said in April after sealing the deal. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”

He cared a little more when the subsequent plunge in the stock market meant that he was overpaying by a significant amount. Analysts estimated that Twitter was worth not $44 billion but $30 billion, or maybe even less. For a few months, Mr. Musk tried to get out of the deal.

This had the paradoxical effect of bringing the transaction down to earth for spectators. Who among us has not failed to do due diligence on a new venture — a job, a house, even a relationship — and then realized that it was going to cost so much more than we had thought? Mr. Musk’s buying Twitter, and then his refusal to buy Twitter, and then his being forced to buy Twitter after all — and everything playing out on Twitter — was weirdly relatable.

Inescapable, too. The apex, or perhaps the nadir, came this month when Mr. Musk introduced a perfume called Burnt Hair, described on its website as “the Essence of Repugnant Desire.”

“Please buy my perfume, so I can buy Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Oct. 12, garnering nearly 600,000 likes. This worked, apparently; the perfume is now marked “sold out” on its site. Did 30,000 people really pay $100 each for a bottle? Will this perfume actually be produced and sold? (It’s not supposed to be released until next year.) It’s hard to tell where the joke stops, which is perhaps the point.

Evan Spiegel.

“What was unique about Twitter was that no one actually controlled it,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “And now one person will own it in its entirety.”

He is relatively hopeful, however, that Mr. Musk will improve the site, somehow. That, in turn, will have its own consequences.

“If it turns into a massive home run,” Mr. Greenfield said, “you’ll see other billionaires try to do the same thing.”

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Adidas ends Ye deal over hate speech, costing rapper his billionaire status

  • Adidas ends partnership immediately
  • To take about $250 mln hit to 2022 net income
  • Gap, Balenciaga have also cut ties with Ye

Oct 25 (Reuters) – Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE) terminated its partnership with rapper and fashion designer Ye on Tuesday after he made a series of antisemitic remarks, a move that knocked the musician off the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.

Adidas put the tie-up, which has produced several hot-selling Yeezy branded sneakers, under review this month.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the German company said on Tuesday.

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” it said.

Forbes magazine said the end of the deal meant Ye’s net worth shrank to $400 million. The magazine had valued his share of the Adidas partnership at $1.5 billion.

The remainder of Ye’s wealth comes from real estate, cash, his music catalogue and a 5% stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims, Forbes said.

Representatives for Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For Adidas, ending the partnership and the production of Yeezy branded products, as well as stopping all payments to Ye and his companies, will have a “short-term negative impact” of up to 250 million euros ($248.90 million) on net income this year, the company said.

Ye has courted controversy in recent months by publicly ending major corporate tie-ups and making outbursts on social media against other celebrities. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, with the social media platforms removing some of his online posts that users condemned as antisemitic.

In now-deleted Instagram posts earlier this year, the multiple Grammy award-winning artist accused Adidas and U.S. apparel retailer Gap Inc (GPS.N) of failing to build contractually promised permanent stores for products from his Yeezy fashion line.

He also accused Adidas of stealing his designs for its own products.

On Tuesday, Gap, which had ended its partnership with Ye in September, said it was taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap products from its stores and that it had shut down YeezyGap.com.

“Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values,” Gap said in a statement.

European fashion house Balenciaga has also cut ties with Ye, according to media reports.

“The saga of Ye … underlines the importance of vetting celebrities thoroughly and avoiding those who are overly controversial or unstable,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.

Adidas poached Ye from rival Nike Inc (NKE.N) in 2013 and agreed to a new long-term partnership in 2016 in what the company then called “the most significant partnership created between a non-athlete and a sports brand.”

The tie-up helped the German brand close the gap with Nike in the U.S. market.

Yeezy sneakers, which cost between $200 and $700, generate about 1.5 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in annual sales for Adidas, making up a little over 7% of its total revenue, according to estimates from Telsey Advisory Group.

Shares in Adidas, which cut its full-year forecast last week, closed down 3.2%. The group said it would provide more information as part of its upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on Nov. 9.

($1 = 1.0044 euros)

Reporting by Mrinmay Dey, Uday Sampath and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Sriraj Kalluvila, Bernadette Baum, Anil D’Silva and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Explainer: What is a dirty bomb and why is Russia talking about one now?

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LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – In Russia’s latest advocacy campaign over its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has focused on accusations that Kyiv might be planning to use a so-called “dirty bomb” – a conventional explosive device laced with toxic nuclear material.

