Vladimir Putin has apparently survived the boldest challenge to his 23-year autocratic rule in Russia.
The Russian mercenaries who appeared to be mounting a coup attempt stopped their advance on Moscow, and Putin’s government announced that their leader — Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, a private military company — would flee to Belarus in exchange for amnesty. The Wagner troops who participated in the uprising would also receive amnesty, and other Wagner troops would be given the option of joining the Russian military or demobilizing, a Kremlin spokesman said.
The deal defused a crisis that seemed to verge on civil war over the past two days, and it appeared to be a major short-term victory for Putin. Notably, many Russian political leaders both in Moscow and in regional governments had proclaimed their loyalty to him since Prigozhin intensified his criticism of the Ukraine invasion this weekend and went so far as to take over a Russian military headquarters in the city of Rostov-on-Don. His troops advanced hundreds of miles toward Moscow before turning around, as this map shows:
Prigozhin’s actions were a shocking rebellion — and the absence of punishment for him seemed to be a potential sign of weakness for Putin. He evidently lacks the military strength or political consensus to arrest somebody who started an armed mutiny against him.
The Wall Street Journal described this weekend’s events as the gravest threat to Putin’s rule since he took over in 2000. Prigozhin “openly says what a lot of other people are thinking,” Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who has served in the U.S. government, told The Journal.
The Economist magazine wrote: “Putin has shown he can no longer maintain order among his warlords. He has been greatly weakened by the challenge — and in his world weakness tends to lead to further instability.”
And my colleague Peter Baker wrote that the uprising “suggested that Mr. Putin’s hold on power is more tenuous than at any time since he took office more than two decades ago.” Another Times story simply said, “Russians on Sunday confronted a changed country.”
In the rest of today’s newsletter, we’ll give you more of the latest details and analysis from The Times’s reporting.
A programming note: I’ll be off this week, and my colleagues will be writing the newsletter. — David
Two friends in Oklahoma planned to go to rehab but needed fentanyl in the meantime. One overdosed; the other is on trial for his death.
Three San Antonio officers face murder charges after the police there shot a 46-year-old woman to death in her home.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s multimillion-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify led to more cancellations and rejections than produced shows, The Journal reports.
At least seven freight cars fell into the Yellowstone River after a train derailed and a bridge collapsed in Montana.
Conservatives view sex and birth control as individual choices, but ones that come with individual responsibility for the consequences, Hadley Heath Manning argues.
The 2018 Tree of Life massacre that killed 11 people also deprived the synagogue of reliable members of a minyan — the quorum of 10 Jews necessary for religious observance, Mark Oppenheimer writes.
Here are columns by Charles Blow on coming out and Lydia Polgreen on the conflict in South Sudan.
The Sunday question: Is India committed to democratic values?
The Indian government’s harassment of critics, restrictions on entry and exit and other steps show that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is intent on hobbling democracy, Maya Jasanoff writes in Times Opinion. But India’s Constitution “remains strong, and its Supreme Court shows signs of willingness” to stand up to the government, Ricken Patel writes in The Los Angeles Times.
Padam: Why Kylie Minogue’s latest single is all over Pride Month playlists.
Vows: They saw each other at the gym, but remained aloof for months before finally going on a lunch date.
Scam or not? The science behind supplements for focus is lacking.
Lives Lived: H. Lee Sarokin, a federal judge in Newark, freed the boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter from prison, overturning a murder conviction that the judge said had been based on “an appeal to racism rather than reason.” Sarokin died at 94.
TALK | FROM THE TIMES MAGAZINE
I spoke recently with the sex therapist Emily Morse, host of the popular “Sex With Emily” podcast, about why nontraditional sexual arrangements seem to be on many couples’ radar.
Why do you think people are curious about nonmonogamy these days?
Thirty or 40 years ago, there weren’t a whole lot of people talking about mental health and wellness. Now that’s part of the conversation.
That’s been a big switch, and when couples get into their feelings and emotional intelligence, they’re realizing: We can love each other and be together but also figure out new ways to negotiate our sexuality. We can create a relationship on our terms that works for us.
A term I hear a lot now is “ethical nonmonogamy.” My sense is that in some couples, one half feels like things have to open up or the relationship isn’t going to last. But in that situation, how ethical is the ethical nonmonogamy?
That’s coercion. That’s manipulation. If you say to your partner, “We have to open up or I’m leaving you” — I don’t feel great about the future of those couples.
I can say that there usually is one partner who starts the nonmonogamy conversation. They might say, “I’ve been thinking about it and our friends are doing it and what would you think about being open?” They’ll talk about how they would navigate and negotiate it.
For nonmonogamy to work, you need to be self-aware and have self-knowledge about your sexual desires and do some work. To do it to spice up your relationship is not the reason to do it. Do it because you’re open and curious and understand that your desire for pleasure extends beyond your relationship.
Read the rest of our interview from last Sunday’s Times magazine.
More from the magazine
Reading in crisis: Book bans, A.I. and teaching standards are changing what it means to read.
Our editors’ picks: S.A. Cosby’s “All the Sinners Bleed,” which sets a serial killer loose in a small Southern town, and eight other books.
Times best sellers: A collection of photographs that Paul McCartney took during the rise of the Beatles, titled “1964,” is a new hardcover nonfiction best seller.
THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …
THE WEEK AHEAD
What to Watch For
Guatemala and Greece hold elections today.
The Supreme Court will issue rulings on Tuesday and likely other days this week. Major opinions are expected on college admissions, student loans and other issues.
Walt Nauta, the aide charged alongside Trump in his classified documents case, will be arraigned on Tuesday.
The Screen Actors Guild could go on strike if no deal is reached by midnight Friday.
The Tour de France, cycling’s premier annual race, begins on Saturday.
What to Cook This Week
Risotto is the star of Emily Weinstein’s Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter this week. She recommends Kay Chun’s laid-back version, which takes whatever mix-ins you throw at it and is a favorite among picky kids. Gingery meatballs in tomato sauce work with any kind of ground meat.