The Sunday Subject – June 25, 2023

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group, halted his troops’ open revolt.

In an agreement brokered by Belarus dictator and Putin ally Aleksandr Lukashenko, Prigozhin halted his mercenary troops’ march on Moscow and seizure of the Southern Military District headquarters in Rostov-on-Don. The Kremlin, in turn, dropped charges against Prigozhin, reporting that his fighters would escape repercussions and he would go to Belarus. For nearly 24 hours Prigozhin led an armed uprising ostensibly against Russia’s military leadership, criticizing its handling of the war in Ukraine. While Prigozhin avoided directly criticizing Putin, he did describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “racket” perpetrated by a corrupt elite chasing money and vainglory, thus challenging the Kremlin’s official narrative and rationale for the invasion. Prigozhin’s uprising and potential coup attempt may have been the biggest challenge to Putin’s rule in its 23-year history.

A tourist submersible carrying five passengers to the Titanic wreckage site most likely imploded and instantly killed everyone on board.

After extensive search, the U.S. Coast Guard announced debris from the submersible was found on the ocean floor near the Titanic wreckage. Experts had long cautioned that the subpar yet cheaper hull used in OceanGate’s tourist submersible could implode under the intense pressure of the extreme depths of the shipwreck site, though the company’s CEO repeatedly ignored safety warnings.

In a deal reached with the Justice Department, Hunter Biden pleaded guilty to failing to pay income tax.

According to a court filing, Hunter Biden has agreed to probation, with his lawyer releasing a statement calling the investigation “resolved.” He will also be charged for lying about his drug use on a gun-purchase form in 2018, though an agreement has been reached that will avoid him being prosecuted. Republicans accused the Justice Department of political bias in what they claim as lenient handling of President Biden’s son.

America and India signed several defense and technology deals, with President Biden and Prime Minister Narenda Modi hailing a new era in bilateral relations.

America has sought to deepen ties with India on defense and technology to counteract China’s rise. While India is not a U.S. ally and still depends on Russia for oil and weapons, Biden described the two countries as “great friends and…great powers” at a state dinner hosted for Modi.