MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday that Ukrainian intelligence services were responsible for the car bombing that killed the daughter of a leading right-wing Russian political thinker over the weekend. Ukraine has denied any involvement.
Darya Duginaa 29-year-old commentator for a Russian nationalist TV channel, died when a remote-controlled explosive device placed in her SUV detonated on Saturday evening as she was driving in the outskirts of Moscow, tearing up the vehicle and killing her on the spot , authorities said.
Her father, Alexander Dugin, a philosopher, writer and political theorist who ardently supports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine, was widely seen as the intended target. Russian media quoted witnesses as saying the SUV belonged to Dougin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.
Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB’s main successor, said Dugina’s murder was “planned and carried out by Ukrainian special services”.
The FSB said a Ukrainian citizen, Natalya Vovk, carried out the murder and then fled to Estonia.
In Estonia, the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement carried by Baltic News Services that it “has not received any request or investigation from the Russian authorities on this matter”.
The FSB said Vovk arrived in Russia in July with her 12-year-old daughter and rented an apartment in the building where Dugina lived in order to follow her. He said Vovk and his daughter were at a nationalist festival that Dugin and his daughter attended just before the murder.
The agency released video of the suspect from surveillance cameras at border crossings and at the entrance to the building in Moscow.
The FSB said Vovk used a license plate for Ukraine’s breakaway Russian-backed region of Donetsk to enter Russia and a Kazakhstan plate in Moscow before switching to a Ukrainian plate to enter Estonia.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied any Ukrainian involvement in the attack. In a tweet, he dismissed the FSB claims as fiction, casting them as part of infighting between Russian security agencies.
In a letter offering his condolences to Dugin and his wife, Putin denounced the “cruel and treacherous” murder and added that Dugina “honestly served the people and the fatherland, proving what it means to be a patriot of Russia. with his deeds. He posthumously awarded Dugina the Order of Courage, one of Russia’s highest medals.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said Dugina’s murder reflected Kyiv’s reliance on “terrorism as an instrument of its criminal ideology”.
In a statement, Dugin described his daughter as a “rising star” who was “treacherously killed by enemies of Russia”.
“Our hearts not only yearn for revenge and retaliation. That would be too petty, not in the Russian style,” Dugin wrote. “We only need the win.”
The car bombing, unusual for Moscow since the gang wars of the turbulent 1990s, sparked calls from Russian nationalists to respond by stepping up strikes against Ukraine.
Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, argued that the perpetrators of Dugina’s murder might have hoped to encourage a split between those in the Russian elite who advocate a political compromise to end hostilities in Ukraine and supporters of tougher military action.
Dugin, dubbed “Putin’s brain” and “Putin’s Rasputin” by some in the West, has been a prominent proponent of the concept of the “Russian world”, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, restoration of Russia’s global influence and the unity of all ethnic Russians throughout the world.
Dugin helped popularize the concept of “Novorossiya” or “New Russia” which Russia has used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. He urged the Kremlin to step up its operations in Ukraine.
Dugin also promoted authoritarian leadership in Russia and spoke dismissively of liberal Western values. It was slapped by American and European sanctions.
His daughter expressed similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the Tsargrad TV channel, where Dugin had served as editor.
Dugina herself was sanctioned by the United States in March for her work as editor of United World International, a website Washington has described as a source of disinformation.
During an appearance on Russian television last week, Dugina called America a “zombie society” where people oppose Russia but cannot find it on a map.

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