientists said in a U.N.-backed report, as China has nearly eliminated rogue chemical emissions. Ozone levels between the polar regions are expected to reach pre-1980 levels by 2040, if current policies continue, and ozone holes should also recover.
In 2018, scientists revealed that global emissions of CFC-11, a chemical that was most likely used in China to make foam insulation, had increased since 2012. Investigations by The Times and others strongly suggested that small factories in eastern China that were disregarding the global ban were the source.
Those new emissions had threatened to undermine the Montreal Protocol, the treaty negotiated in the 1980s to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons in favor of more benign chemicals after it was discovered that chlorofluorocarbons were depleting atmospheric ozone.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties, empowered by the country’s new right-wing government, are pushing for greater autonomy, with potentially far-reaching implications.
About one in 12 working-age adults in Britain has a long-term health condition and is not working or looking for work, a phenomenon that is straining the economy.
Environmental groups in France are suing Danone, the dairy giant, for failing to sufficiently reduce its plastic footprint.
What Else Is Happening
Municipal leaders in Rome hope that a new skatepark with views of the Colosseum will lure more visitors from abroad.
President Biden’s lawyers discovered “a small number” of classified documents in his former office last fall, the White House said yesterday, prompting the Justice Department to review the situation.
A $22 million memorial to American soldiers who died in the Korean War is riddled with errors, with 1,015 spelling mistakes and about 500 names missing, according to researchers.
California is facing another powerful storm system after more than 300,000 customers lost electricity during a storm over the weekend.
A Morning Read
At the American Historical Association, a raging battle over how to write about the past — and why — was uncomfortably front and center.
Controversy exploded in August, when the association’s president, James H. Sweet, a leading historian of the African diaspora, published a column titled “Is History History?” in which he lamented a troubling politicization of scholarship. The column provoked a firestorm, which spread along racial and generational fault lines.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Ansu Fati, Barcelona’s brilliant record-breaker: When Lionel Messi’s heir apparent suffered an injury, it changed everything.
Why has Romeo Beckham joined Brentford? Cynics will suspect a marketing stunt, but Beckham will have a chance to prove he has a future in soccer.
What does Beth England’s transfer mean for her and Tottenham? The player needed more game time, so her move to Spurs makes perfect sense, but will she get the service to flourish?
ARTS AND IDEAS
The end of Noma
A seismic shift in the world of fine dining: Noma will close for regular service at the end of 2024. The Copenhagen restaurant, which has topped lists of the world’s best restaurants, will become a full-time food laboratory focused on its e-commerce operation. It will open to diners only for periodic pop-ups.
Noma’s influence will live on through its imitators, the Times restaurant critic Pete Wells writes. Its innovations included its methods of foraging and pickling, its rustic pieces of hand-thrown pottery, its innovative plating and its odd-smelling natural wines. Its creator, René Redzepi, has been hailed as his era’s most brilliant and influential chef.
But Redzepi said that the current model, which changed fine dining, was “unsustainable.” Staff members at Noma work grueling hours. The workplace culture is intense, and the restaurant long relied on an army of unpaid interns. One alumnus compared the industry to ballet, another elite pursuit that has abuse built into its very model.
“We have to completely rethink the industry,” Redzepi told The Times. “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
This kale and squash salad with almond-butter vinaigrette is creamy, rich and dairy-free.
What to Watch
Work your way through our picks for 2022’s Best Picture.
What to Read
Prince Harry’s new memoir, “Spare,” is out today. Here are 11 takeaways.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: British pound, informally (four letters).
And here are today’s Wordle and Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Natasha
P.S. Mara Hvistendahl is joining The Times from The Intercept as a new investigative correspondent focused on China and Asia.
“The Daily” is on Kevin McCarthy, the new House speaker.
Reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].