WASHINGTON — Russia is struggling to attract recruits for its army amid its setbacks in Ukraine, while the United States is open to potentially sending Western tanks to Kyiv, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday.
“The Russians are performing so poorly that the news from Kharkiv Province has inspired many Russian volunteers to refuse combat,” the official said, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the status of Russia’s war in Ukraine, adding that the leader of the Wagner Group, a private military company with ties to the Kremlin, had been seen in videos posted on social media asking Russian prisoners, Tajiks, Belarusians and Armenians to join the fight in Ukraine.
“We believe this is part of Wagner’s campaign to recruit over 1,500 convicted felons,” the official said. “But many are refusing.”
Last week, a video posted online and analyzed by The New York Times showed the Wagner Group promising convicts that they would be released from prison in return for a six-month combat tour in Ukraine. It is unclear when the video was filmed.
The official added that Russia was failing in its own strategic objectives, noting that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia reiterated last week that the “main goal” of his invasion was limited to capturing the Donbas — the eastern Ukrainian region where Russia has recognized as independent two Kremlin-backed statelets but where Ukraine still controls several key cities and towns. And, at a regional summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, Mr. Putin said Russia was committed to its “special military operation,” despite Russian losses in the northeast and Ukraine’s offensive in the south, near the port city of Kherson.
Furthermore, Ukrainian forces now control all of their territory west of the Oskil River in eastern Ukraine, the official said, and have liberated more than 300 settlements in Kharkiv Province.
With Ukrainian troops continuing to take back territory from Russian forces, and the war nearly seven months old, the Pentagon is discussing how best to support Kyiv for a long-term war. Part of that, the official said, includes transitioning Ukraine away from their Soviet-era weaponry and replacing them with those used by NATO and other Western militaries.
While the United States and other nations have provided Ukraine with Soviet-era tanks, the Pentagon signaled an openness to transferring Western main battle tanks to Kyiv as well.
“Armor is a really important capability area for the Ukrainians,” the official said. “We recognize that there will be a day when they may want to transition — and may need to transition — to NATO-compatible models.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked Western allies for more equipment and ammunition, saying the counteroffensive underway is dependent on getting more. He alluded to the need to speed up aid deliveries in his nightly address on Monday.
“Pace is very important now,” Mr. Zelensky said. “We speak about this honestly. The pace of providing aid to Ukraine should correspond to the pace of our movement.”
And despite its problems with manpower and organization, Russia still has a significant advantage over Ukraine in supplies and ammunition.
“Tanks are absolutely on the table along with other areas,” said the American defense official. “We’re looking at the entirety of the Ukrainian armed forces and considering for the future what capabilities they will need and how the U.S. and our allies will be able to support Ukraine in building out those capabilities.”
“In terms of the immediate fight, the tanks that are available that could be provided very quickly with little to no training are Soviet-type tanks, but we are certainly open to other options provided that the training, maintenance and the sustainment can be taken care of.”
Most of the 146 bodies exhumed so far in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Izium were civilians, and some of the bodies showed signs of torture, the leader of the regional military administration, Oleh Synyehubov, said Monday.
“Some of the dead have signs of violent death. There are bodies with tied hands and traces of torture,” Mr. Synyehubov wrote in a post on Telegram. Others had stab wounds or injuries from mine explosions and shrapnel, and two of the bodies belonged to children, he added.
Izium’s mayor, Valery Marchenko, has said that he expected it will take another two weeks to exhume all of the bodies from several mass grave sites in Izium that were discovered after Russian forces retreated in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. The largest of burial site contained about 440 individual graves, a discovery that cast a renewed spotlight on potential war crimes committed during Russia’s six-month occupation of the city.
Investigators say the discoveries recall the broad evidence of atrocities by Russian soldiers in towns like Bucha, near Kyiv, but each body must be forensically examined to determine the cause of death.
