Car explosion kills Daria Dugina, daughter of Russian nationalist known as “Putin’s brain”
Moscow — The daughter of an influential Russian political theoristwas killed in a car bomb attack on the outskirts of Moscow, officials said on Sunday.
The Moscow branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said preliminary information indicated that a bomb planted in the SUV driven by Daria Dugina, 29, exploded Saturday night, killing the TV commentator, who is the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and writer, was.
Dugin is a prominent proponent of the concept of the “Russian world,” a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of Russia’s power, and the unity of all ethnic Russians around the world. He is also a staunch supporter of Russia sending in troops.
The explosion happened as his daughter was returning from a cultural festival she attended with him. Some Russian media reports cited witnesses who said the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he made a last-minute decision to travel in another vehicle.
The lively and violent incident, unusual for Moscow, is likely to escalate hostility between Russia and Ukraine.
No suspects were immediately identified. But Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, which is at the heart of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed it on “terrorists from the Ukrainian regime trying to kill Alexander Dugin.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukraine’s involvement, saying on national television: “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and we are definitely not a terrorist state.”
Analyst Sergei Markov, a former Putin adviser, told Russia’s state news agency RIA-Novosti that Alexander Dugin, not his daughter, was likely the intended target, saying: “It is perfectly obvious that the most likely suspects are the Ukrainian Military Intelligence and the Ukrainian Security Service are .”
While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin often repeats the rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state television. He helped popularize the concept of “Novorossiya” or “New Russia” that Russia used in 2014 to justify the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its support of 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 expressed similar sentiments and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist TV station Tsargrad, where Dugin had been 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 the US has described as a disinformation site. The sanctions announcement cited a UWI article earlier this year that claimed Ukraine would “go under” if it was admitted to NATO.
“Like her father, Dasha was always at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” Tsargrad said Sunday, using the familiar form of her name.
In his 1997 book The Foundations of Geopolitics, Dugin put forward an ideology called Eurasianism. The idea suggests that Russia, uniquely positioned between Europe and Asia, is unassimilable within Western civilization. Instead, Dugin believes that Russia should embrace its geopolitical peculiarity and dominate both spheres, uniting Europe and Asia into one great empire ruled by ethnic Russians. Dugin has placed Eurasism in direct opposition to liberalism and the entire “Atlantic” world, which he believes is led by the United States.
“Ukraine, as an independent state with certain territorial ambitions, poses an enormous threat to the whole of Eurasia, and without solving the Ukrainian problem it is generally pointless to talk about continental politics,” Dugin wrote in his 1997 book.
Dugin remained steadfast that subjugating Ukraine was the only way forward for Russia after the Russian invasion.
“Without Ukraine, Russia cannot become an empire again,” Dugin said in a video posted to Telegram in March. “With Ukraine within the Russian control zone, it will become empire again.”
in one, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl pointed out that Putin appears to have listened to all of his recommendations. Not only had Dugin called on Russia to annex Ukraine, which Russia first did in Crimea in 2014, but Dugin had suggested Russia should make Iran an ally and encourage Britain to leave the European Union.
Dugin dismissed the suggestion that Putin was following his blueprint. He pointed out that his political prescriptions were decades old and that Putin was just taking the first steps.
“We’re asking him to be a lot more authoritarian than he is,” Dugin told Stahl. “So he disappoints us a little bit because it is like that [takes] too long.”