MOSCOW — The Kremlin accused Ukraine’s intelligence agency on Monday of carrying out the brutal 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 to Ukraine. Ukraine denied involvement.
Daria Dugina, a 29-year-old commentator for a nationalist Russian TV channel, died when an explosive device went off in her SUV while she was driving on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday night, authorities said.
Her father, Alexander Dugin, a philosopher, writer, and political theorist referred to by some in the West as “Putin’s brain,” was widely regarded as the intended target.
The Russian Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, said the murder of Dugina was “prepared and committed by the Ukrainian special services”.
The FSB said a Ukrainian national, Natalya Vovk, committed the murder and then fled to Estonia.
The FSB said Vovk arrived in Russia with her 12-year-old daughter in July and rented an apartment in the building where Dugina lived to shadow her. It said that Vovk and her daughter were at a nationalist festival that Dugin and his daughter attended just before the murder.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied any Ukrainian involvement in the bombing on Sunday.
In a letter offering condolences to Dugin and his wife, Putin denounced the “cruel and insidious” murder, adding that Dugina “served honestly people and the homeland, demonstrating what it means to be a patriot of Russia.” with her actions.”
In a statement, Dugin described his daughter as a “rising star” who was “treacherously killed by enemies of Russia”.
“Our hearts are not only longing for revenge and retribution. It would be too petty, not in Russian style,” Dugin wrote. “We just need the win.”
Dugin has been a prominent proponent of the concept of the “Russian world,” a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, restoring Russia’s global influence, and uniting all ethnic Russians around the world.
He has strongly supported Putin’s sending of troops to Ukraine and has urged the Kremlin to step up its operations in the country.
The car bombings, unusual for Moscow since the gang wars of the turbulent 1990s, sparked calls from Russian nationalists to respond by ramping up attacks on Ukraine.
Russian media quoted witnesses who said the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.
Dugin helped popularize the “Novorossiya” or “New Russia” concept that Russia used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Dugin has also promoted authoritarian leadership in Russia and spoken disdainfully of liberal Western values. He has been slammed with US and European Union sanctions.
His daughter had similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the TV channel Tsargrad, where Dugin had served as editor-in-chief.
Dugina herself was sanctioned by the US in March for her work as editor-in-chief of United World International, a website Washington has described as a source of disinformation.
In an appearance on Russian television last week, Dugina called America “a zombie society” where people are against Russia but can’t find it on a map.
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