Russia’s battering of civilian targets including theaters, hospitals and apartment buildings has prompted months of international condemnation. Some attacks have been indiscriminate because of older, imprecise weaponry, while others have been targeted atrocities, like the killings in Bucha. Last month, the United Nations reported that it had confirmed the deaths of 5,587 Ukrainian civilians, though the true number is thought to be in the tens of thousands.
Russia has often denied responsibility or blamed Ukraine for civilian deaths. On Monday, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed proxy leader in Kherson, accused Ukraine of killing 13 civilians in targeted shelling in the eastern Donetsk region. The claim could not be independently verified.
Ukrainian officials denied the allegation, saying Moscow was terrorizing civilians in occupied territory to direct attention away from the investigations in Izium before this week’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
“The occupiers have already repeatedly used such a pattern to divert attention from their own crimes,” Ukraine’s national security and defense council said in a Telegram post.
KYIV, Ukraine — A powerful Russian missile exploded less than 900 feet from the reactors at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant just after midnight on Monday, Ukrainian officials said, narrowly avoiding a possible nuclear calamity and underscoring the threat posed by the Kremlin’s assaults on critical infrastructure across Ukraine.
There was no damage to essential safety equipment at the nuclear power plant, which remained fully operational, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy company, Energoatom, said. No casualties were immediately reported.
But the explosion caused extensive damage around a hydroelectric power station in the industrial zone that surrounds the nuclear complex. It forced the shutdown of one of the plant’s hydraulic units and caused partial power outages in the area.
Petro Kotin, the head of Energoatom, told Ukrainian national television that while the heavily fortified concrete buildings that house nuclear reactors are built to withstand a plane crash, the blast from Monday’s strike was powerful enough to have damaged the containment structures had the missile struck closer.
“There is no other way to characterize this except for nuclear terrorism,” he said.
The extent of the damage was still being investigated, officials said, as was the type of missile used. Preliminary information pointed to an Iskander cruise missile, Ukraine’s southern military command said in a statement.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said in a statement that the strike had caused a brief disconnection of three power lines at the nuclear plant but that they were automatically reconnected. All of the plant’s reactors were now operating normally, he added, but warned: “A few hundred meters and we would have woken up in a completely different reality.”
The South Ukraine plant, Ukraine’s second-largest functioning nuclear power station, is some 300 miles west of the larger Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is occupied by Russian forces and has come under repeated shelling.
Energoatom said on Monday that “the Russian army launched a missile attack on the industrial zone of the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant” at 12:20 a.m., causing “a powerful explosion” whose shock wave blew out more than 100 windows at the nuclear plant. The company released security camera footage that showed a massive fireball lighting up the night sky over the site.
The nuclear plant, near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in the Mykolaiv region, is part of the South Ukrainian Energy Complex, which includes the hydroelectric plant and one other power station. It lies more than 100 miles north of the city of Mykolaiv and far from any frontline fighting.
Anastasia Kuznietsova contributed reporting.
KYIV, Ukraine — A missile strike on Monday near the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant has rekindled concerns about the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities as Russia steps up attacks aimed at degrading critical energy infrastructure.
Before the war, 15 working reactors at four nuclear power plants produced more than half of Ukraine’s electricity, the second highest share among European nations after France.
The situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — which has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war but is operated by Ukrainian engineers — appears to have stabilized in recent days after the plant resumed receiving electricity from the country’s power grid on Friday. But its reactors have all been shut down as a safety measure after Energoatom determined that it was too risky to keep them running as fighting continued nearby.
The Zaporizhzhia plant, when it was fully operational, supplied about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity.
Russia’s assaults on Ukraine’s power infrastructure have continued as its campaign on the battlefield falters. After its forces were driven out of northeastern Ukraine just over a week ago, the Kremlin launched missile strikes on a major heat and power plant in Kharkiv, briefly plunging the region into blackout.
Ukrainian officials have said they can still produce enough energy to meet the nation’s needs this winter, but damage to critical infrastructure in towns and cities will make it difficult to transmit electricity to hundreds of thousands of consumers.
