Your Thursday Briefing

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Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy facilities yesterday, with missiles that shook Kiev and other cities to their foundations, plunging large parts of the country into darkness, shutting down water systems and cutting power in half of neighboring Moldova. It was the largest attack in more than a week and hit critical infrastructure in regions across the country, a Ukrainian official said.

From Lviv in the west to Dnipro and Odessa in the south and Kharkiv in the northeast, officials reported cuts in electricity, water and other key services. Entire cities were without light. Russia is trying to shut down Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and leave its people in the cold and dark as winter brings freezing temperatures and snow.

While Moscow is running low on precision cruise missiles, intelligence reports suggest it still has enough to launch strikes on a scale comparable to the November 15 barrage, which was even larger than yesterday’s, according to Ukraine and its allies. “three or four more times.”

Deaths: The strike killed at least 10 people and wounded dozens, government officials said, while Ukraine’s air defense shot down 51 of Russia’s 70 cruise missiles and five drones.

Other news from the war:


Two blasts in Jerusalem yesterday killed a teenager and injured at least 18 other people in what were the first bombings against civilians in Israel in more than six years. Both occurred during the morning rush hour and were triggered by explosives placed at the scene, police said.

The person killed was a young yeshiva student, Aryeh Schupak, 15, who officials say held dual Israeli and Canadian citizenship. Yair Lapid, the outgoing prime minister, said of the perpetrators: ‘They can run, they can hide – it won’t help them; the security forces will reach them. Security forces would be reinforced in the area, he added.

The explosions came as Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to form what would become Israel’s right-wing government in history. The attacks prompted calls from far-right leaders, who have called for a tougher crackdown on terrorism, to announce a new government as soon as possible.

Context: Israel and the occupied West Bank are experiencing the deadliest wave of violence since 2015.


Late Tuesday, an employee at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, pulled out a gun and silently opened fire, a witness said, killing five of his co-workers and a 16-year-old boy and wounding several others before reaching the weapon in itself. It was not clear how the gunman obtained his weapon or what events led to the shooting.

It has pushed the nation, for the third time in less than two weeks, into a familiar and increasingly frequent cycle of mourning and self-examination, prayers and finger-pointing. Days earlier, an attacker killed five people and injured 18 others at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub. Earlier this month, a University of Virginia student shot and killed three members of the school’s football team.

President Biden said the gun control legislation signed this year in response to the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, had not been enough. “We need to take more action,” he said.

Victims: Police identified the six people killed in the shooting as Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and the boy, whose name was withheld. Walmart said the five adults all worked there; the company did not immediately respond to questions about the teen.

Club Q recordings: The person accused of murdering five people at a Colorado club made his first appearance in court. Lawyers said their client identified as non-binary and used she-she pronouns.

Fossil hunting has turned from an academic pursuit into a multimillion-dollar business, much to the chagrin of academic paleontologists who worry that specimens of scientific interest are being sold to the highest bidders.

“Farmers who used to let you go and collect specimens now wonder why they would give it to you for free,” said one paleontologist, “when a commercial collector would dig up the bones and share the profits.”

Ronaldo’s departure helps, but the Glazers are Manchester United’s big problem: Since the purchase of Manchester United, the Glazer family has supervised the decline of a once great team and once great stadium, writes our columnist.

The start of the USMNT in Qatar is an example of the razor-thin margins of a World Cup: Few things can help a team as much in a World Cup as an opening win. Still a draw? Now it gets tricky.

Germany shocked by Japan: The setbacks kept coming in Qatar as Japan bounced back from 1-0 and the European giants left Germany staring down the course of a second consecutive group stage exit.

From the time: England had a game, but first the fans had a quest – for beer.

Made in 1973, the Martin Scorsese movie “Goncharov” is set in Naples, Italy, and stars Robert DeNiro in the titular role as a Russian hit man and former nightclub owner. Cybill Shepherd plays his wife, Katya, and Al Pacino, Gene Hackman and Harvey Keitel round out the cast.

The film has it all: murder, a love triangle, homoerotic undertones, a striking original score and a dramatic final scene that has been debated by film buffs for years. It also doesn’t exist.

But Tumblr users have created an entire universe to support the idea that the movie is real. Dozens of people have bought prints of the bullet-riddled movie poster created by Alex Korotchuk, a 20-year-old artist in Prague, with the tagline: “The Greatest Mafia Movie Ever Made.” There’s even a theme song, composed by Alix Latta, a 25-year-old music teacher in Indiana, inspired by the theme of “The Godfather.”

Learn more about the fake movie — and how it all started with a pair of shoes.