Your Friday Briefing: A Crucial Moment in Ukraine’s War

Good Morning. We are covering Ukraine’s fight for the Donbas and the start of the January 6 US hearings

President Volodymyr Zelensky described the battle for Sievierodonetsk as a pivotal moment in what is increasingly a war of attrition in eastern Ukraine. “The fate of our Donbas is being decided there,” he said.

Ukrainian forces are overtaken by Russians. The city is burning as the sounds of gunfire echo from the violent street-to-street combat. If Sievierodonetsk and its sister city Lysychansk fall, Russia will control all of Luhansk, one of the two provinces in the Donbas region.

Ukraine’s defense minister said his country “desperately needs heavy weapons and very fast”.

Both sides are still struggling to control what Zelensky called “dead cities” as Russian bombing further destroys eastern metropolises. Here are the live updates.

deaths: Ukraine is keeping its casualty figures a secret. But on the front lines, recent graves show how relentless the fighting has become.

The House panel investigating the US Capitol attack will open public hearings in Washington to begin laying out the findings of its nearly year-long investigation.

Lawmakers plan to kick off the session by featuring previously unreleased video testimonials from people close to Donald Trump. They will also share footage revealing the role of the far-right group Proud Boys in the January 6, 2021 riot.

The committee aims to paint a picture of Trump at the center of a coordinated effort to overturn the 2020 election results that led to the attack. We have live updates.

“We will demonstrate the multifaceted effort to overturn a presidential election, how one strategy to subvert the election led to another, culminating in a violent assault on our democracy,” said Representative Adam Schiff of California, a Democrat and committee member. .

Details: The first hearing starts at 8pm Eastern Time (ie 8am in Hong Kong). A total of six hearings are planned for this month.

Resources: The Times built an exhaustive timeline of the attack – the pre-planning, the events on Capitol Hill, and the preparation for the hearings.

Trump: Lawyers plan to question the former president under oath as part of a separate investigation into his business practices led by the New York State Attorney General’s office.

Australia and Canada say Chinese military jets have harassed their planes in recent weeks, sometimes flying so close that the pilots could see each other.

Beijing says the maneuvers are reasonable responses to foreign military patrols that threaten its security. But the two US allies fear that the pilots’ actions could lead to midair collisions.

Any such accident in the Asia-Pacific could trigger an international incident at a time when tensions are rising between China and the West.

Background: In 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy surveillance plane, leading to tense negotiations and a US apology. imitate, said one expert.

Details: Chinese pilots have buzzed repeatedly on a Canadian plane that has been monitoring North Korea in recent weeks, and one plane sprayed metallic straw in the path of an Australian surveillance aircraft.

Dom Phillips, a British journalist, and Bruno Pereira, a Brazilian expert on indigenous groups, disappeared in the Amazon after facing threats. They went to interview indigenous people who patrol parts of the dense jungle plagued by illegal fishing, hunting and mining, a problem compounded by budget cuts by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro. They haven’t been seen since Sunday.

A budding professional golf course, the LIV Series, held its first event yesterday in Great Britain. The tour has attracted stars such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to help it compete with the dominant PGA Tour.

But it has also drawn scorn because of its biggest investor: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Yesterday, the PGA Tour said it had suspended the 17 players who participated.

Why do golfers go to LIV? The extraordinarily large purse of the Saudis. Mickelson reportedly received $200 million to join, and Johnson $150 million. The prize money for this weekend’s event is $25 million; Tiger Woods, on the other hand, has earned $120 million over his entire PGA career.

What is the controversy? Critics have accused Saudi Arabia of using its oil profits to buy big sports organizations and sanitize its image. Mickelson lost endorsements after joining and acknowledged that Saudi Arabia had a “horrible record on human rights”, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What is the PGA reaction? It has aggressively sought to thwart the Saudi tour. The PGA said it will discipline players who compete and may bar them from participating in most major American golf events.

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

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Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote Today’s Arts & Ideas. You can contact Amelia and the team at [email protected].

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