Those living in territory recently reclaimed by Ukrainian forces, and in other parts of the country hit hard by fighting, have been urged to evacuate or not to return home until the fighting is over. And for the estimated 1.2 million people living in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russian forces, access to electricity is unclear. In some places, heating, water and power infrastructure have been destroyed or badly damaged. Blackouts are frequently reported in parts of occupied southern Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s strikes on energy infrastructure were intended to make Ukrainians suffer as temperatures drop, and to prevent Kyiv from exporting energy to other parts of Europe, where sanctions against Russian energy have contributed to soaring gas and electricity bills, creating havoc for consumers and businesses.
“Russia is trying to prevent us from using Ukraine’s capabilities to stabilize the situation in Europe,” he said last week. “Our ability to export electricity is something that Russia is very afraid of right now. Because we can foil Russian plans to squeeze every penny out of ordinary European citizens this winter as energy prices are expected to skyrocket.”
Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military’s intelligence agency, said recently that nuclear power was essential to Ukraine’s energy production, and that Russia would therefore be planning further attacks, raising the risk of nuclear accidents.
“The Russian invaders consistently and systematically shell the whole energy infrastructure of Ukraine, and this definitely may eventually involve other nuclear facilities, other nuclear power plants,” he said.
Senior officials from Russia and China have agreed to carry out more joint military exercises and enhance defense cooperation, according to statements on Monday, signaling that whatever misgivings Beijing may have over the war in Ukraine, the nations’ strategic partnership was only growing closer.
Nikolai P. Patrushev, the leader of Russia’s Security Council, and China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, held a meeting in southeastern Fujian Province where they agreed to conduct more joint military drills and patrols and to strengthen coordination between their countries’ defense officials, according to the Russian agency’s statement.
“The two countries continue to deepen strategic coordination, always firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a summary of the meeting.
The visit came days after President Vladimir V. Putin met in Uzbekistan with Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, and acknowledged afterward that China had “questions and concerns” about the situation in Ukraine. That cryptic admission prompted some analysts to conclude that despite public pronouncements that the nations’ friendship had “no limits,” Mr. Xi’s support for Mr. Putin was not unconditional.
Though Mr. Xi did not publicly refer to the situation in Ukraine during the meeting in Uzbekistan, he said that China was “willing to work with Russia to demonstrate the responsibility of a major country, play a leading role and inject stability into a turbulent world,” according to a Chinese government statement. Some experts said the statement sounded like a rebuke to Moscow for creating instability with its invasion.
Neither side pointed to any such differences following the meeting between top officials on Monday.
Mr. Yang emphasized the relationship between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin, adding, “The leadership of the heads of state is the fundamental guarantee for the stability and long-term vitality of bilateral relations.”
Speaking in Fujian, Mr. Patrushev said, “The cooperation between Russia and China in the security field has deep historic roots.”
“In the current conditions, our countries must express an even better readiness for mutual support and development of cooperation,” said Mr. Patrushev, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency. Mr. Patrushev also met with Wang Xiaohong, a senior Chinese security official.
Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has complicated China’s balancing act between Russia and the West. China has provided a lifeline to Russia, largely mitigating the effect of Western sanctions that have curtailed Russia’s energy exports and halted its industrial cooperation with developed countries.
This year, trade between Russia and China has increased by more than a quarter, and China agreed to work on a major gas pipeline project via Mongolia that could offset Russia’s cutoff from the European energy market.
At the same time, however, China has been careful not to run afoul of its Western trading partners. It has not shipped weapons to Russia, which has instead turned to suppliers including Iran and North Korea, according to U.S. officials, and it has done little to help Moscow circumvent sanctions that prevent it from importing advanced Western technology.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said that Russian and Chinese officials would coordinate closely at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week.
Ukraine’s military said on Sunday that its forces had crossed the Oskil River, which has emerged as the new front line in the northeast after the recent rout of Russian forces from the Kharkiv region.
