Angry Russians called Sunday for attacks on Ukrainian government buildings after the death of a prominent Putin ally in a car bombing after a festival outside Moscow.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukrainian involvement: “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia.” Ukrainian officials, however, urged government employees in the capital to work remotely this week amid concerns that the buildings would be targeted for attack.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the explosion ripped through the Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Daria Dugina, 29, a conservative commentator, near the village of Bolshie Vyazemy on Saturday night. RT reported that the vehicle belonged to her father, well-known anti-Western Russian nationalist Alexander Dugin — often called “Putin’s brain” — giving rise to suspicions that he was the intended target. Dugina herself was a hardliner who said documented Russian atrocities in Kyiv suburb of Bucha were staged.
“Kyiv will shudder” said a headline on Russia’s Tsargrad.tv website, while state-run RT editor Margarita Simonyan retweeted a call to bomb the Ukrainian intelligence agency headquarters in Kyiv.
“Decision-making centers! Decision-making centers!! Decision making centers!!!” she said in a Telegram post.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the explosion ripped through the Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Daria Dugina, 29, a conservative commentator, near the village of Bolshie Vyazemy on Saturday night. RT reported that the vehicle belonged to her father, well-known anti-Western Russian nationalist Alexander Dugin, giving rise to suspicions that he was the intended target.
The blast came at about 9 p.m. local time, shortly after Dugina left a festival where she attended a “Tradition and History” lecture led by her father, Russian authorities said.
Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Telegram that Russia would consider any involvement by Ukraine in the incident to be “state terrorism.”
►Air defenses in the Crimean city of Sevastopol repelled an Ukrainian assault at a military airfield, Russian-appointed regional leader Mikhail Razvozhayev said via Telegram on Sunday, a day after a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the same city also apparently failed.
►Ukraine’s military said it destroyed two Russian ammunition depots in the villages of Chornobaivka in Kherson and Starytsia in Kharkiv. The Kremlin said it destroyed an ammunition depot in the Odesa region where missiles for U.S. multiple-rocket launchers known as HIMARS were stored.
►Two Russians and a Ukrainian were arrested for alleged espionage at an Albanian military plant. Albania, a NATO member since 2009, has strongly renounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has joined in sanctions against Moscow.
►The U.S. will ship another $775 million package of arms to Ukraine, including long-range artillery ammunition used to devastating effect on Russian forces, according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity under Pentagon guidelines.
Heavyweight champion from Ukraine retains crown, draws Zelenskyy’s salute
Ukrainian fighters typically draw praise from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for their toil on the battlefield, not the boxing ring.
Oleksandr Usyk receives it for both.
Six months after he was patrolling the streets of Kyiv with an automatic rifle and defending Ukraine from the invading Russians, Usyk outpointed Anthony Joshua in a closely fought rematch Saturday in Saudi Arabia to keep his WBA, WBO and IBF belts.
In defending his titles, Usyk improved his record to 20-0 with 13 knockouts and lived up to his billing as the sporting pride of Ukraine.
“I devote this victory to my country, to my family, to my team, to all the military defending this country,” said Usyk, 35, who came into the ring wearing a blue-and-yellow top with the words “Colors of Freedom.”
Amid all the hardships the war has caused, Usyk has served as inspiration for his fellow Ukrainians, and he drew a shoutout from Zelenskyy in his nightly video address to the nation.
“We stick together,” the president said. “We help each other. We restore what was destroyed. We fight for all our people. And we cheer for those who represent Ukraine, today – definitely for Usyk, our guy!”
Russian military parades draw criticism from separatist
Russian hard-liner Igor Girkin, formerly a minister in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the Kremlin’s handling of the war in Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry reports.
Girkin, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. and several other countries, posted a grudgingly admiring critique of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s conduct during the war in contrast to Russia, where “at the end of the sixth month of the war … we play tank biathlons and hold festivals of military bands.”
The defense ministry explains that the tank biathlon was the finale of Russia’s International Army Games that took place near Moscow last week.
“A significant proportion of Russia’s military and security professionals probably believe that it is inappropriate to continue committing forces to peace-time military ceremonial events while Russian troops continue to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine,” the defense ministry said Sunday in an intelligence update.
Ukraine losses exceed $100B, economist says
Direct losses to the Ukrainian economy from the war have reached $113.5 billion, a Ukraine economist says. Maksym Nefyodov, head of reform support projects at the Kyiv School of Economics Institute, said this during a nationwide television marathon, Ukrinform reports. Images of the destruction and damage to the infrastructure of Ukraine, collected with the help of UAVs and satellites, are being actively analyzed to record the damage caused and to prepare for restoration of devastated cities, Nefyodov said.
“There is another direction of our research – needs for recovery,” Nefyodov said. “And the ‘Russia Will Pay’ project is actively developing in this direction.”
Ukrainian detained after strike at Russian radar system
A former Ukrainian official was detained by Russian authorities in the occupied city of Melitopol, accused of committing sabotage, the Russian administration said Sunday. The officials was accused of conducting surveillance on Russian military flights – and components for explosives and manuals on the use of the military arsenal were found at his home, the administration said in a message on its Telegram channel.
The announcement came one day after the Ukrainian military said it had destroyed a Russian radar system and other equipment in the region.
“Tonight, there were powerful explosions in Melitopol, which the whole city heard,” Melitopol Mayor Ivan Ferodov said. “According to preliminary data, (it was) a precise hit on one of the Russian military bases, which the Russian fascists are trying to restore for the umpteenth time in the airfield area.”
Ukrainians stroll down Kyiv street with Russian tanks on display
Pedestrians on an avenue in Kyiv viewed destroyed Russian tanks on display on Saturday, rolled in on the beds of Ukrainian trucks. The burned-out tanks and infantry carriers were brought to Khreshchatyk boulevard leading to Maidan Square in central Kyiv, drawing public attention. Locals were able to walk beside the exhibit of military vehicles with the street blocked off to traffic.
“It is very beautiful that we made such an exhibition because patriotic places come together and want to rush to go help and defend. And when everyone helps, it raises morale very much,” student and Kyiv resident Irina Tupolenko told the Associated Press.
The vehicles were collected from battlefields in the east and south and signaled defiance to the Russian invaders, The New York Times reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine live updates: Russians outraged after deadly car bombing