When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
In The News

Sealing Off Last Mariupol Bastion, Haiti Plane Crash, Barbie Queen

Volodymyr Zelensky talking to Charles Michel in Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with EU President Charles Michel during a surprise visit to Kyiv on Wednesday intended to show EU solidarity with Ukraine over Russia's invasion

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Kuzungpo la!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Putin changes his mind on Mariupol strategy, Rust producers are slapped with a maximum fine over Alec Baldwin shooting accident and the Queen gets her own Barbie doll. Meanwhile, we focus on how French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s pro-Russian stance may play out in Sunday’s decisive round of voting.

To keep up with latest developments of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, we’d also like to introduce our new daily War In Ukraine update, including local coverage and international analysis of the conflict.

[*Dzongha - Bhutan]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Putin’s Azovstal surprise: While most had been awaiting an imminent Russia assault on the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, Russia President Vladimir Putin made the surprise announcement Thursday that his military would hold off on attacking the facility. Speaking on TV with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Russian president said the army would instead seal off the industrial port area “so that not even a fly can escape.”

• Russia flexes nuclear-capable missile, Washington downplays test: The Russian military has celebrated the successful test of its Sarmat inter-continental ballistic missile. Russian President Putin stated that this nuclear-capable missile will make countries think twice before threatening Russia, while Washington downplayed the launch as a “routine test.”

— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 57

Australia will not oppose Assange’s extradition: After a UK court allowed the extradition of Australian activist Julian Assange to the United States on Wednesday, the Australian Government said it trusts the British justice system. The decision is now in the hands of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, although Assange can choose to appeal.

• Macron-Le Pen debate gets heated: As the French presidential race comes to a close, President Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen faced each other in a debate on national television. They traded barbs on the economy, immigration, Le Pen’s links with Russia, and Macron’s first term. French voters will cast their ballots this Sunday for the second round of the election.

• Fatal plane crash in Haiti: A small commercial plane crashed on a busy street in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least six people and injuring many. Officials said the plane suffered engine failure on its way to Jacmel, shortly after its departure from the capital city’s airport.

• Delta & Omicron infections within 20 days: A 31-year-old Spanish healthcare worker was infected twice with COVID-19 within a record 20 days. She first caught the Delta variant in late December, and then the more contagious Omicron in early January, the shortest span between infections.

• Queen gets a Barbie doll for her birthday: As Queen Elizabeth II turns 96 today, Mattel releases a Barbie doll representing the Queen to mark her 70 years on the throne (Platinum Jubilee), the longest reign in British history.


“Still not up to the challenge” titles Libération on its front page, underlining far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s apparent lack of command on the topics du jour as she faced off last night with incumbent President Emmanuel Macron (whom the French daily described as “often arrogant”) in a televised debate..



The state of New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has the production company behind the movie Rust with a maximum fine of $136,793 for “willful and serious” violations of workplace safety procedures. In October, U.S. actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot dead cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza with an on-set gun.


Marine Le Pen’s Russian ties: What to know before France's presidential election

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who is within striking distance from incumbent Emmanuel Macron ahead of Sunday’s election, has been forced to answer questions about her pro-Russia stance that dates back at least a decade.

🤝 Le Pen has repeatedly expressed warm support for Russian President Putin in the past. Back in 2011, Marine Le Pen expressed her admiration for Putin in Russian daily Kommersant, praising “his vision of the world.” She officially met him for the first time on April 24, 2017, where they were photographed shaking hands and smiling, just ahead of the French presidential elections. Their meeting raised suspicions about Russian support for European and U.S. far-right parties, despite Putin’s insistence he did not interfere with foreign elections.

💰 In 2014, as the Front National (the former name of Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party) needed funds to finance her presidential campaign, it secured a loan worth $9 million from the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCBR), a bank linked to the Kremlin. At the time, Le Pen defended the loan, saying that French banks had refused to lend money to her party because of its fascist past.

❓ At the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Le Pen was forced to answer questions about her past support of Putin. She quickly condemned the invasion, saying “Vladimir Putin was wrong, he crossed the line.” She tried to distance herself from her past ties with the Russian president, claiming he “has changed,” though she “does not regret” her previous positions.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


There comes a time when silence is betrayal.

— Ukrainian tennis player Elina Monfils (née Svitolina) released a statement in the wake of Wimbledon organizers’ decision to ban Russian players from competing in the Grand Slam event. "We don't want them banned completely," she told BBC Radio 5, but added that "If players don't speak out against the Russian government then it is the right thing to ban them.”

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

Let us know what’s happening in your corner of the world!


You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Vulnerable Are The Russians In Crimea?

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on the occupied Crimean peninsula, and Russia is doing all within its power to deny how vulnerable it has become.

Photograph of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with smoke rising above it after a Ukrainian missile strike.

September 22, 2023, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia: Smoke rises over the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters after a Ukrainian missile strike.

Kyrylo Danylchenko

This article was updated Sept. 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Russian authorities are making a concerted effort to downplay and even deny the recent missile strikes in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Media coverage in Russia of these events has been intentionally subdued, with top military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov offering no response to an attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, or the alleged downing last week of Russian Su-24 aircraft by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The response from this and other strikes on the Crimean peninsula and surrounding waters of the Black Sea has alternated between complete silence and propagating falsehoods. One notable example of the latter was the claim that the Russian headquarters building of the Black Sea fleet that was hit Friday was empty and that the multiple explosions were mere routine training exercises.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that the attack killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. "After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored," the Ukrainian special forces said via Telegram.

But Sokolov was seen on state television on Tuesday, just one day after Ukraine claimed he'd been killed. The Russian Defense Ministry released footage of the admiral partaking in a video conference with top admirals and chiefs, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, though there was no verification of the date of the event.

Moscow has been similarly obtuse following other reports of missiles strikes this month on Crimea. Russian authorities have declared that all missiles have been intercepted by a submarine and a structure called "VDK Minsk", which itself was severely damaged following a Ukrainian airstrike on Sept. 13. The Russians likewise dismissed reports of a fire at the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, attributing it to a mundane explosion caused by swamp gas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the military situation in Crimea and elsewhere, continuing to repeat that everything is “proceeding as planned.”

Why is Crimea such a touchy topic? And why is it proving to be so hard to defend?

Keep reading...Show less

The latest