Russians pay tribute to nationalist killed by car bomb

MOSCOW — Hundreds of people lined up on Tuesday to pay tribute to the daughter of a leading right-wing Russian political thinker who was killed in a car bomb attack that Moscow blamed on Ukrainian intelligence.

At a farewell ceremony at a broadcasting production center in Moscow, Alexander Dugin said in a broken voice that his 29-year-old daughter, a commentator for a nationalist Russian television channel, “died for the people, died for Russia”.

“The enormous price we have to pay can only be justified by the highest achievement, our victory,” he said, standing next to his daughter’s coffin, with her black-and-white portrait behind it. “She lived for the sake of victory, and she died for the sake of victory. Our Russian victory, our truth, our Orthodox faith, our state.”

Darya Dugina was killed when a remote-controlled explosive device placed in her SUV exploded Saturday evening while she was driving in the suburbs of Moscow, tearing the vehicle apart and killing her on the spot, authorities said.

Her father, a philosopher, writer and political theorist who ardently supports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine, was widely regarded as the intended target. 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.

At the memorial service at the Ostankino television center, which topped state television newscasts, 60-year-old Dugin shared what he believes were his daughter’s last words to him, spoken at a nationalist festival they both attended just before her death. : “Father, I feel like a warrior, I feel like a hero. I want to be one. I don’t want any other fate. I want to be with my people, with my country.”

Speaking at a separate event on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the murder of Dugina as a “barbaric crime for which there is no forgiveness”.

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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. Ukraine has denied any involvement in the bombing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reaffirmed the denial on Tuesday, saying at a press conference in Kiev on Dugina’s assassination: “That is not our responsibility. She is not a citizen of our country. We are not interested in her.”

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, attended the farewell ceremony for Dugina on Tuesday. Slutsky, who took part in several rounds of talks with Ukrainian negotiators in March, said the assassination would have implications for the conflict in Ukraine.

“We see that Kiev is not inclined to talk, and my own position as a member of the negotiating team is that it would be difficult to engage in talks after that terrible tragedy,” he said.

Putin sent a letter of condolence to Dugin and his wife on Monday, denouncing the “cruel and insidious” murder and saying that Dugina “served honestly people and the homeland, demonstrating what it means to be a patriot of Russia.” be with her deeds.” He posthumously awarded Dugina the Order of Bravery, one of Russia’s highest medals.

The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, 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 after arriving in Russia in July with her 12-year-old daughter and renting an apartment in the building where Dugina lived to shadow her. It said that Vovk and her daughter were at the nationalist festival that Dugin and his daughter attended.

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The agency said that after the murder, Vovk drove to Estonia with a different license plate for her vehicle. On Monday, the FSB released videos of surveillance cameras that would show her entering and leaving Russia, as well as a close-up of her allegedly in front of the entrance to an apartment building in Moscow where Dugina lived and where Vovk rented an apartment.

The FSB also posted photos of her vehicle with different license plates.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu rejected the Russian claim, saying in television comments: “We consider this an example of provocation in a very long series of provocations by the Russian Federation, and we have nothing more to say about it.”

Dugin, referred to by some in the West as “Putin’s brain” and “Putin’s Rasputin”, has been a prominent proponent of the concept of the “Russian world”, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of global influence of Russia and the unity of all ethnic Russians around the world.

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. He has urged the Kremlin to step up its operations in 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.

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Jan M. Olsen contributed to this report from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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