American WNBA star Brittney Griner is standing trial in Moscow on charges that she carried vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage at a Russian airport in February, a week before the invasion of Ukraine. The court barred media from covering the trial as it began Friday. U.S. officials and experts on Russia’s legal system expect the proceedings to be a show trial, with a guilty verdict all but certain.
In Ukraine’s Odessa region, a Russian strike killed at least 20 people and injured 38 at an apartment building and a recreation center, Kyiv said Friday. While the Kremlin denied hitting civilians, Ukrainian officials said at least one child was killed and others wounded. Rescuers were still searching for victims under the rubble.
Ukrainian forces, while outgunned, have retaken Snake Island in the Black Sea in a small, strategic win. But Russia pressed its offensive on the eastern city of Lysychansk, with “partial success” trying to seize the city’s oil refinery, according to the regional governor. Footage from Russian state media appeared to show some fighters inside the plant, one of Ukraine’s largest.
General assignment reporter
In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lauded the departure of Russians from Snake Island, saying it demonstrates Ukraine’s ability to thwart its enemies.“Undoubtedly, the main word today is Zmiinyi,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian name for the Black Sea island. “There was just as much talk about Zmiinyi only on the day when the Russian ship arrived there. Then the ship left — forever, and now the island is free again.”