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A vendor waits for customers in a small store that is lit with candles during a power outage in Odesa.

REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev

Hard Numbers: Odesa in darkness, Pan Am 103 arrest, Japan religious solicitation ban, Peruvian early vote

1.5 million: Over the weekend, Russian airstrikes with Iranian-made drones knocked out the power network in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, leaving 1.5 million people in darkness. Meanwhile, the US warned that defense ties between Moscow and Tehran are rapidly expanding into a full-blown military partnership.

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The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni leaves the sea port in Odesa after restarting grain export, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine.

REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev

Hard Numbers: Grain ship finally departs Odesa, EU cash to Ukraine, monkeypox spreads in Brazil, BoE mulls big rate hike

26,000: The first grain-filled ship to leave the Black Sea port of Odesa set sail on Monday. Carrying 26,000 metric tonnes of Ukrainian corn, the ship will first stop in Istanbul en route to Lebanon.

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Putin Improves His Hand In Ukraine | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Putin improves his hand in Ukraine

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, fresh back from Tokyo, not too jet-lagged. And I have your Quick Take to get a start for the week.

And yes, more on Ukraine and the Russian war. You've probably seen the latest news that Luhansk has fallen. The Donbas, which is now the focus of the Russian war, not the entire focus, but certainly the lion's share of. It is comprised of two different administrative regions, one Donetsk, the other Luhansk. The Ukrainians had been giving a pretty solid fight, but they've been losing territory pretty consistently if slowly, over the last month and a half. And this means that Luhansk is now fully under Russian control. It has been largely destroyed. The towns that exist there and the villages are in disastrous shape, many of them with over 80% of homes damaged beyond repair. And so life there is going to be absolutely horrific, but the Russians do have the territory.

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Snake Island (1856 painting)

Carlo Bossoli/CC license

Why the battle over Ukraine’s Snake Island matters for the world

One of the most important battles raging in the Russia-Ukraine war is over Snake Island, a tiny, craggy, uninhabited speck of land in the Black Sea, off the southwestern coast of Ukraine.

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