Your Friday Briefing

Ukraine’s grueling — but promising — counteroffensive

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia is making gains, albeit at a high cost, Ukrainian and American officials said. But after initially retaking some small settlements and villages, Ukraine’s advances in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions are better measured in yards than miles, according to independent analysts.

The U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, acknowledged that Ukraine’s forces were meeting fierce resistance and suffering losses both in human casualties and in the Western tanks and other armored vehicles newly supplied to them. Those difficulties had been expected, they said.

“There is progress in all directions of the attack,” Hanna Malyar, a deputy Ukrainian defense minister, said late yesterday. Ukrainian forces heading south in the direction of Berdiansk and Mariupol — two key coastal cities long held by the Russians — had moved forward about a mile, she said.

On the ground: With each step forward, Ukraine’s soldiers become more exposed to Russian firepower, Andrew Kramer, our Kyiv bureau chief, reports from a village in the south recently retaken by Ukraine.

Aerial attacks: Russia has recently stepped up its missile and drone attacks on targets far from the front line, often civilian ones. Ukraine’s air defenses are able to shoot down most attacking munitions around Kyiv, but they are spread thin elsewhere.

In other news from the war:

NATO allies vowed to keep up their support for Ukraine indefinitely. Denmark and the Netherlands are organizing training for Ukrainian pilots to fly American-made F-16s.

The top U.N. nuclear official visited the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to assess its safety.

Curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are teaching military officers to save Ukraine’s art.

Report on Boris Johnson’s lockdown parties released

Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister, deliberately misled British lawmakers over lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, the House of Commons Privileges Committee has concluded. Here’s the 108-page document of its findings.

The report offered a damning verdict on Johnson’s honesty and integrity, concluding that he had committed “a serious contempt” of the House. “The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the prime minister, the most senior member of the government,” the committee said in the report, noting that there was no precedent for such an act.

Johnson resigned as a lawmaker last week, but if he hadn’t, the committee would have recommended a 90-day ban from Parliament. It also recommended that his parliamentary pass be revoked, preventing him from visiting Parliament.

Next steps: On Monday, members of Parliament will be asked to vote on whether to endorse the report. That could serve as a referendum on Johnson’s career, either revealing persistent divisions within the Conservative Party, if some Tories reject the findings, or ratifying his fall from grace. The government will not pressure members to vote one way or the other.

Analysis: Johnson and Donald Trump were both accused of breaking rules. The former U.S. president now faces federal criminal charges — but only Johnson is experiencing a loss of party support, writes Mark Landler, our London bureau chief.

9 charged after boat disaster in Greece

The authorities in Greece have detained nine Egyptian nationals on criminal charges in connection with a shipwreck in which at least 78 people are known to have died and 104 people were rescued. The search for survivors continues, though the prospects are slim and hundreds more are feared to be missing.

Photographs of the vessel, a fishing trawler, taken by a Greek Coast Guard helicopter showed it to be hugely overcrowded with people, none of whom appeared to be wearing life vests. Survivors have told Greek officials that as many as 500 people were aboard the vessel, according to a Shipping Ministry official.

The boat sank in one of the deepest spots of the Mediterranean, where the seabed is at a depth of 4,000 meters, or about 2.5 miles, complicating the search for survivors. Those rescued so far, all men, will be moved to a state camp in Malakasa, north of Athens, as soon as processing by coast guard officials is completed, according to the authorities.


Around the World

The European Central Bank raised interest rates to their highest level in more than two decades and warned that more rate increases could be coming.

Kenya is charging the survivors of a starvation cult with attempted suicide. Some are still refusing to eat.

Amid heightened U.S.-China tensions, Chinese brands like Shein are moving their operations and headquarters to places like Singapore and Ireland.

North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, its first missile test in two months, as the U.S. and South Korean militaries conducted a joint live-fire exercise.

From the U.S.

Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of sharing U.S. intelligence online, was indicted on charges of mishandling secrets.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law that gives Native American tribes priority over non-Native families in the adoption of Native children.

Another round of eastward winds is pushing Canadian wildfire smoke toward the East Coast.

Jurors have begun their deliberations in the federal trial of the man charged with killing 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. He faces the possibility of a death sentence if convicted.

The Week in Culture

Ticketing giants, under pressure from the White House, said that they would show customers the full cost of concerts, including fees.

Berlin’s state prosecutor has begun an investigation into accusations that Till Lindemann, of the German rock band Rammstein, drugged and sexually assaulted women.

A new series reunites the characters and writer of the British film “The Full Monty,” 25 years later and in another age of austerity.

Wes Anderson’s new film, “Asteroid City,” is comic and wry with the soul of a tragedy, our critic writes.

Did Beyoncé contribute to inflation in Sweden?

A Morning Read

A Picasso painting that went missing in 1969 suddenly turned up at a museum’s doorstep with a mysterious handwritten note. Now the story of its return has been revealed for the first time.

Lives Lived

The British actress Glenda Jackson, who won two Oscars and became a member of Parliament, has died at 87.


Resilient Eze deserves his England bow: On the eve of his potential full international debut, we explore the testing journey Eberechi Eze has faced in order to reach this point.

How Premier League club’s attendances compare historically: A deep dive into the data around match-going soccer supporters throughout the years.

The world’s most rapidly improved soccer striker: As part of our summer series profiling 50 exciting players under the age of 25, we take a closer look at Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.


Test cricket’s last stand

The 73rd edition of the Ashes, the famed Australia-England cricket series that was first played in 1882, will begin today in Edgbaston, a suburb of Birmingham, England. Tickets for the first four days of all five Tests are sold out.

Ashes series consist of five so-called Test matches, each of which lasts for up to five days; the series is won by the team that wins more of these games. Because of its interwoven challenge of skill and endurance, Test cricket has long been considered the highest level, and perhaps the purest form, of the sport.

But most of the world doesn’t seem to have time for it anymore. South Africa will not play a Test series of more than two matches until 2026. The West Indies will play only one in the next four years. And even Australia will play only the five Ashes Tests this year.


What to Cook

Sunday is Father’s Day. These pancakes are a great brunch option.


Spend 36 hours in Bath, England.

What to Watch

“Blue Jean,” about a closeted lesbian teacher in Britain in the 1980s, is a Times critic’s pick.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Make noise in one’s sleep (five letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a wonderful weekend. — Natasha

P.S. Judson Jones, a member of The Times’s Weather Data team, wrote about tracking global weather patterns.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about a merger in professional golf.

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

Natasha Frost writes the Europe Morning Briefing and reports on Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific from Melbourne, Australia. @natashamfrost

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