President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that Moscow “may try to do something particularly nasty, particularly cruel” as Ukraine prepares to celebrate its Independence Day on Wednesday, which is also the invasion’s six-month mark.
Russia is investigating the car bombing death of the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist and ally of President Vladimir Putin. Darya Dugina had been sanctioned by the US and UK over her role in spreading disinformation about the Ukraine war.
Russia’s defense minister said Moscow would soon start mass production of the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, and praised the performance of Kinzhal missiles used in Ukraine in March.
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)
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On the Ground
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is nearing the six-month mark, which will hit on Wednesday — also Ukraine’s Independence Day. Overnight, Russia fired five Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea at Odesa with three missiles hitting a Ukrainian agriculture company’s assets, including grain storage. Moscow’s troops continued shelling of Nikopol city in the Dnipropetrovsk region, knocking out electricity to 3,000 people. Russia also continues to shell Kharkiv and the Kharkiv region; local authorities there extended curfew hours from Monday. Ukraine’s defense ministry said Russia was moving air defense equipment within Belarus to border locations in the vicinity of Volyn in far western Ukraine and Polissya, northeast of Chernihiv.
(All times CET)
Russia to Probe Dugina Car-Bomb Death; Ukraine Denies Role (11:20 am)
Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened a murder case in the death of Darya Dugina in an apparent car bombing near Moscow on Saturday night.
Dugina, a journalist sanctioned by the US and UK for spreading disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is the daughter of far-right political strategist Alexander Dugin (see 6:30 am item).
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zahkarova said Russia will investigate possible Ukrainian involvement in the incident. Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s president, said on Ukrainian television that Kyiv had “absolutely nothing to do with this.”
Defense Chief Says Russia to Start Mass Production of Zircon Missiles (10 am)
Sergey Shoigu commented on the Zircon nuclear-capable hypersonic cruise missiles in a televised interview from Russia’s Army-2022 forum.
“We are starting mass production of the Zircon missiles. In fact, we have put it into service, and it will be documented as early as this year,” he said, according to the state news service Tass.
Russia’s defense minister also said that the air-launched “Kinzhal” (Dagger) missiles had been used three times in Ukraine this year, repeating a claim from March. At the time, Russia said it used the missiles to target a site storing missiles and aviation ammunition, and other targets, less than a month into the Kremlin’s invasion. Last week, Russia stationed three MiG-31 aircraft equipped with Kinzhal missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave.
Read more: Russia Used ‘Kinzhal’ Missiles on Cities, Ukraine Aide Says
Turkey Pledges Not to Allow Russian Sanction Busting (9 am)
Turkey’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance vowed not to allow any individual or organization to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russian entities, according to a readout of a call Friday with the US Treasury.
Deputy Minister Yunus Elitas told his US counterpart Wally Adeyemo that Turkey’s “position” on the issue of sanctions remains unchanged. While opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and providing drones to help Kyiv’s efforts in the war, Turkey has refrained from joining Western sanctions on Moscow, which remains a key supplier of natural gas and crude oil.
In Friday’s call, Adeyemo raised “concerns that Russian entities and individuals are attempting to use Turkey to evade sanctions” put in place by the US and 30 other countries.
Zelenskiy Hails Ukrainian Heavyweight After Title Win (8:30am)
Ukraine’s president took to Twitter after countryman Oleksandr Usyk retained his world heavyweight boxing titles on Saturday, beating Anthony Joshua of the UK in a bout in Saudi Arabia.
“I dedicate this victory to my country, to my family, to my team, to all the military defending this country,” the 35-year-old Usyk said through a translator, according to the Associated Press.
Daughter of Putin Ally Dugin Killed in Car Bomb: Tass (6:30 am)
The daughter of Russian far-right political theorist Alexander Dugin was killed by a car bomb outside Moscow on Saturday night, Russian state media reported. There’s been no claim of responsibility.
An SUV driven by Darya Dugina exploded in flames as she was driving about 20 km (12 miles) west of the capital, according to reports. Andrey Krasnov, a family friend, told Tass that the Toyota Land Cruiser belonged to Dugin, who had intended to travel home with his daughter from an event but “went in a different way.”
Dugin, 60, is believed to be an ally of Vladimir Putin and to have influenced the Russian president’s views. He was sanctioned by the US in 2015 for his alleged involvement in Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Dugina was sanctioned by the US and UK this year. The UK called her a “high-profile contributor of disinformation” about Russia’s war in Ukraine in her role as editor of the website United World International.
Zelenskiy Warns Ahead of War’s Six-Month Mark (5 am)
Ukraine’s president warned that the Kremlin may have special actions in store around the six-month mark of Russia’s invasion, which falls on Wednesday.
“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel,” Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Saturday.
“One of the key objectives of the enemy is to humiliate us,” and “to sow despondency, fear and conflict,” he said. “We must all be strong enough to resist any enemy provocations.”
Austria Summons Russian Envoy Over Tweet (7:47 pm)
Austria’s Foreign Ministry summoned Russia’s envoy to the nuclear talks with Iran due to a tweet he sent in response to the US sending additional military aid to Ukraine.
“No mercy to the Ukrainian population!” Mikhail Ulyanov said in a tweet late Friday that he later deleted. He claimed it referred to the Ukrainian government’s reluctance to enter peace talks.
Austria summoned the Russian diplomat for Sunday, calling the remarks inhuman.
Moscow Accuses Ukraine of Poisoning Troops (3:30 pm)
Russia’s defense ministry said it had evidence of chemical substances having been used against its forces in the Zaporizhzhia region in late July.
Tests on sickened soldiers in the Vasilyevka area showed the presence of botulinum toxin type B, the ministry said. It did not explain how troops could have been targeted in the occupied region.
Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Geraschenko said on Telegram that the troops may have been sickened by their own supplies. “The poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, in which botulinum toxin is often found,” he said.