(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Aug 22, 6:16 AM EDT
Explosive under Putin ally’s car was remotely triggered, investigators say
An explosive device planted on the underside of Putin ally Alexander Dugin’s vehicle was remotely triggered, Russian investigators said.
Dugin’s daughter, Daria Dugina, was killed in a blast near Moscow on Saturday.
“A presumed explosive device planted on a Toyota Land Cruiser went off when the car was moving at full speed past Bolshiye Vyazemy in the Odintsovo urban district at about 9 p.m. on August 20, and the car caught fire,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement posted to Telegram. “The woman driving the car died instantly. The victim was identified as journalist, political analyst Daria Dugina.”
Alexander and Daria attended a traditional patriotic festival on Saturday afternoon, according to the Odinstovo administration. They’d planned to leave together in the same vehicle, but Daria instead drove alone.
The Russian Investigative Committee’s press service told Interfax that Daria was assassinated.
Detectives established that the bomb was planted on the underside of the driver’s side of the vehicle, the committee said. Russian media outlets had reported that the SUV belonged to Dugin.
“Detectives and specialists from the Main Forensic Department of the Russian Investigative Committee are continuing to examine the incident scene. In particular, a forensic technician examined the charred vehicle before it was taken to a special parking lot,” the Committee said.
Biological, genetic, physical, chemical and explosive examinations have been scheduled, the committee said.
-ABC News’ Anastasia Bagaeva
Aug 21, 3:12 PM EDT
Daughter of Putin ally killed in car bomb; Schiff hopes it wasn’t ‘from Ukraine’
U.S. officials do not know who to blame for the car bomb that killed the daughter of political theorist Alexander Dugin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Daria Dugina, a 29-year-old TV commentator, was killed on the Mozhaisk Highway in the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday night by an explosive that had been planted in the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving, Russia’s state-run news agency TASS reported.
Alexander Dugin, often referred to as “Putin’s brain,” had just attended “Tradition” cultural festival with his daughter, according to TASS. Russian media outlets reported that the SUV belonged to Dugin.
The Russian Investigative Committee press office told TASS Dugina’s killing was planned and contracted.
Schiff said Sunday that he had not yet been briefed on the killing and that he “couldn’t say” who is behind it, adding that he hoped it was an “internal Russian affair” rather than something “emanating from Ukraine.”
“There are so many factions and internecine warfare within Russian society, within the Russian government,” Schiff said. “Anything is possible.”
Adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office Mikhail Podolyak denied Kyiv was involved in the explosion that killed Dugina during a televised interview on Sunday.
“I emphasize that Ukraine certainly has nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state like the Russian Federation, and even less a terrorist state,” Podolyak said.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson and Patrick Reevell
Aug 20, 2:10 PM EDT
Videos circulating online show smoke over Sevastopol
Videos circulating online show smoke rising over Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea and a major port on the Black Sea.
The city’s Russian-appointed governor said a drone was struck down and fell through the roof of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Headquarters. Ukraine has not commented on the strike.
-ABC News’ Layla Ferris
Aug 19, 3:31 PM EDT
US to offer new $775M aid package to Ukraine
The U.S. has authorized a new $775 million military aid package for Ukraine, the Department of Defense announced on Friday.
The package will include more High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) ammunition and howitzers, as well as some firsts, including ScanEagle reconnaissance drones and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
The 15 ScanEagle drones are intended to help Ukraine identify targets and put the HIMARS and howitzers to better use, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
The 40 MRAP vehicles and other mine-clearing equipment will help Ukrainian troops cross dangerous terrain, according to the official.
“We know that Russia has heavily mined areas in parts of southern and eastern Ukraine. We know there’s a significant amount of unexploded ordinance,” the official said.
The new aid package follows a $1 billion package announced on Aug. 8.
-ABC News’ Matthew Seyler
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