Your Tuesday Briefing: Ukraine strikes deep within Russia

Plus an update on China’s protests and World Cup outcomes for Japan and South Korea.

Good morning. We’re covering Ukraine’s attack on Russian military bases. Plus an update on China’s protests and World Cup outcomes for Japan and South Korea.

This satellite image collected and released by Maxar Technologies on Sunday shows the Engels air base in Russia. Maxar Technologies

Ukraine strikes deep within Russia

Ukraine executed its most brazen attack into Russian territory in the nine-month-old war, targeting two military bases hundreds of miles inside the country, using unmanned drones, according to the Russian defense ministry and a senior Ukrainian official.

The senior official said that the drones were launched from Ukrainian territory and that at least one of the strikes was made with the help of Ukrainian special forces operating close to the base, who helped guide the drone to the target.

One explosion hit the Engels-2 air base, which is near the southwestern city of Saratov, hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border, and hosts Russian strategic bombers, according to a Russian news outlet. Another explosion at a military base in the city of Ryazan, about 150 miles from Moscow, killed three people and wounded six others, a Russian state news agency reported.

Russian strikes: Hours after the explosions, Russia launched a new volley of missiles at Ukraine’s energy grid, knocking out power in several regions, officials said. It was the latest in a monthslong campaign of strikes by Moscow targeting civilian infrastructure.

Oil pressure: Europe and the United States started enforcing both a price cap on Russian oil that aims to increase economic pressure on Moscow and an embargo under which European nations will no longer be able to buy most Russian crude.

A demonstration in Beijing last month.Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China stems protests, but resistance remains

In the days since a wave of demonstrations washed over China, the police have been out in force to prevent a resurgence, and the mass protests have subsided.

But a low-key hum of resistance against the authorities has persisted, suggesting that the big rallies emboldened a small but significant number of people, including students, professionals and blue-collar workers.

In central China, students chanted demands for more transparency about Covid rules, while avoiding the bold slogans that riled the Communist Party a week earlier. In Shanghai, residents successfully negotiated with the local authorities to stop a lockdown of their neighborhood. And despite pressure from officials, a team of volunteer lawyers across China continues to field anxious calls from protesters.

Takeaway: None of those local acts amount to a major challenge to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and the Communist Party. But they suggest that residents are less afraid of challenging officialdom, albeit in measured, tactical ways.

Solidarity abroad: Protesters who oppose the Chinese government for various reasons — like the crushing of democracy in Hong Kong, the threat to Taiwan, and China’s persecution of Uyghurs in its Xinjiang region — hope to find common cause with the Covid protesters.

U.S. demonstrations: Expatriates in the United States are elated but nervous as they watch the protests at home.

Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda reacted to his team’s loss.Ina Fassbender/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Japan and South Korea are out of the World Cup

In yesterday’s game with Croatia, Japan established a lead through Daizen Maeda, but a routine penalty kick from Croatia evened the score. Extra time came and went, and Japan lost on 3-1 penalties, after a 1-1 draw.

The end of Japan, when it came, felt somehow routine, my colleague Rory Smith wrote. But few teams have illuminated and enlivened this tournament quite like Hajime Moriyasu’s ever-shifting Japan side, one that somehow contrived to beat Germany, lose to Costa Rica and then overcome Spain, all in the space of 10 chaotic, slightly illogical days.

South Korea, meanwhile, was wildly outmatched against Brazil, in terms of pure soccer talent, and it showed in the results. Its one goal was spectacular, drilled by Paik Seung-ho from well outside the penalty area. But the team struggled otherwise to gain any sort of a foothold against Brazil’s relentless quality. Brazil scored four goals within a 29-minute span of the first half and eliminated South Korea, 4-1.

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ARTS AND IDEAS

Did a chess upstart cheat?

Earlier this year, Hans Niemann, an American teenage chess player known for his abrasive personality, defeated Magnus Carlsen, the world’s best chess player. Carlsen accused his opponent of cheating, presumably with the aid of artificial intelligence chess software that can be far more powerful than human players.

The incident quickly spiraled into a scandal that has engulfed the world of chess, with counterclaims and lawsuits flying freely. Tournament players were checked with a radio frequency scanner, fueling speculation that Niemann was getting help from some kind of electronic device on — or maybe in — his body.

But were the cheating allegations overdue justice, or paranoia? As more grandmasters studied the epochal game, a consensus formed. Niemann appeared to simply outplay Carlsen, with moves that appeared perfectly human.

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

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With this simple shortbread recipe, you can make six different holiday cookies.

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It has been an exceptional year for romance novels. Here are the year’s best titles.

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Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Justin Bieber’s vocal range (5 letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Jonathan

P.S. “Goblin mode” is a slang term referring to “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” The phrase has been named the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2022 Word of the Year.

The Daily” is about life in Ukraine.

You can reach Jonathan and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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