Kyiv and its Western allies say there is no truth at all to the accusation, and that the idea that Ukraine would poison its own territory is patently absurd. They say Moscow could be making the allegation to justify an escalation of its own.

Following is a look at dirty bombs and how they might be used in Ukraine, either as a real threat or as the basis of propaganda:

HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN THEY DO?

Dirty bombs do not create city-flattening atomic explosion but are designed to spread toxic waste. Security experts have worried about them mostly as a form of terrorist weapon to be used on cities to cause havoc among civilians, rather than as a tactical device for use by warring parties in conflict.

Experts say the immediate health impact would probably be limited, since most people in an affected area would be able to escape before experiencing lethal doses of radiation. But the economic damage could be massive from having to evacuate urban areas or even abandon whole cities.

In testimony to the United States Senate during the Obama administration, physicist Henry Kelly, then president of the Federation of Scientists, outlined a wide range of hypothetical scenarios, depending on the amount and type of nuclear material used and how far it was spread.

A bomb using radioactive caesium from a misplaced or stolen medical device might require the evacuation of an area of several city blocks, making it unsafe for decades.

A piece of radioactive cobalt from a food irradiation plant could, if blasted apart in a bomb in New York, contaminate a 380 square mile (1,000 square km) area and potentially make the island of Manhattan uninhabitable, Kelly said.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA ALLEGE?

Moscow sent a letter detailing its allegations about Kyiv to the United Nations late on Monday, and diplomats said Russia planned to raise the issue at a closed meeting with the Security Council on Tuesday.

The head of Russia’s nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, told a media briefing Ukraine’s aim for such an attack would be to blame Russia.

“The aim of the provocation would be to accuse Russia of using a weapon of mass destruction in the Ukrainian military theatre and by that means to launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign in the world, aimed at undermining trust in Moscow.”

WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF UKRAINE AND THE WEST?

Kyiv and its Western allies say Moscow’s allegation that Ukraine would intentionally make some of its own territory uninhabitable is absurd, especially at a time when Ukrainian forces are recapturing territory on the battlefield.

In a joint statement, the United States, Britain and France called the Russian allegations “transparently false” and warned Moscow against using them as a “pretext” for escalation.

The Kremlin warned the West on Tuesday it was dangerous to dismiss Moscow’s position.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy suggested Moscow might be using the allegations as cover for plans for a similar attack of its own: “If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this.”

Editing by Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Nasdaq leads Wall St higher on hopes of less-hawkish Federal Reserve

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  • Alphabet, Microsoft and S&P 500 futures dip after the bell
  • Consumer confidence sours, home price growth cools
  • S&P 500 closes 8% above Oct. 12 closing trough
  • Indexes up: Dow 1.07%, S&P 1.63%, Nasdaq 2.25%

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday as soft economic data hinted that the Fed’s aggressive policy is taking effect, while falling benchmark Treasury yields boosted the rally’s momentum.

All three major U.S. stock indexes advanced for the third straight session, with market-leading megacaps providing the most upside muscle. The S&P 500 has reclaimed about 8% from the trough of its Oct. 12 close.

“There’s increasing discussion about a light at the end of the tunnel for Fed rate hikes,” said Bill Merz, head of capital market research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis. Merz also cautioned that it wouldn’t be known for some time whether decades-high inflation was “decisively headed toward the Fed’s target.”

“We’re seeing a bit of a reprieve in the dollar and long-term bond yields have come down a little bit,” Merz added. “Those factors are combining to provide room for a bit of a rally.”

After the bell, Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) delivered weaker than expected quarterly results, sending their shares down about 7%. That helped push S&P 500 emini futures down almost 1%, suggesting traders expect the stock market to open deep in negative territory on Wednesday.

Yields of 10-year Treasuries pulled pack on hopes that the Federal Reserve could begin easing its battle against inflation.

A mixed brew of earnings and downbeat forecasts, usually a negative for markets, have suggested the barrage of interest rate hikes from the Fed is beginning to be felt, raising expectations that the central bank could pull back on the size of rate hikes after its Nov. 1-2 policy meeting.

Data on Tuesday showed slowing home price growth and souring consumer confidence. Such signs of economic softness, ordinarily unsupportive of risk appetite, are evidence of abating Fed hawkishness.

The financial market is nearly evenly split on whether the central bank’s December rate increase will ease to 50 basis points after a string of 75 basis point hikes, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 337.12 points, or 1.07%, to 31,836.74, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 61.77 points, or 1.63%, to 3,859.11 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 246.50 points, or 2.25%, to 11,199.12.

Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, all but energy (.SPNY) posted gains on the day, with real estate (.SPLRCR) enjoying the largest percentage gain.

Third-quarter reporting season is firing on all pistons, with 129 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 74% have beaten consensus expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Analysts have set the bar low; aggregate S&P 500 earnings growth is now seen landing at 3.3% year-on-year, down from 4.5% at the beginning of the month, per Refinitiv.

Coca-Cola Co rose 2.4% after the company upped its revenue and profit forecasts, banking on steady demand amid price increases.

General Motors (GM.N) reaffirmed its outlook after posting solid earnings, sending its shares jumping 3.6%.

On the downside, aerospace company Raytheon Technologies Corp posted a near 5% annual revenue increase, but its shares slid 1.5% on the company’s trimmed sales outlook.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 5.35-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.67-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 85 new highs and 120 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.89 billion shares, compared with the 11.57 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru and Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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A Lonely Protest in Beijing Inspires Young Chinese to Find Their Voice

“I thought to myself that there are many Chinese who also want freedom and democracy,” she said. “But where are you? Where can I find you? If we meet on the street, how can we recognize each other?”

At about 4 the next morning, she went downstairs from her dorm room to print some posters. She was nervous about running into other Chinese students, most of whom she would describe as “little pinks,” or pro-Beijing youths. She wore a mask to avoid cameras, even though she had seldom worn one since arriving in London a few weeks ago.

She was even more nervous putting up the posters on campus. Every time she saw an East Asian face, she would run to hide in a corridor or a restroom. She was afraid they could report her to the embassy or post photos of her on social media. Her parents are still in China, so she needs to take their safety into account.

After putting up the posters all over her campus, she felt much more at peace with herself.

A week later, when a new chat group titled “‘My Duty’ Democracy Wall in London” was set up on the messaging app Telegram, Kathy was one of the first to join. Within a day, more than 200 Chinese had also signed up. By Sunday, four days later, there were more than 400 members. Most introduced themselves as students and professionals in the U.K. Many said they had joined to find like-minded people because they, like Kathy, didn’t know whom to trust and felt lonely and powerless.

Citizens Daily CN, the Instagram account, organized Telegram chat groups in London, New York, Toronto and two other places to provide a safe online space for overseas Chinese to exchange views. Most people use online handles that disguise their identity.

They have discussed the depths of their frustration with political apathy and the best way to deal with pro-Beijing youth. Quite a few admitted that they were once nationalistic themselves, but added that China’s harsh zero-Covid policy had made them realize the importance of having a government accountable to its people. More important, they discussed what further actions they could take.

On Sunday, Kathy, who is in her early 20s, joined a demonstration for the first time in her life. For safety, she wore a mask and sunglasses, even though it was dark when the protest reached the Chinese Embassy in London. A young Chinese woman started chanting slogans made popular by the Bridge Man: “Students, workers, let’s strike. Depose the despotic traitor Xi Jinping.”

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For His 3rd Term, Xi Jinping Surrounds Himself With Loyalists

Credit…Social Media, via Reuters

HONG KONG — Thousands of posters condemning China’s top leader have appeared on college campuses in New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Tokyo and elsewhere over the past few days as Chinese students and dissidents spread the message of a lone protester in China.

The posters — paper pasted onto just about everything — have one common theme: Oust the “despotic traitor,” Xi Jinping.

Those words first appeared in Beijing on Oct. 13. As Mr. Xi, China’s top leader, was expected to coast to a third term during the Communist Party congress, someone whose identity has not been confirmed, managed to hang a banner on a busy bridge calling for Mr. Xi’s dismissal. On Sunday, that third term was confirmed.

The protest slogans on the banner also included “Elections, Not Dictatorship” and “Citizens, Not Flunkies.”

The appearance of such strong dissent before an important Communist Party meeting, in a heavily policed city, astonished the whole country. The protester was taken away by police, and online discussions were quickly censored.

Dissidents, however, then found ways to amplify the message overseas. The protest slogans on the Beijing bridge have popped up on bulletin boards, poles and bus stations at more than 200 colleges across at least 20 countries, as many international Chinese students said they were saluting the protester and fighting Mr. Xi’s autocracy.

“I used to be surrounded by a deep powerlessness over political resistance, but the Beijing protester inspired me, showing there are ways to fight,” said Xintong Zhang, 24, a Chinese student at the University of Toronto, who sobbed when seeing the protester’s banner on social media. She later put up dozens of “Dictator Out” posters around campus at dawn.

