- Ukraine is bracing itself for an intensification of Russian missile attacks following a Moscow car bomb that killed the daughter of Aleksander Dugin – a prominent Russian philosopher and ally to Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin. A rise in the intensity of strikes is also anticipated as Ukraine is set to celebrate its independence anniversary next week.
- Ukrainian officials denied responsibility for the attack on 30-year-old Darya Dugina and a former Russian MP, Ilya Ponomarev, who lives in Kyiv, claimed the attack was the work of Russia's National Republican Army, a previously unknown anti-Kremlin partisan group. However, commentators in Russia blamed Ukraine and called for strikes on "decision-making centers."
- Even prior to the attack, Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy alleged in his nightly address on Sat. that Russia "may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel," in the coming week as the country will celebrate its independence from the USSR in 1991 on Wednesday. Government officials in Kyiv were advised to work from home and large traffic queues leaving the capital were reported on Sunday.
- Elsewhere, Russia's defense ministry alleged on Sat. that it has evidence its soldiers were poisoned with chemical agents while fighting in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region. It said soldiers with signs of severe poisoning were taken to a military hospital on Jul. 31 and tests showed the presence of botulinium toxin type B, adding it was preparing to send the evidence to the UN's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
- The neurotoxin can cause botulism if ingested in contaminated food products, but also has medical purposes. While the Ukrainian defense ministry did not immediately respond to Russian allegations, Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian interior ministry adviser, commented on Telegram that the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat. "Overdue rations have been massively complained about by the occupying forces since the first days of the invasion," he said.
- Meanwhile, as heavy fighting and artillery continued in the Donetsk region, where Ukrainian officials reported two civilians had been killed in the last 24 hrs, Russian shelling continued to be reported in the regions of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia. One civilian was also reported killed and six more were injured in Russian shelling of Dnipropetrovsk.
- Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by PBS. This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by National Security Archive. NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.