A handout picture of Russian volunteers fighting on behalf of Ukraine.
Credit...Russian Volunteer Corps/Via Reuters

Fighting raged for a second day in southern Russia as a pro-Ukrainian group of fighters carried out more attacks in the region of Belgorod, near Ukraine’s border. An explosion was reported at a defense factory, and skirmishes reportedly broke out at a crossing.

It was the most dramatic instance to date of bringing the war into Russian territory.

The Free Russia Legion, a group of Russians who have taken up arms for Ukraine, has claimed responsibility for the incursion. A member of the group said that while Kyiv’s forces were aware of the attack, they did not direct it.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said yesterday that it had pushed all of the pro-Ukrainian militants back across the border, but the claim could not be verified. People representing the pro-Ukrainian fighters maintained that the attacks were ongoing.

The rare cross-border assault began on Monday, according to local officials. Soldiers and armored vehicles, including some bearing Ukrainian markings, were seen in videos posted online from Belgorod and verified by The Times.

The Russian governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said the region had been shelled 15 times yesterday morning and later added that one civilian had been killed.

Competing narratives: Both Kyiv and Moscow tried to cast the attacks in terms that worked to their advantage. Kremlin officials blamed “Ukrainian militants,” for the attacks, while Ukraine called them a sign of internal division in Russia. A deputy Ukrainian defense minister described the attackers as “Russian patriots” rebelling against President Vladimir Putin’s government.

Other developments:


Credit...Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Australia mines about 53 percent of the world’s lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power cellphones and electric cars. Virtually all of it is sold to China.

The government and businesses in Australia want to break the world’s dependence on China for processing the material, but they face daunting challenges.

China has an enormous lead, with years of experience and hundreds of lithium refining plants. Australia’s more rigorous workplace standards will also make it harder to compete with China on price, analysts said.

Pilbara Minerals, Australia’s largest independent lithium miner, is working with Calix, an Australian tech company, on a refinery project. The two companies are expected to make a final decision by the end of the year on building a demonstration plant.

The future: A government report last year forecast that 20 percent of global lithium refining could take place in Australia by 2027. In some cases, officials have set even loftier goals.


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The U.S. surgeon general issued a public advisory yesterday, calling on policymakers, tech companies and parents to help safeguard children and adolescents from the dangers that social media poses to their mental health and well-being.

While the risks are still not fully understood, the report noted, social media brims with potentially “harmful content” that “normalizes” self-harming and other destructive behavior. Cyberbullying is rampant. And the rise in social media use has coincided with declines in exercise, sleep and other activities considered vital to the developing brain.

We asked experts for some ways to help teens navigate social media.


Credit...Rick Rycroft/Associated Press


Credit...Maheen S, via Associated Press


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Masato Yoshii, the rookie manager for the Chiba Lotte Marines, believes that as the N.P.B. adopts a more laid-back American approach, the league has gravitated toward managers who are used to it.

Bulgaria has something big to celebrate: “Time Shelter,” a nostalgic satire written by Georgi Gospodinov and translated into English by Angela Rodel, is its first novel to win the prestigious award.

The novel centers on a psychiatrist who creates a clinic to help people with Alzheimer’s disease. The clinic includes spaces that recreate past eras in intricate detail to help patients retain their memories. The treatment is so successful that the idea is taken up far beyond the hospital’s walls.

Leïla Slimani, the chairwoman of the judging panel, called it “a great novel about Europe, a continent in need of a future, where the past is reinvented and nostalgia is a poison.”

This year’s six nominees included Cheon Myeong-kwan’s “Whale,” translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim. The International Booker Prize is separate from the better-known Booker Prize, which is awarded to a novel originally written in English.

“So many book lovers only stick to American and British fiction — books originally written in English,” our colleague Alex Marshall, who covers European culture, said. “A prize and winner like this can really open you to entirely new literary styles and histories from places you wouldn’t have considered.”


Credit...Armando Rafael for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Justin Porter is an editor on the Briefings newsletter team at The Times.

Amelia Nierenberg writes the Asia Pacific Morning Briefing for The Times. @AJNierenberg

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