Compared with other autocracies such as Russia, Iran and Myanmar, China is regarded by many human rights organizations as even less hospitable to free speech and government protest. Under Mr. Xi, opposition and criticism is heavily suppressed with a mix of state security, online censorship and the threat of severe punishment. No independent media and civil society organizations remain 10 years into his rule. Freedom House, a U.S. pro-democracy group, has ranked China last in internet freedom for eight consecutive years.

Ms. Zhang said many Chinese — especially her peers, who started high school after Mr. Xi came to power — did not know how to fight authoritarianism whether at home or abroad.

“Now we have the Beijing protester, and I can look up to him,” she said. “I know I should speak out and how to do it.”

Some of the new activists are concerned that even outside China, there are risks that come with opposing the Chinese government.

A student at the University of Texas at Austin who posted anti-Xi posters on campus said that he was worried about being targeted and harassed by nationalist Chinese students. The student, who is surnamed Zhou, declined to be identified by his full name, citing the same reason.

Ms. Zhang said she worried about being harassed by other Chinese students, assuming the majority were nationalists. As a result, she wore a mask when putting up posters to avoid being identified.

She found most of her posters had been torn down and some had been left half hanging from bulletin boards. “I felt heartbroken but then relieved,” she said. “It’s okay if they tore down my posters as long as I keep posting until the party congress finishes.”

The overseas anti-Xi slogans gained traction after they were collected and shared by pro-democracy Instagram accounts run by anonymous volunteers, mostly Chinese citizens living abroad.

“A brave man should have an echo,” one of the groups, Citizens Daily CN, posted on Instagram.

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Who Gets the Last Word on Steve Jobs? He Might.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis meticulously curated the memory of her husband after he was assassinated, reimagining President John F. Kennedy as a fallen King Arthur in a modern-day Camelot.

Now some historians wonder if Laurene Powell Jobs is also trying to frame the legacy of her late husband, Steve Jobs, a complicated and transformational figure who was shadowed by his flaws as a father and belligerence as a boss.

Last month, Ms. Powell Jobs introduced the Steve Jobs Archive. It aspires to reinvent the personal archive much as Mr. Jobs, in his years running Apple, remade music with the iPod and communication with the iPhone.

Rather than offering up a repository of personal correspondence, notes and items for public research and inquiry, as other influential figures have done, Ms. Powell Jobs, who did not respond to requests for comments, said at a conference last month that the Steve Jobs Archive would be devoted to “ideas.” Those ideas are primarily Mr. Jobs’s philosophies about life and work.

Harvard Business School’s 25 greatest business leaders of the 20th century left behind personal archives that are open to the public in libraries or museums, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Asa Candler, who built Coca-Cola.

Other iconic business founders such as Walt Disney, Sam Walton and Ray Kroc entrusted their papers to the companies they built, allowing those collections to become the cornerstone of corporate archives.

Walt Disney Company, make personal correspondence, notes, speeches and other items available to authors for research.

“We don’t censor,” said Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney archives. “We just vet.”

The new Jobs archive debuted with a minimalist website containing eight pieces of video, audio and writing that express what the archive calls Mr. Jobs’s “driving motivations in his own words.” The items, three-quarters of which were already public, can be accessed by clicking through maxims made famous by Mr. Jobs, including “make something wonderful and put it out there” and “pursue different paths.”

The next steps for the archive are shrouded in the kind of mystery associated with the way Mr. Jobs ran Apple. About all that’s been publicly disclosed is that Ms. Powell Jobs hired a documentary filmmaker to gather hundreds of oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues. Where that material will be stored and who will have access to it has not been revealed.

She married Mr. Jobs in 1991, two years after meeting him as a graduate student at Stanford. Since his death, she has used her estimated $16 billion fortune to fund the Emerson Collective, a philanthropic and commercial operation that owns The Atlantic magazine and funds an organization trying to reduce gun violence in Chicago.

During his life, Mr. Jobs admired and encouraged historians to preserve the history of his Silicon Valley predecessors such as Robert Noyce, who co-founded the chip maker Intel. But he put little value on his own history, and Apple has seldom commemorated product anniversaries, saying it focuses on the future, not the past.

Stanford spent years cataloging items such as photos of a barefoot Mr. Jobs at work, advertising campaigns and an Apple II computer. That material can be reviewed by students and researchers interested in learning more about the company.

Silicon Valley leaders have a tradition of leaving their material with Stanford, which has collections of letters, slides and notes from William Hewlett, who founded Hewlett-Packard, and Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel.

