By JIM HEINTZ – Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) — The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often called “Putin’s mastermind” was killed in a car bomb attack on the outskirts of Moscow, authorities said Sunday.
The Moscow branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said preliminary information indicated that 29-year-old TV commentator Daria Dugina was killed by an explosive planted in the SUV she was driving on Saturday evening.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the bloodshed raised suspicions that the intended target was her father, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and writer.
Dugin is a prominent proponent of the concept of the “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 strong supporter of sending Russian troops to Ukraine.
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The explosion took place when his daughter was returning from a cultural festival she had attended with him. Some Russian media quoted witnesses as saying that the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.
The violent act of violence, unusual for Moscow, is likely to escalate tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk, the pro-Moscow region that is at the center of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed “terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to kill Alexander Dugin”.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied any 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 Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that Dugin, not his daughter, was likely the intended target and said: “It’s quite obvious that the most likely suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and Ukrainian security services. Service.”
While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin frequently echoes the rhetoric in his writings and appearances on Russian state television. He helped popularize the concept of “Novorossiya”, or New Russia, which Russia used to justify the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014 and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
It promotes Russia as a country of piety, traditional values and authoritarian leadership, and disdains Western liberal values.
His daughter expressed similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist television channel Tsargrad, 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 the United States has called a source of disinformation. The sanctions announcement cited a United World article from that year that claimed 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.
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