MOSCOW (AP) – The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as “Putin’s brain” has been killed in a car bomb attack on the outskirts of Moscow, authorities said Sunday.
The Moscow branch of the Russian Commission of Inquiry said preliminary information indicated that 29-year-old TV commentator Daria Dugina was killed Saturday night by an explosive device placed in the SUV she was driving.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the bloodshed gave rise to suspicions that the intended target was her father, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and writer.
Dugin is a prominent proponent of the concept of ‘Russian world’, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of Russian power and the unity of all ethnic Russians around the world. He is also a staunch supporter of Russia sending troops to Ukraine.
The explosion happened when his daughter was returning from a cultural festival she had attended with him. Some Russian media quoted witnesses as saying the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.
The lively act of violence, unusual for Moscow, is likely to exacerbate tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk, the pro-Moscow region at the center of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed “terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, who tried to kill Alexander Dugin”.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukrainian involvement, saying: “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and certainly not a terrorist state.”
Analyst Sergei Markov, a former adviser to Putin, told Russia’s state news agency RIA-Novosti that Dugin, and not his daughter, was likely the intended target, saying: “It is perfectly clear that the most likely suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and the Ukrainian military. be a security service. Maintenance.”
While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin regularly repeats rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state television. He helped popularize the concept of “Novorossiya,” or the new Russia, which Russia used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
He promotes Russia as a country of piety, traditional values and authoritarian leadership, and despises Western liberal values.
His daughter held similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist TV channel Tsargrad, 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 described by the US as a source of disinformation. The sanctions announcement this year cited a United World article claiming that Ukraine would “perish” if admitted to NATO.
Dugina, like her father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West, Tsargrad said on Sunday.