In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin has canceled his annual end-of-the-year press conference for the first time in a decade amid rising domestic criticism over his handling of the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Viktor Bout, the former Soviet military officer who became known as the “Merchant of Death” for trafficking arms to dictators, has joined the pro-Kremlin ultranationalist LDPR party.
Bout was released from a U.S. prison last week in exchange for WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner. Griner has not spoken publicly since her return, but her agent said she’s doing well and was able to play basketball on Sunday for the first time in nearly 10 months. Her first act on the court was reportedly a slam dunk.