The two appointments illustrate how the president-elect appears determined to rebuild a White House national security team to focus on threats that critics say were ignored by President Trump.
Blocked from obtaining vaccines from the United States, its putative ally, and taunted in Russian propaganda, Ukraine turned to China.
A New York Times reporter juggled fears engendered by the politicized rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine with the urge to gain protection from the deadly virus.
The state statistics agency reported over 200,000 more deaths up to November than in 2019, which a senior official attributed largely to the coronavirus, even as the official count remained below 60,000.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia laughed off a question about the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny at a marathon news conference where he also defended his country’s coronavirus response.
The supposed ruse has enabled him to spend time at a government residence on the Black Sea without risking a potential political backlash, a Russian news site reported.
Distrust of the government is so widespread that 59 percent of Russians say they have no intention of getting a shot.
Oil producers in the OPEC Plus group reached a compromise on a modest production increase, but the talks revealed strains in the group.