Daywatch: In Chicago, British foreign minister says Putin made ‘strategic error’ | FBI acquires transcript of Michael Madigan deposition | Bulls playoff series preview

Good morning, Chicago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin committed a major “strategic error” in believing his invasion of Ukraine would fragment Western democracies, the British foreign minister for Europe and North America said in Chicago this week. Instead, Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said, Putin saw the NATO alliance and allied countries unite against Russian aggression in a sign of democracy’s resilience.

“Democracy is messy. Democracy is untidy, and to an autocratic leader like Putin, it probably always looks as if it’s on the verge of collapse,” Cleverly, the British equivalent of U.S. secretary of state, said in an interview in Chicago with the Tribune.

In Ukraine, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, a guided-missile cruiser that became a potent target of Ukrainian defiance in the opening days of the war, sank after it was heavily damaged in the latest setback for Moscow’s invasion.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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FBI acquires transcript of Michael Madigan deposition and the ex-speaker answering questions under oath in civil case

The FBI has acquired sworn depositions that indicted ex-Speaker Michael Madigan and his former chief of staff gave more than three years ago in a lawsuit accusing Madigan’s campaign organization of propping up sham candidates.

The move represents a new development in the sweeping federal racketeering case federal authorities filed last month against Madigan. Federal authorities made the request for the transcripts last month, attorney Anthony Peraica said, only days after the Chicago Tribune posted a video of the Madigan deposition, the only one Madigan said he ever gave.

Hundreds of birds found dead, likely from avian flu, at Baker’s Lake near Barrington

Avian flu has likely killed hundreds of double-crested cormorants nesting at Baker’s Lake near Barrington. Wildlife biologist Chris Anchor said this is the largest outbreak of disease in wild birds he’s seen in Cook County.

“I’ve never seen anything like this since I started working here 41 years ago,” said Anchor, of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. “Chances are this is happening in other places, and we’re not aware of it because no one is looking.”

Flashback: Chicago remains a ‘city of skyscrapers,’ but two early examples may be nearing a date with the wrecking ball

Should a wrecking ball strike the Century Building at 202 S. State St., the Tribune’s Ron Grossman writes, there will be a bittersweet moment when modern architecture’s debt to Chicago is starkly revealed.

The falling bricks will expose the underlying structure of the 16-story, Holabird and Roche-designed building: a lacework of steel beams and columns. The masonry was only tasked with screening the occupants from summer’s heat and rain, winter’s cold and snow.

That combination of a metal framework and curtain walls has produced myriad skyscrapers worldwide — after being developed and elaborated upon in Chicago’s drafting rooms. Nineteenth-century Chicagoans were fiercely proud of that.

NBA playoffs: 3 keys for the Bulls against the Bucks, including slowing Giannis Antetokounmpo

Knocking off the reigning NBA champions is never a simple task. The Chicago Bulls, don’t have an easy road to a first-round playoff win against the Milwaukee Bucks. After going 0-4 in the season series, the Bulls are hoping to reverse the pattern in the postseason.

Here are three keys for the Bulls as they prepare for Game 1 on Sunday in Milwaukee.

A gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo is getting too much screen time

Lincoln Park Zoo officials say male gorilla Amare, 16, like many human teenagers, has been getting too much screen time. Not on his phone, of course; he’s obsessed with visitors’ phones through the glass of his enclosure at the Regenstein Center for African Apes.

Here’s how zoo officials are encouraging Amare to spend more time with his fellow apes.