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TOPIC: russian oligarch

In The News

Both Kyiv And Moscow Refuse To Back Down In Fight For Kherson

As Moscow and Kyiv direct their troops toward the southern Ukrainian city, the strategic and symbolic value cannot be overstated.

Kyiv and Moscow both appear ready for a major battle to control the contested Ukrainian city Kherson. Statements by Ukrainian officials and recent troop movements from both sides indicate heavy fighting to come in the key southern city.

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Russia still controls the city despite recent Ukrainian counteroffensives in the area that have retaken significant territory, and Moscow has reportedly been reinforcing areas around Kherson with more soldiers. Russian media Vazhnyye Istorii spoke Wednesday with several local residents in Kherson who reported an uptick in looting and forced evacuations by occupying forces loyal to Moscow.

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Vladimir Potanin, How The Mega-Rich Russian Oligarch Defies Western Sanctions

French daily Les Echos profiles Vladimir Potanin, Russia's incarnation of a never-turn-back oligarch. The owner of Nornickel, Russia's leading company in the metals and mining industry, Potanin continues to grow his business despite Western sanctions. He recently took over French bank Société Générale's Russian subsidiary — with the Kremlin's approval, of course.

“Me an oligarch? No… On the other hand, Vladimir Potanin — with his politics and business — is the true incarnation of an oligarch!”

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Among Russia's top 10 billionaires, relationships have always been riddled with fratricidal wars involving millions of dollars and petty phrases.

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Pressure On Putin In Aftermath Of Darya Dugina’s Murder

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.

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China’s Missile Drills, Taliban Doubts On Al-Zawahiri, Good Great Barrier Reef News

👋 Alii!*

Welcome to Thursday, where China launches missiles in largest ever drills near Taiwan following Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Germany braces for a potential energy gas crisis next winter, and there’s good news from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, Die Welt visits Germany’s Baden-Baden, which went from the destination of choice for wealthy Russian tourists to a tourist ghost town.

[*Palauan, Republic of Palau]

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In The News
Meike Eijsberg, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Was Ukrainian Grain Tycoon Assassinated?

Russia's use of international food supplies as a weapon of war may be far from over.

Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadatursky was afraid for his life when French daily Le Monde met up with him a few weeks ago in his hometown of Mykolaiv. On Sunday, he and his wife Raisa, were killed in the southern city during an intense shelling attack.

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The deaths, which Ukraine officials say were targeted attacks, stand in sharp contrast to the other top news Monday that a ship carrying grain exports had left from the port of Odessa for the first time since the war began. Russian President Vladimir Putin again appears to be playing a double game when it comes to allowing food supplies to travel freely in the face of global hunger risks.

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In The News
Meike Eijsberg, Cameron Manley, and Emma Albright

Lavrov Says Russia’s Military Ambitions Now Go Beyond Donbas

Russia’s territorial goals in Ukraine are no longer limited to the eastern Donbas region, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Instead the Kremlin’s objectives in Ukraine are likely to extend into the country’s south toward the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, and “a number of other territories,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian state media RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

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In a direct threat, Lavrov said Moscow was more likely to expand the war if the West continues to supply Ukraine with more long-range weaponry.

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In The News
Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Revelations Of Putin’s Original Invasion Plans

Occupy Kyiv? Turn to Donbas? Hunt down "Nazis"? Vladimir Putin's intentions have been a moving target.

Two days before the start of the war, the Kremlin said that there were no plans to attack Ukraine, and that there can be no plans to do so. On the day of the invasion, Putin urged the Ukrainian army to go to Kyiv and take down the "neo-Nazi" Vladimir Zelensky.

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A week later, when the blitzkrieg was clearly a failure, the "liberation of the Donbas" began, and was cited as the purpose for Russia’s invastion. Each time circumstances required, Putin changed the official reasons for the war, although his original goal was to overthrow the Ukrainian government and occupy the entire territory of Ukraine, a goal he still pursues, according to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Anna Akage

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s Decoy-In-Chief

The Russian Foreign Minister, among the country’s most recognizable figures, embodies both the corruption and confusion of the Putin regime. Not everything is what it seems — and that’s the point.

From the outside, one might have the impression that the Russian Federation is run through a highly complex and well-coordinated apparatus that ensures that any single cog in Vladimir Putin’s system is by definition both in synch with the other cogs — and utterly replaceable. The Kremlin appears to us through this lens as an impregnable citadel with long arms and peering eyes that are literally everywhere.

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And yet, this is a completely false picture — and there’s no greater proof than in looking more closely at one of Russia's most prominent figures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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