Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Zelensky pointed to the death of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the former head of the Wagner mercenary group, as proof of Putin’s untrustworthiness. Prigozhin, who led a brief mutiny against the Kremlin in June, put down his arms after reaching a deal with Putin that allowed him to live in exile in Belarus. Prigozhin died in a plane crash last month. Its cause is unclear.
Ukraine on Friday froze the assets of Ihor Kolomoisky, a tycoon facing graft allegations, who is already under indictment and sanctions in the United States over accusations of bank fraud. Ukraine’s anti-graft office said it had frozen shares in more than 300 companies under his control, along with real estate and vehicles, amounting to a value of more than $80 million.
The Group of 20 economic summit starts Saturday, with the war in Ukraine among issues taking center stage. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, wrote on social media that the war in Ukraine would be a key issue. Putin will not attend the summit, but Russia’s defense minister is expected to take his place.
Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak criticized SpaceX owner Elon Musk for cutting off Starlink satellite internet services to Ukrainian submarine drones last year. The drones were launching an attack on a Russian fleet based in Crimea. Musk defended his decision, saying he did not want SpaceX to be “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
Ukrainian troops rely on Starlink services for virtually any task requiring digital communication, The Washington Post reported. From communicating with loved ones back home to directing drones against enemy positions, Ukrainian troops are heavily dependent on the 42,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine.
A Russian missile strike hit Zelensky’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih early Friday. The attack left at least one person dead and more than 70 injured, Ukrainian officials said. The strike destroyed a police administration building.
The CIA has published a video aimed at recruiting disaffected Russian officials. The video, titled “Why I made contact with the CIA: For myself,” shows a Russian government official walking through what appears to be the snowy streets of a Russian city before entering a secured facility. “I insisted to everyone that it was unscrupulous to distort the truth in reports, but those who rose through the ranks were those who did that very thing,” the voice-over says in Russian, according to Reuters.
Cuba has arrested 17 people for allegedly recruiting Cubans to fight for Russia in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported. A Cuban prosecutor told local media that the suspects could face sentences of up to 30 years or life in prison, or even the death penalty. “Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine,” Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said in a news release, according to the AP.
Spanish imports of Russian gas are increasing, according to new government data, Reuters reported. Even as overall imports fell, and amid E.U. pressure to reduce dependence on Russian gas, Madrid is becoming more reliant on Moscow for energy: About 28 percent of Spain’s gas came from Russia in July, a nearly 100 percent jump in share year-on-year.
War in Ukraine halted adoptions. Now some orphans are stuck in limbo: After Ukrainian officials halted international adoptions until the war’s end, about 200 American families seeking to adopt from the war-torn country find themselves stuck, David L. Stern reports. Ukraine says adoptions will resume three months after the end of martial law.
Pavlo Shulha, the Ukrainian head of Kidsave, a U.S.-based international charity helping place orphans with families, said the children’s distress is being compounded “since the main trauma is abandonment.” By delaying their adoptions, authorities are “repeating this trauma,” he said.