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Your Monday Briefing: Russian Missiles Hit Kyiv

Good morning. We’re covering Russian missile strikes in Kyiv and the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

At least five missiles hit Kyiv early on Sunday, the first Russian strike in Ukraine’s capital in over a month. At least one person was injured, officials said, as the city’s sense of relative security ruptured.

Russia said the missiles destroyed tanks and armored vehicles supplied by Ukraine’s Eastern European allies. One missile that was headed for Kyiv “flew at a critically low altitude” over a nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s state nuclear power company said. Here are live updates.

The attack, after 100 days of war, came as President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would hit targets it had so far avoided if Western nations began delivering longer-range missiles to Ukraine.

The east: Combat continued to rage around the contested city of Sievierodonetsk. “We are surrounded on all sides,” said a farmer, who is still trying to feed his neighbors despite the danger. Powerful explosions were also heard in and around Kramatorsk, the capital of Ukrainian-controlled areas of the Donetsk region.

Africa: The Wagner Group, an opaque network of Russian mercenaries, mining companies and political influence operations, is expanding aggressively across a swath of the continent. In Sudan, a Putin ally got rich while crushing a democracy movement.

Other updates:

  • Ukraine’s national soccer team lost to Wales on Sunday, dashing its hopes of competing in the World Cup.

  • A Ukrainian official angrily rejected a plea from President Emmanuel Macron of France not to “humiliate” Russia and to instead seek a negotiated settlement.

  • Russia has arrested thousands of its citizens, as the Kremlin cracks down on criticism of its war.


Hundreds of Hindu families have fled the Kashmir region in recent weeks amid a spike in targeted militant attacks. Last week, three Hindus were killed, including a teacher gunned down outside her school.

Many more wish to leave, seeing disturbing echoes of the 1980s and 1990s, when militant attacks also drove a Hindu exodus. Some are demanding that the government transfer their jobs and families to safer places outside the majority-Muslim region.

But Kashmiri Hindus are meeting resistance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration, who they say have erected blockades around their neighborhoods. Like many past Indian governments, Modi has portrayed the Hindu presence as an illustration of the restive Himalayan region’s stability. A mass exodus would hardly support that narrative.

Background: In 2019, Modi’s government dissolved Kashmir’s elected government and revoked its semiautonomous status. Since then, India’s government has clamped down on dissent. Kashmiri Hindu organizations say the renewed wave of targeted killings is an apparent retaliation for the policy.

History: India and Pakistan have disputed Kashmir since the end of British rule in 1947. In the late 1980s, a Kashmiri separatist movement targeted the region’s Hindus. After a mass exodus, the government encouraged Kashmiri Hindus to return by offering them government jobs and payments for buying or rebuilding homes.


On June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers crushed the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. For decades, Hong Kong held a large candlelight vigil in Victoria Park to commemorate those killed in the uprising.

This year, the city held no vigil: China’s campaign of smothering dissent put an end to the annual gathering. It banned the June 4 vigil in 2020 (though many people defied the ban) and again last year, citing Covid-19 restrictions.

Taipei — the capital of Taiwan, which has long resisted China’s claims of sovereignty — has since emerged as the new center for remembrance. Crowds mourned the people who died in Beijing 33 years ago and also the erasure of political freedoms in Hong Kong and the victims of China’s draconian policies in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Background: In 2020, after Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law. Since then, the local government has essentially banned public commemorations of the 1989 killings, which wiped out a student-led protest movement calling for democratic change in China.

Immigrants: In the U.K., former residents of Hong Kong are settling in but longing for the city they left behind.

For men in Gaza, bodybuilding is both a hobby and a refuge: They revel in feeling strong amid a sweeping sense of powerlessness. But the Israeli blockade and travel restrictions make it hard for them to compete abroad.

The Saturday Profile: Raquel Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, is unearthing the true toll of its drug war.

Approximately 4,000 of the country’s native species are classified as “at risk” or “threatened” — the highest proportion of threatened native species in the world. Some of its most iconic native creatures are flightless, making them vulnerable to introduced predators like stoats.

“Many of our species give our country its sense of identity,” said Kiri Allan, New Zealand’s conservation minister. “At risk is our very sense of nationhood.” So in 2016, the government committed to eliminating most nonnative predators by 2050.

The campaign has achieved significant successes: A thousand square miles of land are under sustained predator control, and predators have been eradicated from 117 of the country’s roughly 600 islands. But the nation’s conservation community is tussling over whether it can achieve the 2050 goal — and at what cost.

Some conservationists think that full elimination of nonnative predators on schedule is possible with more funding and focus. Others view the goal as aspirational and want the government to focus on predator-free reserves — which, while also expensive, offer immediate safety.

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