Your Tuesday Briefing

A damaged Russian tank yesterday in Trostyanets, Ukraine, east of the capital, Kyiv.Credit…Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

Ukraine reports some battle successes

Ukrainians reported yesterday that they had pushed back invading Russian forces in heavy fighting around Kyiv, the capital, and in northeastern Ukraine. The mayor of Irpin, a fiercely contested suburb on the northwestern edge of the capital, said that most Russian troops had retreated, though fighting continued in some districts. Follow the latest updates.

The Ukrainians also reported important progress in the Sumy region, northwest of Kharkiv, near the border with Russia. Dmytro Zhyvytsky, head of regional military administration, said that the Ukrainians had recaptured the towns of Trostyanets and Boromlya. A Pentagon official confirmed the recapture of Trostyanets.

The Russians moved to encircle and cut off Ukrainian forces in the east, making a diplomatic resolution to the war seem as far away as ever. Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has said that he is open to discussing the future neutrality of Ukraine. But he has refused to concede territory, as Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, has demanded.

“Moral outrage”: President Biden stood by his comment that Putin should be removed from power, saying that he was expressing his personal view and not a change in U.S. policy. “The last thing I want to do is engage in a land war or a nuclear war with Russia,” he said.

In other news from the war:

  • A video posted online appears to show Ukrainian soldiers beating and shooting Russian prisoners of war, raising questions about whether the Geneva Conventions had been violated.

  • Diplomats from Ukraine and Russia will attend talks in Turkey today. The Kremlin offered little hope an agreement would be reached to end the war.

  • Novaya Gazeta, the Russian newspaper that helped define fearless journalism in the post-Soviet era, suspended publication, leaving Russia without any major media outlets critical of the Kremlin.

Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, left, greeting his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.Credit…Amit Elkayam for The New York Times

Groundbreaking two-day talks in Israel

Yesterday was the second and final day of a historic diplomatic meeting in Israel. Top diplomats from Israel, the U.S. and four Arab countries discussed Iran, the importance of Washington’s presence in the region and the need to maintain calm in Israel and the Palestinian territories when a convergence of religious holidays could raise tensions.

The talks brought together the Israeli foreign minister, Yair Lapid, with the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, along with the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken. The Arab-Israeli diplomatic meeting was the first on Israeli soil, and several attendees did not hide their enthusiasm.

Since normalizing diplomatic ties with Bahrain, Morocco and the U.A.E. in 2020, Israel has cemented its partnerships with parts of the Arab world. In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel. The participants confirmed that they would try to meet in a different country every year.

Palestine: Several Arab participants publicly pressed Israel on the need to create a sovereign Palestinian state, signaling that while they had normalized ties with Israel, they had not abandoned the Palestinian cause.

Quotable: “What we are doing here is making history — building a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation,” said Lapid.

In his speech accepting the best actor Oscar on Sunday, Will Smith apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees.Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock

The actor Will Smith publicly apologized to the comedian Chris Rock for slapping him during Sunday’s Oscars telecast, after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which administers the awards, denounced his actions and opened an inquiry.

The episode unfolded after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss. Moments later, Smith won the best actor Oscar for his role in “King Richard,” a film about Venus and Serena Williams, along with their father.

“The academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the academy said in a statement. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”

Statement: “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote in the statement, which was posted on Instagram. “I was out of line and I was wrong,” he added. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

Opinion: A night that should have celebrated the Williams sisters instead played out in a way they have seen before — triumph tempered by mixed emotions, writes Christopher Clarey, the writer of our On Tennis column.


Around the World

Credit…Etienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Nokia, a Finnish company, played a key role in enabling Russia’s cyberspying, raising questions of corporate responsibility.

  • Some Afghan refugees who are living in immigration limbo in Britain are worried about what could happen when Ukrainians arrive.

  • Gangs in El Salvador killed at least 62 people on Saturday, the deadliest day on record since the country’s civil war ended 30 years ago.

  • Hundreds of thousands of workers in India began a nationwide strike yesterday to protest new and proposed economic policies.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times
  • A federal judge concluded that Donald Trump most likely committed felonies in trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

  • Pope Francis met for the first time with groups seeking an apology over the church’s role in running Canada’s abusive Indigenous schools.

  • President Biden’s 2023 budget will aim to boost military and social spending amid the war in Ukraine. He plans to ask Congress for a new minimum tax on billionaires.

What Else Is Happening

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on the humane treatment of pigs.

  • A large study in Britain found two specific windows of adolescence when some teenagers are most sensitive to the psychological effects of social media.

A Morning Read

Credit…Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Why just listen to a murder podcast when you can help the police comb through genealogical databases for the second cousins of suspected killers and their unidentified victims?

Deep-pocketed donors around the U.S. could usher in a world where few crimes go unsolved — but only if society is willing to accept, and fund, DNA dragnets.


Credit…KT Merry, via Monique Lhuillier

The 1980s wedding is back

A record 2.5 million weddings are expected this year in the U.S. — the highest number since 1984, when a confluence of economic and cultural events led a record number of people to the altar.

Recent trends in dresses, dessert, décor and more also feel very 1984, wedding experts and professionals say. Bridal gowns then were heavily embellished, with puff sleeves or a voluminous skirt (or both), and today’s versions have a “modern twist.” And cakes are once again made to command attention — even if they don’t necessarily involve tiers upon tiers supported by pillars.

The pandemic has given couples more time “to dream, budget and save for their grand celebration,” said Renée Sabo, a wedding planner. “We’re seeing clients diving back into planning with a ‘bigger is better’ mentality for their wedding this year,” she added.

Read more about the 2022 wedding boom.


What to Cook

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times

This version of hara masala murgh uses almond butter for a shorter cooking time and a creamy texture.

What to Read

In her memoir “Uncommon Measure,” the violinist Natalie Hodges writes about her younger years spent in classical music.

What to Watch

The second season of “Bridgerton” is here. It centers on a British-Indian aristocratic family navigating cultural differences (and, of course, romance).

Now Time to Play

Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Who’s portrayed by this emoji: ???? (four letters).

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

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. The Times won its first Oscar for the documentary short “The Queen of Basketball.”

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about Ukrainian refugees.

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

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