Who is Daria Dugina, the Russian woman killed by a car bomb in Moscow?

In this handout photo taken from video released by Investigative Committee of Russia on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, investigators work on the site of explosion of a car driven by Daria Dugina outside Moscow. Daria Dugina, the daughter of Alexander Dugin, the Russian nationalist ideologist often called “Putin’s brain”, was killed when her car exploded on the outskirts of Moscow, officials said Sunday. The Investigate Committee branch for the Moscow region said the Saturday night blast was caused by a bomb planted in the SUV driven by Daria Dugina.(Investigative Committee of Russia via AP)

A car bomb exploded in Moscow on Saturday night, killing Russian commentator Daria Dugina, the daughter of nationalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, according to Russian authorities. 

Investigations are reportedly ongoing, according to a Telegram post from the Russian Investigative Committee, and the committee suspects the incident was premeditated.

The father-daughter pair had reportedly attended a festival outside Moscow just before the incident, and a device beneath Dugina’s Toyota Land Cruiser exploded as she was driving away.

According to the BBC, the 29-year-old and her father were initially set to leave the festival in the same car, leading some to suspect Dugin was the intended target of any attack. 

Dugina was designated for sanctions by both the United States and the United Kingdom earlier this year for propagating online disinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The U.S. noted Dugina was chief editor of United World International, which reportedly shared disinformation and suggested Ukraine would “perish” if it became part of NATO. Her father was associated with the website Geopolitica, which allegedly published false accusations that the U.S. and NATO provoked war with Russia. 

The United Kingdom sanctioned Dugina as “a frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms.”

Dugina was outspoken in her support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Post reported, and a proponent of her father’s geopolitical theories.

“This is liberal totalitarianism, this is liberal fascism, this is Western totalitarianism,” Dugina said of what she thinks Russia is fighting in an interview shortly before her death, according to The New York Times.

Dubbed “Putin’s Brain” in a 2014 Foreign Affairs profile, Dugin touts Eurasianism and nationalist ideas of Russian expansion to quash U.S. power. The exact relationship between Dugin and Putin is not clear.

No party immediately claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing, and Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t yet issued comment, but some Russians have moved to blame Ukraine, the Times reported

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that “Ukraine certainly had nothing to do with yesterday’s explosion. We are not a criminal state like the Russian Federation, much less a terrorist one.”

In the wake of Dugina’s death and ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day, Zelensky has warned of Russian escalation.

“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel,” Zelensky said in an address to Ukrainians.

Tags aleksandr dugin Daria Dugina putin Russia-Ukraine war

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