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- The Kremlin reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in good health, denying rumors that the leader was unwell after an overseas trip was canceled, Al Jazeera reported. Throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, Putin’s health has been in the limelight, with some Western media sites speculating that he has cancer or Parkinson’s disease. However, CIA Director William Burns said that there was no evidence to back up these claims.
- The chief of Britain’s foreign intelligence service suggested that Russia has lost its ability to spy in Europe “by half,” following the expulsion of more than 400 Russian intelligence officers from cities across the continent and the arrest of a number of deep-cover spies posing as civilians, CNN wrote.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the new EU penalties targeting Russian gold, a large bank, a nationalist motorcycle organization known as the Nightwolves, and performers who support Vladimir Putin as inadequate, according to the Guardian. Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised the EU’s seventh wave of economic penalties on Thursday as a “powerful signal.”