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    Russia-Ukraine war news: Black box recovered from plane believed to be carrying Prigozhin

    Part of a private jet that crashed in Russia’s Tver region was taken away on Friday. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

    Aviation experts interviewed by The Washington Post said that available evidence related to the crashed Embraer jet points away from a simple mechanical problem or human error. The plane crashed on Wednesday in Russia, killing all 10 people on board. Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, was on its passenger list and is presumed dead.

    The black box was recovered by the Russian Investigative Committee on Friday, the Russian state news agency Tass reported, as the investigation into the crash continues.

    Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

    Experts cautioned that it is too early to definitively say what could have led to the plane crash and that evidence remains limited. Early assessments by U.S. officials suggest the possibility of an onboard explosion, The Post reported.

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed that he had warned Prigozhin about a threat to his life if he continued his march to Moscow during a short-lived mutiny in June, according to state news agency BelTA. Lukashenko ultimately brokered a deal that ended the rebellion and allowed Wagner personnel to move to Belarus.

    The Kremlin dismissed speculation from Western analysts and officials that Prigozhin was likely assassinated on the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, without confirming Prigozhin’s death. “It’s all a lie,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, according to Tass. All the speculation in the West is “from a certain angle,” he added.

    President Biden said he was not surprised by Prigozhin’s presumed death, adding that he was not at liberty to speak about what brought down the plane. “We’re trying to nail down precisely, but I don’t have anything to say,” he told reporters Friday.

    Ukraine struck a brigade in Russia-occupied Crimea on Friday, Ukraine’s military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov claimed in a report in media outlet Liga.net. The attack was a joint operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Security Service of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian Pravda. The Post could not independently verify the claims.

    A pair of the U.S.-led coalition’s F-35 fighter jets in Syria approached a Russian Su-35 plane “dangerously” on Friday, Vadim Kulit, a Russian Defense Ministry official claimed, according to Tass. The incident occurred in the southern border of Syria in the al-Tanf area, he added.

    It could take between six and eight months for F-16 advanced fighter jets to be delivered to Ukraine, Defense Minister of Netherlands Kajsa Ollongren said in an interview to European Pravda. Several conditions have to be met, including pilot training and spare part supplies before the transfer can take place, she said.

    There is no alternative to the Black Sea Grain initiative, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said during a visit to Kyiv on Friday, Turkey’s state-owned TRT World reported. Alternative ways are being sought, but they contain risks and cannot replace the original plan, he said at a news conference alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

    Russia warned Moldova against its ongoing support to Ukraine on Friday, Tass reported, amid rising tensions between the two countries. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakhrova, said that doing so would destabilize the region.

    In Ukraine, some see drinking Aperol Spritz as supporting Russia: The popular cocktail Aperol Spritz, synonymous with summer in Europe, is the latest casualty of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, report Siobhán O’Grady and Kostiantyn Khudov. Many bars that once served the quintessential drink are now boycotting it, citing the decision of the brand’s owner, Italy-based Campari Group, to continue operating in Russia.

    “We had glasses with the Aperol name on them and we destroyed them or threw them in the trash,” said Pavlo Lavrykhin, 29, a bartender at Squat 17B, a hipster hangout tucked behind a residential building in central Kyiv.

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