The daughter of a Russian ideologue who is one of the most prominent supporters of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was killed in a car bomb attack outside Moscow on Saturday night.
Russian investigators said Daria Dugina, a nationalist journalist and political analyst, died after the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving exploded on the outskirts of Odintsovo, a suburb about 20 kilometers west of Moscow.
The bomb was planted under the car on the driver’s side and killed Dugina instantly, investigators added, noting that “the crime was planned in advance on [someone’s] orders”.
The attack came after Ukraine appeared to have staged a series of increasingly daring attacks on Russian-occupied territory and hundreds of kilometers behind the front line in mainland Russia itself in recent weeks.
Investigators are examining the scene of the attack on Sunday. The bomb was placed under the car on the driver’s side © Investigative Committee of Russia/AP
The car belonged to her father Alexander Dugin, whom she had accompanied while he was giving a lecture at a festival outside the capital the Saturday before. The far-right philosopher had planned to travel with her after the conference but decided to change cars, Dugina’s friend Andrei Krasnov told state news channel Tass.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied that Kyiv was involved in the attack. “Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state like Russia, nor a terrorist one,” Podolyak told Ukrainian television. Dugin’s friends and prominent supporters of the war called for Russia to retaliate against Kyiv.
“She took her car today, while Alexander went in a different way. He returned, he was at the scene of the tragedy. From what I understand, Alexander or probably they together were the target,” said Krasnov .
112, a news channel on the Telegram social media app, posted a video of Dugin standing on a road littered with burning debris, holding his head in his hands after apparently seeing the explosion.
Dugina, 29, is the first high-profile supporter of Putin’s invasion to be killed in the suburbs of Moscow, where life has continued largely as normal despite Western sanctions aimed at undermining the war effort. lic of the Kremlin.
“The despicable killing of Daria is a sign of the enemy’s cowardice and impotence. His death throes. He cannot fight with honor, so he kills the best of us,” said Konstantin Malofeyev, a tycoon who funds a nationalist news channel where the two Dugins previously worked. “The enemy will answer for this very soon.”
The elder Dugin founded the Eurasia movement, which advocates revanchist Russian imperialism to help Moscow assert greater control over its European and Asian hinterland.
A former Soviet-era dissident philosopher, Dugin’s writings found an audience among some senior hardliners in the security services, and later appeared to inspire Putin’s decision to annex Crimea and start a slow-moving war in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Although Dugin’s influence over Putin was sometimes exaggerated (he lost his teaching position at Moscow’s main university and his appearances on state television were curtailed), the United States and Canada sanctioned him in 2015 after his Eurasia movement recruited volunteers to fight in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.
Dugina, who worked alongside her father in the Eurasia movement, was sanctioned in March by the USA and UK about his work running a Russian propaganda website. The UK described her as a “frequent and prominent contributor of disinformation” about the invasion.