Mr. Lowood said that he uses the Silicon Valley archives to teach students about the value of discovery. “Unlike a book, which is the gospel and all true, a mix of materials in a box introduces uncertainty,” he said.

After Mr. Jobs’ death in 2011, Mr. Isaacson, the author, published a biography of Mr. Jobs. Some at Apple complained that the book, a best seller, misrepresented Mr. Jobs and commercialized his death.

Mr. Isaacson declined to comment about those complaints.

Four years later, the book became the basis for a film. The 2015 movie, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender, focused on Mr. Jobs being ousted from Apple and denying paternity of his eldest daughter.

according to emails made public after a hack of Sony Pictures, which held rights to the film. She and others who were close to Mr. Jobs thought any movie based on the book would be inaccurate.

“I was outraged, and he was my friend,” said Mike Slade, a marketing executive who worked as an adviser to Mr. Jobs from 1998 to 2004. “I can’t imagine how outraged Laurene was.”

In November 2015, a month after the movie’s release, Ms. Powell Jobs had representatives register the Steve Jobs Archive as a limited liability company in Delaware and California. She later hired the documentary filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, to gather oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues and friends. She also hired Ms. Berlin, who was Stanford’s project historian for its Apple archives, to be the Jobs Archive’s executive director.

Mr. Guggenheim gathered material about Mr. Jobs while also working on a Netflix documentary about Bill Gates, “Inside Bill’s Brain.” Mr. Slade, who worked for both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Gates, said he sat for an interview about one executive, stopped to change shirts and returned to discuss the other one.

Ms. Berlin assisted Ms. Powell Jobs in gathering material. They collected items such as audio of interviews done by reporters and early company records, including a 1976 document that Mr. Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, called their declaration of independence. It outlined what the company would stand for, said Regis McKenna, who unearthed the document in his personal collection gathered during his decades as a pioneer of Silicon Valley marketing and adviser to Mr. Jobs.

Ms. Powell Jobs also assembled a group of advisers to inform what the archive would be, including Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive; Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer; and Bob Iger, the former chief executive of Walt Disney and a former Apple board member.

Mr. Cook, Mr. Ive and Mr. Iger declined to comment.

Apple, which has its own corporate archive and archivist, is a contributor to the Jobs effort, said Ms. Berlin, who declined to say how she works with the company to gain access to material left by Mr. Jobs.

The archive’s resulting website opens with an email that Mr. Jobs sent himself at Apple. It reads like a journal entry, outlining all the things that he depends on others to provide, from the food he eats to the music he enjoys.

“I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being,” he wrote.

The email is followed by a previously undisclosed audio clip from a 1984 interview that Mr. Jobs did with Michael Moritz, the journalist turned venture capitalist at Sequoia. During it, Mr. Jobs says that refinement comes from mistakes, a platitude that captures how Apple used trial and error to develop devices.

“It was just lying in the drawer gathering dust,” Mr. Moritz said of the recording.

It’s clear to those who have contributed material that the archive is about safeguarding Mr. Jobs’s legacy. It’s a goal that many of them support.

“There’s so much distortion about who Steve was,” Mr. McKenna said. “There needed to be something more factual.”

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Using Adoptions, Russia Turns Ukrainian Children Into Spoils of War

“I did not recognize those kids with whom we traveled in April on the train to their new life,” Ksenia Mishonova, the children’s rights commissioner for the Moscow region, said in a statement. “Now they are our little fellow citizens!”

Some children were indeed orphaned or abandoned in Ukraine and prefer their lives in Russia. The Times spoke to one teenager from Mariupol who said he had no family back home. He said his foster family loved him like he was their own.

Others, like Anya, long to return.

She participated in a weekly class called Conversations About Important Things. The half-hour lesson, introduced recently by Mr. Putin, teaches children to be proud of Russia.

Sometimes, Anya said, she cries, wondering if something horrible has happened to her family.

After more than a month of reporting, Times reporters reached Anya’s mother, Oksana, in Ukraine. With no job, no internet access, a small disability pension and a war going on, she said she had no idea how to find her daughter.

“I’m looking everywhere, but I can’t find her,” she said. “She is looking for me.”

She said she did not know that Anya had been taken to Russia.

Reporters told Anya and Oksana how to contact each other. The prospect of Anya returning home, though, is unclear. Ukrainian officials have been tight-lipped about how they have gotten dozens of children back from Russia.

“Is this really her number?” Anya asked.

Anastasia Kuznietsova, Alina Lobzina and Maria Varenikova contributed reporting.

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