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In The News

Pressure On Putin In Aftermath Of Darya Dugina’s Murder

Photo of Russian National officers guarding the scene of a car bombing of journalist Darya Dugina

Russian National officers guard the scene of a car bombing of journalist Darya Dugina

Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger, Lila Paulou, Chloé Touchard and Emma Albright

Russian authorities opened a murder investigation after Darya Dugina was murdered in a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday. Dugina’s father is Russian author and staunch Putin ally Alexander Dugin: Both of them were together before the attack, though Dugin took a different car than his daughter’s and minutes later the explosion occurred. It is believed he was the intended target of the car bomb.

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Based on evidence collected from the explosion, the Russian Investigative Committee said it believed someone planned and ordered the car blast. “Taking into account the data already obtained, the investigation believes that the crime was pre-planned and was of an ordered nature," the investigative committee said in a statement Sunday.

Moscow immediately blamed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for ordering the assassination, but Kyiv has denied any involvement. Russian President Vladimir Putin has still not yet made any comments regarding the murder.

A law enforcement official told Russian state news agency TASS on Monday that the car bomb was detonated remotely: “Presumably the car was monitored and its movement was controlled.”

A former member of Russia’s State Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, has claimed that Russian partisans were possibly behind the attack. Previously expelled for anti-Kremlin activities and now living in Kyiv, he accused the National Republican Army — an underground group working inside Russia and dedicated to overthrowing the Putin regime. “This attack opens a new page in Russian resistance to Putinism,” he said.

Alexander Dugin is known for being the architect or the “spiritual guide” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He has significant influence over Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Foreign Affairs Magazine even describing him as “Putin’s brain.” Both father and daughter had been sanctioned by the U.S. and the UK for being “a frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms.”

Renewed Russian Attacks Near The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

Russian attacks continued during the night on the Ukrainian city of Nikopol, which is located next to the Zaporizhzhia power plant. The districts of Kryvoriz and Synelnykiv were also targeted. Regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said in a Telegram post that “the shelling caused five fires and up to 2,000 people are without electricity.” In the Sinelnyk district, an agricultural enterprise was reportedly destroyed, as well as a school and a cultural center.

Meanwhile, Russia continues its assault on eastern and southern regions in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials. Russian shelling in the Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine has killed two people, according to the region’s governor.

Russia Plans "Nuremberg-Like" Trials For Ukrainian Soldiers In Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his address

Screenshot of video

Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda cites intelligence sources to report that the Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol, Kherson, and other cities are planning to hold their own version of the Nuremberg trials — which were held by the Allies after the Second World War — for Ukrainian soldiers captured during the siege of Mariupol.

Zelenskiy warned Russia against such trials: “If this despicable court takes place, if our people are brought into these settings in violation of all agreements, all international rules, there will be abuse,” he said in a Sunday evening address. “This will be the line beyond which no negotiations are possible.”

Gazprom To Cut Gas Supplies To Europe For Three Days

Nordstream 1

Bodo Marks/dpa/Zuma

Russian state energy giant Gazprom has announced it will halt its natural gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days, from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.

The move, which Gazprom says is linked to maintenance of the pipeline, is adding pressure on the region as it seeks to build up stock for the winter.

Ukraine Has Lost €113 Billion Since The War Began

Portuguese daily i (informação) dedicates its frontpage to the heavy price paid by Ukraine for the war. The country has already lost 113 billion euros since Feb. 24, with thousands of buildings destroyed. A new project plans to force Moscow to pay for reconstruction.

What Looking At 1944 Germany Tells Us About Getting Rid Of Tyrants

The aftermath of the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in July 1944

Bundesarchiv Bild

For German daily Die Welt, historian Thomas Weber looks back on the 1944 Stauffenberg conspiracy against Adolf Hitler and how this can help us reflect on regime change when an autocrat is in charge.

“Resistance to figures like Putin — not assassination plots — must come specifically from those loyal to the regime: In recent years, it has become fashionable to believe that the actions of Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators offer no positive lessons for the 21st century. But 78 years after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, on July 20, 1944, this view is no longer tenable – if it ever was.

[...] It takes pro-regime figures to turn against Putin and take action if we are to avoid a long and brutal war of attrition and years of misery, poverty and death.

That is why Stauffenberg is an example of how regime loyalists in Russia — and in all states that turn to tyranny — might listen to their conscience and initiate regime change. The message of the July 20 plot for regime loyalty in Russia is that you should follow your moral convictions and that it is never too late to do the right thing.”

