“If the car bombing is tied to the war it would mark the first time since February that the violence unleashed on Ukraine has reached the Russian capital.”
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is expected to sharpen further after the daughter of a prominent Kremlin ally was killed by a car bomb near Moscow.
Darya Dugina, whose father is regarded as a leading ideologue for President Putin’s regime, died when her Toyota Land Cruiser was blown apart in a blast 12 miles west of the Moscow on Saturday night.
Alexander Dugin is believed to be the prime target of the bombing, but he reportedly switched cars at the last minute. The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported:
Daria Dugina died after a suspected explosive device on the car she was driving detonated, investigators form the Moscow region said in a statement.
TV footage showed investigators collecting debris from the roadside where the explosion happened. They have opened a murder case and are considering “all versions” of events. (…)
Dugina’s car exploded on Saturday evening as she drove home from a cultural festival that she had attended with her father.
“This was the father’s vehicle. Darya [normally drove] another car but she took his car today, while Alexander went in a different way,” Andrey Krasnov, Dugin’s friend and the head of the Russian Horizon social movement, told Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency.
“He returned, he was at the site of the tragedy. As far as I understand, Alexander or probably they together were the target.”
Kyiv Denies Involvement
Alexander Dugin’s close ties to President Putin, and his vocal support for the invasion of Ukraine, will further escalate the level of hostilities between the two countries as the Russian military offensive enters its sixth month.
British newspaper the Guardian reported:
If the car bombing is tied to the war it would mark the first time since February that the violence unleashed on Ukraine has reached the Russian capital, touching the family of a Kremlin ally near one of Moscow’s most exclusive districts.
Kyiv strongly denied the allegations. “Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state like Russia, or a terrorist one at that,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in remarks broadcast on television.
Who is Dugin?
In early 1990s, Dugin came to public notice as the founding member of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party, which sought combine Communist ideology with Russian imperialism. In 2002, he left the party to create the Eurasia Party, a political group which calls for the creation of Greater Russia by exerting Moscow’s hegemony over the former Soviet Republic, including Ukraine.
President Putin adopted Dugin’s Eurasianism and enshrined it as a state doctrine for Russian geopolitical expansionism. Dugin’s “anti-Western, ultranationalist philosophy has become the dominant political ideology in Russia and has helped shape President Putin’s expansionist foreign policy, most prominently on Ukraine,” the BBC wrote.
Noting Dugin’s role in the ongoing Ukraine war, Germany’s Deutsche Welle called him “a key architect” behind the current worldview of top Kremlin lawmakers.
Russians Capture Another City, Strengthen Control in Eastern Ukraine
After almost six months of unabated fighting, the invading Russian forces made further advance in eastern Ukraine after they captured the city of Bakhmut in the Donbas region, news reports over the weekend say.
The city’s “capture would enable Russia to threaten the two largest remaining Ukrainian-held urban centers in the eastern Donbas region,” the Canadian broadcaster CBC explained.
Kremlin has declared the annexation of Ukraine’s entire Donbas region as an “unconditional priority” for the invading Russian forces. The loss of Donbas, with a size of around 6,500 square miles, could deprive Ukraine of its industrial heartland.
Sky News UK reported the fall of Bakhmut:
Russian forces have stepped up their efforts to seize one of the dwindling number of cities in eastern Ukraine not already under their control.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its daily update that intensified fighting took place around Bakhmut in the Donbas region.
The capture of Bakhmut would allow the Russians to advance on the region’s main Ukrainian-held cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.
The general staff update said Sloviansk and Kramatorsk were also targeted on Friday along with the Kharkiv region to the north, home to Ukraine’s second-largest city.
Bakhmut has been a key target for Russian forces for weeks as they try to complete the months-long campaign to take control of the whole Donbas region.
U.S. to Supply Further Advanced Weapons to Ukraine
After U.S.-supplied long-range rocket launchers proved themselves in the battle field, Washington has announced a further shipment of drones, artillery and other advanced weaponry to Ukraine.
The news comes as Ukrainian drones hit the Russian military commander center in Crimean. “A drone attack on Saturday targeted the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, with no injuries, according to the governor of the city on the annexed Crimean peninsula,” French TV channel Euronews reported
The Associated Press covered the details of the latest U.S. military aid:
The U.S. for the first time Friday said it will give Ukraine Scan Eagle surveillance drones, mine-resistant vehicles, anti-armor rounds and howitzer weapons to help Ukrainian forces regain territory and mount a counteroffensive against Russian invaders.
A senior defense official told reporters that a new $775 million aid package will include 15 Scan Eagles, 40 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles known as MRAPs with mine-clearing rollers, and 2,000 anti-armor rounds that can help Ukraine troops move forward in the south and east, where Russian forces have placed mines. (…)
It brings the total U.S. military aid to Ukraine to about $10.6 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration.
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