Russia blames Ukraine for nationalist’s car bombing death

Daria Dugina, daughter of a close Putin aide, died when an explosive planted in her SUV went off near Moscow

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Investigators work on the site of explosion of a car driven by Daria Dugina outside Moscow. — AP
Investigators work on the site of explosion of a car driven by Daria Dugina outside Moscow. — AP


Published: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 8:50 PM

The Kremlin accused Ukrainian intelligence on Monday of carrying out the brazen car bombing that killed the daughter of a leading right-wing Russian political thinker and supporter of President Vladimir Putin’s move to send troops into Ukraine. Ukraine denied involvement.

Daria Dugina, a 29-year-old commentator with a nationalist Russian TV channel, died when an explosive planted in her SUV went off as she was driving Saturday night on the outskirts of Moscow, authorities said.

Her father, Alexander Dugin, a philosopher, writer and political theorist whom some in the West have dubbed “Putin’s brain”, was widely believed to be the intended target.

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, said Dugina’s killing was “prepared and perpetrated by the Ukrainian special services”.


The FSB said a Ukrainian citizen, Natalya Vovk, carried out the killing and then fled to Estonia.

The FSB said Vovk arrived in Russia in July with her 12-year-old daughter and rented an apartment in the building where Dugina lived in order to shadow her. It said that Vovk and her daughter were at a nationalist festival that Dugin and his daughter attended just before the killing.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied any Ukrainian involvement in the bombing.

In a letter extending condolences to Dugin and his wife, Putin denounced the “cruel and treacherous” killing and added that Dugina “honestly served people and the Fatherland, proving what it means to be a patriot of Russia with her deeds”.

In a statement, Dugin described his daughter as a “rising star” who was “treacherously killed by enemies of Russia”.

“Our hearts are longing not just for revenge and retaliation. It would be too petty, not in Russia style,” Dugin wrote. “We need only victory.”

Dugin has been a prominent proponent of the “Russian world” concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of Russia’s global influence and the unity of all ethnic Russians throughout the world.

He has vehemently supported Putin’s sending of troops into Ukraine and urged the Kremlin to step up its operations in the country.

The car bombing, unusual for Moscow since the gang wars of the turbulent 1990s, triggered calls from Russian nationalists to respond by ramping up strikes on Ukraine.

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.

Dugin helped popularise the “Novorossiya,” or “New Russia” concept that Russia used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Dugin has also promoted authoritarian leadership in Russia and spoken with disdain of liberal Western values. He has been slapped with US and European Union sanctions.

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

Dugina herself was sanctioned by the US in March for her work as chief editor of United World International, a website that Washington has described as a source of disinformation.

In an appearance on Russian television last week, Dugina called America “a zombie society” where people oppose Russia but cannot find it on a map.

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