Since withdrawing from Kharkiv amid a lightning Ukrainian offensive this month, Russian forces have established a new defensive line along the Oskil, which flows south toward the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Last week, Russia’s Defense Ministry released a map that showed Russian forces had withdrawn to the eastern side of the river, about 10 miles east of the city of Izium.
On Sunday, Ukraine’s military posted a video that it said showed its forces crossing to the eastern bank.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine crossed Oskil,” the Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Department wrote in a post on Telegram, a messaging app. The post appeared to claim that Ukrainian forces hold both sides of the river, adding: “Since yesterday, Ukraine also controls the left bank.”
It did not provide further details on where the crossing took place, and the claim was impossible to independently verify.
Over the weekend, the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research organization, said that Ukrainian forces appeared to be expanding positions east of the Oskil.
Rivers have often proved formidable defensive barriers since Russia’s invasion began in February. For Russia, the Oskil represents the last natural barrier before the border with Donetsk Province. Beyond that lies the Luhansk region, which Moscow’s forces have fully controlled since bloody battles over the summer.
If Ukrainian forces were to establish control of part of the eastern bank, it would suggest that Russian forces were not using the river as a defensive line, and that there might be little in the way to block Ukraine’s military from advancing into Donetsk and Luhansk, which are collectively known as Donbas. The complete capture of Donbas is a major strategic objective of President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion.
Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting.
— Cassandra Vinograd
A court in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine on Monday sentenced two Ukrainian staff members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to 13 years in prison on treason charges, a move the regional security organization castigated as “inhumane and repugnant.”
The workers “have been held unjustifiably for more than five months in unknown conditions for nothing but pure political theater,” the O.S.C.E. chairman, Zbigniew Rau, who is also Poland’s foreign minister, said in a statement.
Helga Maria Schmid, the O.S.C.E. secretary general, called for the immediate release of the staff members, Dmytro Shabanov and Maxim Petrov, along with a third unnamed staff member she said had been detained. The O.S.C.E. said all three are Ukrainian nationals.
The O.S.C.E., which counts Ukraine and Russia among its 57 members, is a regional security organization that, among other things, promotes peace, human rights and arms control and helps monitor elections.
According to Tass, the Russian news agency, authorities in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, one of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine that Russia has recognized, accused Mr. Petrov of gathering information about the region’s military and passing it on to a senior U.S. official. The details of the allegations against Mr. Shabanov were not immediately clear.
Ms. Schmid said the two men had been performing official duties before they were detained in April; Mr. Petrov was a translator and Mr. Shabanov was a security assistant. “Our colleagues remain O.S.C.E. staff members and had been performing official duties as mandated by all 57 participating states,” she said.
In July, an O.S.C.E. report highlighted the growing international concern over reports of abuses involving Russia’s so-called filtration camps, including the eventual executions of some detainees. The report was released after a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken that said Russian authorities had “interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported” as many as 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, into distant Russian territory.
It is not the first time a court in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine has handed down a sentence that has attracted loud criticism. In June, two Britons and a Moroccan who had fought for the Ukrainian armed forces were sentenced to death by a court in the breakaway Donetsk region after being accused of being mercenaries.
The 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the largest annual gathering of world leaders, kicks off on Monday after pandemic restrictions restricted in-person attendance the previous two years. But the mood is likely to be a somber one, tempered by the war in Ukraine and mounting economic and environmental crises.
The assembly will focus on the many challenges with which leaders are now grappling: a war in Ukraine that is polarizing the world order in ways not seen since the Cold War; the rippling impact of rising food prices on people across the world; the energy crisis roiling the global economy; and concerns over climate disruptions such as the devastating floods in Pakistan.
“The General Assembly is meeting at a time of great peril,” António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said last week. “Our world is blighted by war, battered by climate chaos, scarred by hate, and shamed by poverty, hunger, and inequality.”
