Tuesday Briefing

A view of Sevastopol after a missile was said to have struck the headquarters of the Black Sea fleet.Credit…Planet Labs PBC

Ukraine says it killed top Russian commander

The Ukrainian military said that a missile strike in Crimea last week killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, along with more than 30 officers, and wounded more than 105 others. If confirmed, the attack would be among the most damaging blows suffered by the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.

Ukraine’s special operations forces did not name the naval leader, but the commander of the Black Sea Fleet is Adm. Viktor Sokolov, one of the most senior officers in Russia’s Navy.

The attack came during a meeting of Russian commanders, Ukraine’s military said, and badly damaged a headquarters of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea. There was no immediate comment from Russia’s Defense Ministry. Separately, Russia struck the port of Odesa in Moscow’s first large attack there since Ukraine started testing a new route to ship grain out of the Black Sea.

Context: In recent weeks, Ukraine has sharply increased the pace of strikes in Crimea, a strategically vital peninsula illegally annexed by Moscow nearly a decade ago. “Any target inside Crimea is essentially fair game to demonstrate to the Russians they do not have security,” a military analyst said.

U.S. shutdown: Senators across the political aisle are debating whether to include new military assistance for the fight against Russia in any stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded past the end of the month.

An image from a social media video purporting to show smoke from the fuel depot explosion.Credit…Siranush Sargsyan/X, via Associated Press

Hundreds injured in Nagorno-Karabakh blast

More than 200 people were wounded in a gasoline warehouse explosion in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, the human rights ombudsman for the region said. The cause of the explosion could not immediately be determined, and it was not clear if there were any fatalities.

Thousands of ethnic Armenians have been fleeing the breakaway region since the weekend to cross the border into Armenia, after a military offensive brought the enclave back under Azerbaijan’s control. The ethnic Armenian leadership has said it would remain in place until all those who wanted to leave the region were able to go.

On the ground: The human rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, said that the majority of the victims were in “severe or extremely severe” condition. A Russian peacekeeping contingent said that some of the wounded had been treated by its medics and that some of the most severely injured had been transferred to its hospital.

Actors have been on strike since July, with many of the same demands that the writers had.Credit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

A hurdle for Hollywood

After screenwriters reached a tentative agreement with entertainment studios on a new labor deal Sunday night, one big obstacle stands in the way of the film and TV industry roaring back to life: the strike of tens of thousands of actors. The two sides have not spoken in more than two months, and no talks are scheduled.

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, have indicated a willingness to negotiate, but the studios made a strategic decision in early August to focus on reaching a détente with the writers first. Only a resolution with the actors will determine when tens of thousands of camera operators, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers and others return to work.

The latest: The Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 screenwriters, could begin finalizing a deal on a new contract as soon as today.


Around the World

Credit…Janis Laizans/Reuters
  • After decades of going it alone in security issues before joining NATO, Finland is finding that life in a large alliance is complex, expensive and deeply political.

  • American women are crossing the border to Mexico for abortions, crystallizing the shifting policies of two nations that once held vastly different positions on the procedure.

  • The authorities in Bangladesh said they had recorded 909 dengue-related deaths this year, compared with 281 in all of 2022.

  • Romanians struggling for justice for family members killed in the 1989 uprising say that servants of the Ceausescu regime have blocked any reckoning with the past.

From the U.S.

  • Oil industry mega-projects that barely existed a decade ago have become the norm, each using millions of gallons of water and threatening aquifers.

  • President Biden hosted Pacific Island leaders at the White House. The U.S. is competing with China for influence in the region.

  • Two new polls found Donald Trump leading Ron DeSantis, his closest competitor in the Republican presidential primary race, by at least 40 points.

Science & Technology

Credit…Toms Kalnins/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • A new model suggests that in 250 million years, all land will collide into a “very toasty” supercontinent that will push mammals to extinction.

  • Amazon said that it would invest up to $4 billion in the artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic, seeking to keep pace with rivals such as Microsoft and Google.

  • The U.S. Air Force said that it had received its first electric passenger aircraft for testing, capable of taking off and landing vertically.

  • Crops specifically bred for a warmer world are starting to come to market.

  • How human feedback brought chatbots from a curiosity into mainstream technology.

A Morning Read

Credit…Liana Finck

Why would a parent throw cheese at a child — or crack an egg on a baby’s head? “Social media clout is one explanation,” Amanda Hess writes in this Critic’s Notebook, “but I don’t think it’s the only one.”


Arsenal 2, Tottenham 2: Analysis of the north London derby.

Farewell, Megan Rapinoe: Her legacy, explained by those who know her best.

Japanese Grand Prix takeaways: McLaren makes progress, while Sargeant suffers a setback.


Credit…Mamadi Doumbouya for The New York Times

Caitlin Moran on the man crisis

In “What About Men?”, the latest book from the British feminist writer Caitlin Moran, she turns her eye to modern masculinity. Moran spoke to The Times Magazine in a wide-ranging interview that touched on the future for men, trans issues in Britain and Jordan B. Peterson’s tears.

“I wrote this book because young boys do keep saying, ‘We are anxious, we are depressed, we are lonely,’” she said. “All you can do is be right next to them and go: ‘I’m going to be with you through it. I actually can’t fix you. You are going to have to fix yourself.’”

For more: Read our review of Moran’s book.


Credit…Con Poulos for The New York Times

Serve lemony white bean soup with turkey and greens to a crowd.

Read Emily Wilson’s translation of the “Iliad.”

Run in a group for social and physical benefits.

Watch true crime series about women.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. And an apology: Yesterday’s email did not go out to all subscribers because of a technical issue. You can read it here.

Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

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

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