August 23, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Rhea Mogul, Jack Guy, Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, August 24, 2022
4 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:14 a.m. ET, August 23, 2022

Russia awards posthumous order of courage to Darya Dugina

From CNN’s Josh Pennington and Mitchell McCluskey

Darya Dugina.
Darya Dugina. (From Darya Dugina/Telegram)

Russia has awarded a posthumous order of courage to Darya Dugina, the daughter of influential ultra-nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Dugina was awarded the honor “for courage and selflessness shown in the performance of her professional duty,” the decree states.

The decree notes she was awarded for her work as a correspondent for Tsargrad Media.

Russia has blamed the Ukrainian security service for the car bombing that killed Dugina. Ukraine has denied any involvement in the explosion. 

Both Dugin and Dugina have been sanctioned by the United States and the United Kingdom for acting to destabilize Ukraine.

The US Treasury sanctioned Dugina in March as the chief editor for the disinformation website United World International, which it claimed was owned by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin and pushed messages suggesting Ukraine would "perish" if it was admitted to NATO.

1:14 a.m. ET, August 23, 2022

Zelensky announces new initiative to strengthen ties with Eastern Europe and Baltic countries

From CNN’s Oleksandra Ochman

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video address on Monday August 22.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video address on Monday August 22. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukraine began a new initiative set to reinforce its ties with Eastern European and Baltic countries, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Monday in his nightly address. 

“A new diplomatic and security format, ‘Kyiv Initiative.’ was founded today. Ukraine's European neighbors are already participating in its work. These are Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and the Baltic states. We will gradually involve other countries. In the 'Kyiv Initiative' format, the work takes place at the level of foreign policy advisors of heads of state,” Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian president described the initiative as “a very promising line of our work in the Euro-Atlantic direction.”

He also called on European countries to add an eighth sanctions package against Russia, saying “the longer the interval between sanctions packages, the greater Russia's audacity.”

In his address, Zelensky also announced that search operations have ended following a Russian attack against a residential building in Kharkiv last week.

1:30 a.m. ET, August 23, 2022

UN prepares fact-finding team to investigate Ukraine prison attack

From CNN’s Richard Roth

The United Nations has a fact-finding team ready to investigate the Ukraine prison attack in Olenivka — but it's going nowhere for now.

Despite Russia and Ukraine requesting an independent probe, the UN believes the situation around the prison is not safe for access without proper assurances. 

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced other members of the team Monday. 

Joining a veteran retired police lieutenant general from Brazil is a diplomat from Iceland and a police official from Niger. 

The panel would establish facts and report back to the UN secretary-general.

Some background: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the end of July the attack on the prison in separatist-held eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the deaths of at least 50 prisoners, was "a deliberate war crime by the Russians." Russia, meanwhile, blamed Ukraine for the attack.

Olenivka is in the part of the Donetsk region, which has been held by pro-Russian forces for eight years.

The facility has been used to house many of the Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol several months ago. CNN could not independently verify the allegations of either side.

8:34 p.m. ET, August 22, 2022

Russian security service accuses Ukraine of Darya Dugina's murder

From CNN's Tim Lister, Uliana Pavlova and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Russia has blamed Ukrainian special services for the murder of Darya Dugina, a Russian political commentator and the daughter of prominent ultranationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

"The murder of journalist Darya Dugina has been solved, it was prepared by the Ukrainian special services, by a citizen of Ukraine," TASS reported, citing Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which named a woman as the perpetrator and said she had fled to Estonia after the attack.

Ukraine has denied any involvement in Dugina's killing, calling the FSB claims fiction.

"We have nothing to do with the murder of this lady — this is the work of the Russian special services," said Oleksii Danylov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security Council, in an interview on Ukrainian television Monday.

"I emphasize once again that our special services have nothing to do with this," he said.

Dugina, the editor of a Russian disinformation website, died after a bomb planted in a car she was driving went off in the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday evening.

The FSB said the assailant was a Ukrainian woman who arrived in Russia on July 23 with her young daughter, TASS reported. The pair attended a festival on Saturday near Moscow where Dugina was a guest of honor.

"The criminals used a Mini Cooper car to monitor the journalist," TASS reported, citing the FSB, adding that the woman had rented an apartment in Moscow in the same building where Dugina lived.

After remotely detonating explosives planted in Dugina's Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, the FSB said the woman and her daughter drove through the Pskov region to Estonia, roughly a 12-hour journey.

CNN cannot independently verify the FSB claims cited by the TASS report.

Read more here.