Your Thursday Briefing: The Russian Land Bridge

Good morning. We’re talking about Russia’s pursuit of a “land bridge” to Crimea, emotional testimony to US lawmakers about gun violence, and the grief of South Korean parents years after a ferry disaster.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his army had repaired about 750 miles of railway in southeastern Ukraine to bridge a “land bridge” from Russia through Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region to occupied territory in Kherson and beyond. Crimean peninsula to secure.

That could help Russia bring heavy weapons into occupied Ukraine and give Russia a foothold in the Black Sea, though Shoigu’s claims could not be independently verified.

Shoigu also said fresh water was flowing through the North Crimean Canal again. It once supplied about 85 percent of the fresh water that the people of Crimea used before Ukraine built a dam after Russia annexed the peninsula. Here are live updates.

Background: Linking Russia to territory occupied in southern Ukraine would accomplish one of Moscow’s main objectives. President Vladimir Putin called the area “historic Russian lands.”

Analysis: Moscow’s claims were an even clearer sign that it intended to keep the occupied territories. Russia has also been quick to “Russify” the population there, introducing the ruble, appointing officials, redirecting Internet connections to Russian servers, and even changing the phone’s country code.

Diplomacy: US intelligence officials said they had more insight into Russia’s military operation than Ukraine’s.


Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was murdered in Uvalde, urged lawmakers to raise the age requirement to 21 for purchases of military rifles such as the AR-15. “For some reason, for some people, for people with money, the people who fund political campaigns, guns are more important than children.”

The testimonies unfolded hours before the House was set to vote on a package of restrictions, including legislation that would ban the sale of semiautomatic rifles to people under 21 and the sale of magazines containing more than 10 cartridges. Senate negotiators are working on a narrow compromise that would address mental health and safety at school and impose guardrails on would-be gun buyers under 21.

Analysis: The Times found that four major gun proposals now under consideration in Congress could have made a difference in at least 35 mass shootings since 1999. For more than a decade, restrictions proposed by Democrats have not passed Congress.

Republicans: The Times asked all 50 Senate Republicans if they supported two measures already passed by the House to strengthen background checks. Most refused to take a position or said they were against the measures.


Eight years ago, the Sewol ferry sank off the southwest coast of South Korea. More than 300 hundred people died, including 250 sophomores from the city of Ansan.

South Koreans quickly rallied behind the victims’ families, demanding accountability and compensation. But critics soon slandered their search as an anti-government campaign. Now much of the country has moved on as parents still struggle to come to terms with the tragedy.

At least three parents have died by suicide. Some families have fallen apart through divorce. Others left to mourn alone. Some have united and keep their children’s memories alive with a museum that recreates their classrooms. A mother continues to pay her son’s cell phone bill, as if he might call again someday.

Background: The ferry disaster was born out of greed and negligence. More than 150 people have been charged for their role in the tragedy.

Details: As the boat sank, fishermen and ill-equipped rescuers desperately tried to break the windows. Cell phones recovered from the wreckage showed videos of children frantically saying goodbye to their parents as the cold waves filled their cabins.

Australia’s new Labor government is taking small steps to turn the country into a republic: polls show a slim majority of citizens are in favor of splitting the British monarchy, but this is far from the top of the agenda.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” has been praised for its swirling shots, its strange story, and its tender and philosophical take on family and generational trauma. In the midst of all that, the costumes stood out for their fantastic maximalism.

Before designing the looks for the film, Shirley Kurata had already dressed Billie Eilish, Tierra Whack, Lena Dunham, Jenny Lewis and Pharrell Williams. Her stardom has grown even more with the success of the film.

Kurata has always had fans of her signature style. She mixes vintage with high-end designers and is attracted to an intense color wheel. It’s a lavish look she’s developed since her brother’s friend gave her hand-me-down Barbies from the 1960s.

She drew from her own life for the costumes in ‘Everything’. Her parents, like the main characters of the film, had a laundromat. Kurata also struggled with feeling like an outsider as a Japanese American in a “predominantly white and preppy” school. Fashion became her outlet.

“I see how much the film has influenced people,” Kurata said. “Being part of something like that means a lot to me, where you don’t see Asian representation in a cliché or stereotypical way.”

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