Car explosion kills Daria Dugina, daughter of Russian nationalist known as ‘Putin’s brain’

Moscow – The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist who is often referred to as “Putin’s mastermind” was killed in a car bomb attack outside Moscow, authorities said Sunday.

The Moscow branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said preliminary information indicated that a bomb planted in the SUV driven by 29-year-old Daria Dugina exploded on Saturday night, killing the television commentator who was her daughter by Alexander Dugin, philosopher and nationalist writer.

Dugin is a prominent proponent of the “Russian World” concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of Russia’s power, and the unity of all ethnic Russians in the world. He is also a vehement supporter of sending troops to Russia Ukraine.

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The explosion took place when his daughter was returning from a cultural festival she had attended with him. Some Russian media quoted witnesses as saying that the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.

The live and violent incident, unusual for Moscow, is likely to exacerbate animosity between Russia and Ukraine.

In this photo taken from video released by Russia’s Investigative Committee on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, investigators work at the scene of the explosion of a car driven by Daria Dugina outside Moscow.

Russian Investigative Committee via AP

No suspects were immediately identified. But Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic which is a focus of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed it on “terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, who are trying to kill Alexander Dugin”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukraine’s involvement, telling national television that “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and definitely not a terrorist state.”

Analyst Sergei Markov, a former adviser to Putin, told Russia’s state news agency RIA-Novosti that Alexander Dugin, not his daughter, was likely the intended target, saying “it is completely obvious that the the most likely suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and the Ukrainian Security Service.” .”

While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin often echoes the rhetoric of his writings and appearances on Russian state television. He helped popularize “Novorossiya,” or New Russia, a concept Russia used to justify its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

He promotes Russia as a country of piety, traditional values ​​and authoritarian leadership, and disdains liberal Western values.

His daughter expressed similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist Tsargrad TV channel, where Dugin had served as editor-in-chief.

Dugina herself was sanctioned by the United States in March for her work as editor-in-chief of United World International, a website the US described as a disinformation site. The sanctions announcement cited a UWI article from this year that claimed Ukraine would “perish” if admitted to NATO.

“Dasha, like his father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” Tsargrad said on Sunday, using the familiar form of his name.

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