Mr. Guterres said the gathering of world leaders in New York must provide hope through dialogue, debates and concrete plans to overcome divisions and crises.
It is a tall order. About 157 heads of state and representatives of governments plan to deliver speeches from Tuesday through Sunday, and the war in Ukraine and its ramifications are expected to be the major theme.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine will address the assembly in a prerecorded video speech. The General Assembly voted on Friday to grant him an exemption to the rule mandating that all speeches must be delivered in person this year.
Food insecurity, from grain shortages to price increases, will also be a priority. Developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East are expected to voice concerns that the world is too fixated on the war in Ukraine and that humanitarian aid is disproportionately directed at relieving that crisis, and that their own ones are being ignored.
Tensions are expected to be high between Russia, the United States and European countries over Ukraine; between China and the United States over Taiwan and trade; and between developing nations and the West over the allocation of development funding and other aid.
“This is the first General Assembly of a fundamentally divided world,” said Richard Gowan, the U.N. director at International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based research group. “We have spent six months with everyone battering each other. The gloves are off.”
Several thematic summit meetings and round tables are scheduled on issues ranging from education to the pandemic.
Mr. Guterres on Wednesday will host two meetings attended by foreign ministers. One will be on the challenges brought by the Ukraine war, including price hikes for food and energy, and the economic strain it has caused. The other will be about climate action. Mr. Guterres said he plans to tell leaders that the time to act is now.
Three McDonald’s restaurants will reopen in Kyiv this week, a company spokeswoman said on Monday, fulfilling a pledge the chain made last month to bring employees back to work even as the war persists.
On Tuesday, the restaurants in Kyiv will open exclusively for delivery, Alesya Mudzhyri, McDonald’s head of communications in Ukraine, wrote in a Facebook post, with expanded safety protocols to keep employees safe. All 109 McDonald’s restaurants in Ukraine closed after Russia invaded in February.
McDonald’s is carrying through with its commitment to restore “a small but important sense of normalcy,” which it first expressed in August when the fast-food franchise shared plans to open the restaurants. At the time, Paul Pomroy, a vice president for international operations, said employees had expressed a “strong desire” to return to work after many fled the country and others joined the military. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Over the next two months, McDonald’s restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine will reopen. In October, restaurants that reopen will be able to host customers in person and via drive-through windows, Ms. Mudzhyri’s post said. The restaurants are set to open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. but will close during air raid alerts to give employees and customers time to go to nearby shelters.
McDonald’s has 39,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. In Russia, where it had 840 restaurants, the company stopped operating after the invasion and put the franchise up for sale. The Russian restaurants were purchased by a Siberian oil mogul and reopened in June under a different name.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine met with Laurence D. Fink, the head of BlackRock, the world’s largest manager of assets, to discuss how to attract investment in the country’s war-ravaged economy.
In a videoconference, the two discussed how BlackRock, which oversees $8.5 trillion invested all over the world, could provide “pro bono advice to the Ukrainian government on setting up a reconstruction fund in support of the recovery of the Ukrainian economy,” according to a statement released on Monday by Mr. Zelensky’s office. (The call was held Thursday.) The fund would be arranged for “both public and private investors to participate in reconstructing and rejuvenating the market economy in Ukraine,” the statement said.
“We’ve shown that we know how to win on the battlefield,” Mr. Zelensky said in the statement. “Another important task for us is to achieve victories in the economy as well, and to be an attractive country for investors.”
The advice would be provided by BlackRock’s Financial Market Advisory team, which works with financial institutions, regulators and governments, and is separate from the company’s investment management business.
Estimates of the cost to rebuild the infrastructure hit hardest by the war with Russia, and revive the country’s shattered economy, vary widely. The Ukrainian government has put the bill at $750 billion, while others have estimated $100 billion, still a significant sum. The International Monetary Fund has said Ukraine needs $5 billion per month to pay government salaries and pensions, and to cover other expenses. The fund has already provided over $1 billion to help Ukraine keep up on government debt payments.
