Vladimir Putin’s speech was especially subdued compared to his recent rhetoric.Credit…Maxim Shipenkov/EPA, via Shutterstock
On Victory Day, a careful speech from Putin
During an address in Red Square in Moscow yesterday, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, committed to continuing the war in Ukraine, but he declined to call for new sacrifices or mobilization, did not threaten a nuclear strike and made no stark pronouncements about an existential war with the West. Follow the latest updates on the war.
Russians could keep on living their lives, Putin said, as the Russian military would keep fighting to rid Ukraine, in his false telling, of “torturers, death squads and Nazis.” The only policy announcement made in his speech was a decree to provide additional aid to the children of killed and wounded soldiers.
While polls show broad support in Russia for the war, there appears to be concern in the Kremlin that the backing is not deep. Though more than 15,000 Russians were arrested at antiwar protests early in the war, the vast majority stayed silent. Western sanctions have hit Russia’s economy, but it has not collapsed, allowing many people to live largely as they had before the invasion.
Analysis: Putin’s speech was especially subdued when compared to the fiery rhetoric he has espoused on other occasions in the last two months.“He has developed a certain sense of what is and is not possible,” Gleb Pavlovsky, a former adviser to the Russian leader, said.
In other news from the war:
In his own speech, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said that Russia was “repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler’s regime today.”
President Biden signed an updated version of the World War II-era Lend-Lease Act, enabling the U.S. to further arm Ukraine.
“He doesn’t understand what he has to do with it.” In Europe’s schoolyards, Russian-speaking students face bullying.
The stock market plunge continues
Wall Street’s decline stretched into a sixth week yesterday, amid new data about China’s exports and worries about a global economy that has been battered by high inflation, rising interest rates and a malfunctioning supply chain. The S&P 500 fell 3.2 percent, and oil prices slid more than 6 percent. Stocks in Europe and Asia also plunged.
The drop has stocks approaching a bear market, Wall Street’s term for a decline of 20 percent or more from recent highs. Investors have many reasons to back away: Rising prices and higher interest rates are sure to hurt consumption in the U.S., while the war in Ukraine and the lockdowns in China are hampering global supplies and exacerbating inflation.
Few of these concerns are likely to be resolved soon. The Federal Reserve, which raised its benchmark interest rate half a percentage point last week, is expected to keep raising rates until it is confident that consumer prices are finally under control — something investors fear will result in an economic slump.
Rising prices: Annual inflation reached 8.5 percent in March, its fastest pace in over 40 years, with fuel and food driving prices higher. Economists expect that price gains will have slowed slightly when the data on the Consumer Price Index for April is released later in the week.
Another Marcos to lead the Philippines
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the former Philippines dictator, appeared sure to win the country’s presidential election last night, with more than double the number of votes of his closest rival, Leni Robredo. The margin of victory is likely to be the widest in a presidential race in the Philippines since Marcos’s father was ousted in 1986.
Since the 1990s, Marcos has been working to rehabilitate the family’s name and chart his own rise to political influence, winning key leadership roles at the state level before entering national politics as a senator in 2010. His vice president is likely to be Sara Duterte, the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte, the departing strongman leader, who remains largely popular.
In this election, Marcos won the support of millions of voters who have grown disillusioned with their country’s brand of democracy and failure to address the basic needs of its people. The result heralded a remarkable revival for a family once forced into exile and has raised profound questions about the future of Southeast Asia’s oldest democracy.
Predecessor: Marcos’s opponents fear that as president, he will deepen the culture of impunity enshrined by Rodrigo Duterte, who worked to enable a Marcos comeback. Marcos has said he would try to shield the former leader from international court proceedings.
THE LATEST NEWS
In sharp contrast to Beijing, which has doubled-down on its “zero Covid” aims, the government in Taiwan is shifting from a strategy of elimination to one of mitigation.
Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, has promised to resign if police decide that he, like Prime Minister Boris Johnson, broke coronavirus laws during the country’s lockdown last year.
A group of former heads of state and Nobel laureates have asked the U.S. to commit $5 billion to the global pandemic fight
Other Big Stories
Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned after months of protests over an economic crisis.
For the first time since 1963, Queen Elizabeth II will not preside over the opening of Britain’s Parliament.
A top U.N. official stepped down after The Times ran a story about unusual dealings in her department.
What Else Is Happening
In under four minutes of bidding, Andy Warhol’s 1964 silk-screen, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” sold for a record-breaking price of about $195 million to an unknown buyer at Christie’s in New York.
A species of bats buzzes like bees to scare off predators, the first known case of mammals mimicking insects for defense.
Catch up with the full list of nominees for the Tony Awards, which honor Broadway’s best work.
A Morning Read
In December, the photographer Noa Avishag Schnall set off on a 2,600-mile road trip along the Arabian coast, traveling from the Yemeni border to the Strait of Hormuz. Here’s what she saw.
Yuri Averbakh, a Russian chess grandmaster who was among the world’s best players for a decade, died on Saturday at 100.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Staying grounded in a frenetic world
Shunmyo Masuno is a Japanese monk and garden designer who recently published the book “Don’t Worry.” Masuno spoke to Dani Blum, a reporter for The Times, about how he finds peace amid the chaos of the day-to-day.
For Masuno, it all comes down to how you start your day. He wakes up early, he says — but not too early, which he describes as “a burden.” Around half an hour earlier than your usual wake-up time might be a great place to start. “The trick to feeling better all day and a sense of fulfillment is rising early,” he said.
Next, he takes 10 minutes to clean, designating a different area for each day — perhaps the kitchen on Monday or the hallway on Tuesday. By carving out that extra time for yourself, he said, you can check something off your to-do list right away. “You’ll feel good once you’ve done it — refreshed,” he said. That way, he added, you won’t need to undergo a more substantial cleaning over the weekend.
Finally, a morning meditation helps him ease into the demands of the day, including paying close attention to one’s breathing to promote “inner calm” and focus. As you inhale, picture the fresh air flowing into your lungs.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
This hearty mushroom and farro dish has a rich, earthy flavor.
What to Watch
The film “Reflection,” set against the backdrop of fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014, would be haunting even if it weren’t so timely.
What to Read
“Either/Or,” Elif Batuman’s new novel, “wins you over in a million micro-observations,” our critic writes.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and a clue: Crafty (three letters).
And here’s today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. The Times won multiple Pulitzer Prizes, including for our coverage of the failures of America’s air war across the Middle East. See the full list of winners.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about U.S. drone pilots.
You can reach Natasha and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.