Super Yacht Seized From Russian Billionaire To Go Under The Hammer

Dmitry Pumpyanskiy

Donat Sorokin/TASS

A luxury yacht formerly owned by sanctioned Russian businessman Dmitry Pumpyansky will be sold at auction on Tuesday after the billionaire failed to repay a loan to JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to an auctioneer’s website.

Valued at £63 million ($74 million), the yacht was seized in March by British authorities and has already sparked the interest of potential buyers. With its infinity pool and 3D cinema among other features, it is the first item to be auctioned since luxury vessels were frozen in ports at the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine.

Albania Investigating Intrusion Of Military Factory By Two Russians And A Ukrainian

Albanian Flag


According to Al Jazeera, Albania is investigating the motives behind an attempted break-in by two Russians (a 24-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman) and a 25-year-old Ukrainian man at the Gramsh military factory on Saturday. The Russian man slightly injured two guarding soldiers with a spray before trying to take pictures of the facility, which provides manufacturing services for Albania’s defense industry.

The three individuals were arrested shortly after the event and Prime Minister Edi Rama said they are now “suspected of espionage.” Authorities are probing a possible link with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Albania, a member of NATO since 2019, has sided with Western countries in condemning and sanctioning Russia. However, Tirana-based media report that the intruders are bloggers who often visit abandoned military bases and factories.

Former NBA Player Dennis Rodman To Travel To Russia To Help Brittney Griner

American basketball player Dennis Keith Rodman

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman said he will travel to Russia to help basketball star Britney Griner, who was detained in Russia and sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges after cannabis oil was found in her luggage.

Rodman told NBC News that he “got permission to go to Russia to help that girl”. He will travel this week to Russia. The former NBA player is known for having cultivated a relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the past decade, even making occasional trips to the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is still in the process of negotiating a prisoner swap for Griner and ex U.S. marine Paul Whelan, also detained in Russia.

Kyiv Prepares “Troll” Parade To Celebrate Independence Day

On Aug. 24, Ukraine celebrates Independence Day. Although the capital's authorities have asked all civil servants to work remotely this week and residents to refrain from mass actions (due to the high probability of Russian air strikes to coincide with potential celebrations), a parade will still take place in Kyiv's main street: Ukrainians have started transporting broken Russian military equipment from the front and lining them up in the streets of Kyiv. Although the holiday has not yet begun, the internet is already full of pictures of Kyiv residents posing against the background of destroyed Russian tanks.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Backfired! How Russia's Playing Games With Gas Prices Became A Big Problem For Its War

A complex compensation mechanism for fuel companies, currency devaluation, increased demand due to the war, logistics disruptions, and stuttering production growth have combined to trigger price rises and deepening shortages at home in the Russian energy market. That is a real risk for the war in Ukraine.

photo at night of workers at a gas plant

Workers in the Murmansk region of Russia overlook Novatek's gravity-based structure platform for production of liquefied natural gas

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS/ZUMA
Ekaterina Mereminskaya

Updated Sep. 20, 2023 at 3:20 p.m.

In Russia, reports of gasoline and diesel shortages have been making headlines in the country for several months, raising concerns about energy supply. The situation escalated in September when a major diesel shortage hit annexed Crimea. Even before that, farmers in the southern regions of Russia had raised concerns regarding fuel shortages for their combines.

“We’ll have to stop the harvest! It will be a total catastrophe!” agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev had warned at the time. “We should temporarily halt the export of petroleum products now until we have stabilized the situation on the domestic market.”

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As the crisis deepens, experts are highlighting the unintended consequences of government intervention in fuel pricing and distribution.

The Russian government has long sought to control the prices of essential commodities, including gasoline and diesel. These commodities are considered "signalling products", according to Sergei Vakulenko, an oil and gas expert and fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. Entrepreneurs often interpret rising gasoline prices as a signal to adjust their pricing strategies, reasoning that if even gasoline, a staple, is becoming more expensive, they too should raise their prices.

The specter of the 2018 fuel crisis, where gasoline prices in Russia surged at twice the rate of other commodities, haunts the authorities. As a result, they implemented a mechanism to control these prices and ensure a steady supply. Known as the "fuel damper," this mechanism seeks to balance the profitability of selling fuel in both domestic and foreign markets.

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