Much of the money to rebuild Ukraine’s economy would probably come from donor countries, in the form of grants or long-term loans, given the precarious state of the Ukrainian government’s finances. The United States, the European Union and others have provided billions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine, in addition to pledging extensive economic aid.
Attracting private investors in Ukraine is challenging while the war still rages. Ukraine’s government has encouraged entrepreneurs with grants, zero-interest loans and other financial support, with companies large and small restructuring and relocating, altering the country’s economic geography. An end to the fighting, along with extensive insurance and other arrangements to attract international private investment in Ukraine’s fragile economy, would be necessary before Ukraine could “restore a normal investment climate,” as Mr. Zelensky described his goals in the statement.
Ukraine’s postwar investment push also has to overcome perceptions of systemic corruption. Transparency International, an anticorruption watchdog, ranked Ukraine 122nd out of 180 countries on its corruption index in 2021.
As President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine oversees a counteroffensive against Russia at home, his wife, Olena Zelenska, joined scores of world leaders in London to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Ms. Zelenska’s visit was her first to England since Russia invaded her country in late February. Before the state funeral ceremony on Monday, she visited the queen’s lying-in-state in London on Sunday and met with Catherine, Princess of Wales.
Mr. Zelensky has extended his condolences to the royal family and the Commonwealth, calling the queen’s death a “great loss for all of Europe, for the world.”
Britain has been a steadfast ally of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, and the queen expressed support.
“In this most challenging year, I hope that today will be a time for the Ukrainian people, both in Ukraine and around the world, to celebrate,” she wrote in an August message that was shared by Britain’s embassy in Ukraine on the country’s independence day.
The queen also made a donation to the U.K. Disasters Emergency Committee for its humanitarian efforts in the conflict in March.
Ms. Zelenska expressed “deep gratitude” for that support in a Twitter message after the funeral on Monday, saying it had been a “great honor” to be present to bid the monarch farewell.
“She wished us better times and shared our desire for freedom,” Ms. Zelenska wrote. “We will always remember it.”
Ms. Zelenska made the trip to England with Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, who met with Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on Sunday to discuss the conflict.
Ukrainian officials said last week that they had found more than 400 graves in the forest of the newly reclaimed city of Izium in northeastern Ukraine.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trudeau described the discovery as further evidence of war crimes by Russian soldiers, and called for full accountability.
ULM, Germany — It was the most pivotal performance of his 29 years. There were no costumes, no stage, no orchestra pit. Instead, a lone pianist hunched expectantly over her instrument. For an audience, a handful of doctors and nurses watched from a cool white hospital lobby.
Sergiy Ivanchuk — his face patched with bandages, legs trembling beneath his trousers — began hesitantly. But as his deep baritone held, confidence grew. By the time he finished with a Ukrainian folk tune, his song soared with the passion of a man brought back from the dead, a man reveling in a voice reclaimed.
“For three months, I thought I would die,” he told those assembled. “And now, I can sing again.”
Not long before, Mr. Ivanchuk had believed he was on his deathbed, his lungs punctured by bullets, his body attached to a tangle of tubes.
On March 10, Mr. Ivanchuk, an aspiring opera singer, had been working with humanitarian volunteers helping civilians flee the besieged Ukrainian city of Kharkiv when Russian forces attacked, and he was shot.
Even if he managed to survive, he remembered thinking, surely his singing days were over.
But a string of chance encounters, committed doctors and the love of a mother all led to that unexpected performance in a German military hospital this summer, giving Mr. Ivanchuk a chance to transform a tragedy into an opportunity to salvage his longtime dream of opera stardom.
“So many different circumstances had to happen,” said Mr. Ivanchuk, wondering if science and his own spirit were the only factors in his recovery. “There is something. God or an angel saved me. There is something there.”
— Erika Solomon and Lena Mucha For The New York Times