Russian investigators admit it is ‘difficult’ to find who planted the bomb tghat killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, the ultranationalist philosopher among the ideologues of the “conservative revolution” of Putin’s Russia. Darya was killed by a car bomb about 50 km from Moscow, in an attack, which investigators believe, was carried out “on commission”. The first logical suspects turned to Kiev, which denied any responsibility. According to acquaintances and friends of the victim, cited by the Russian media, Dugin – from the beginning a staunch supporter of the Kremlin offensive in Ukraine – was the real target: his daughter had borrowed his car (a Toyota Land Cruiser) and Dugin himself didn’t board at the last minute, instead following his daughter in a friend’s car. Images from the blast site show him standing in front of the burning car, with his hands in his hair. Father and daughter had participated in the ‘Tradition’ festival on Saturday, in the locality of Zakharovo. During the festival, the car was parked in the VIP area, where the bomb is believed to have been placed. According to the Russian newspaper Lenta.ru, however, the surveillance cameras on the spot did not work. The Dugins were returning to Moscow when the SUV in which Daria was travelling exploded and then went up in flames near the village of Bolshie Vyzyomy. The girl died instantly, while her father – according to President Putin’s former adviser, Serghei Markov – was hospitalised shortly after.
Dugina, a journalist born in 1992 and collaborator of newspapers such as ‘Russia Today’ and the orthodox ‘TV Tsargrad’, openly supported Putin’s offensive in the Ukraine and carried out an intense intellectual commitment in the wake of her father. In July, Britain placed her on the blacklist of sanctions for spreading disinformation about the war.
Sixty years old, fluent in several languages including Italian, Aleksandr Dugin is among the promoters of the idea of the ‘Russian world’ – the unification of the Russian-speaking territories into a vast new Russian empire – underpinning, among other things, of the ideological justification of the invasion of Ukraine; he is also an exponent of the ‘eurasist current of Russian nationalism’, which promotes the creation of a superpower through the integration of Russia with the former Soviet republics. Often referred to in the West as’ Putin’s Rasputin ‘or Putin’s ideologue’, his real closeness and influence over the Kremlin leader is often questioned in Russia and their relationships remain opaque. Dugin was already on the Western sanctions list since 2015, due to his alleged role in the annexation of the Crimea the previous year.
The powerful head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, personally took over the investigation into the murder. “All versions” are being evaluated to determine the responsibility for the incident: for now the investigators have made it known that the bomb was placed under the driver’s seat and that the attack took place “on commission”.
The hypotheses that circulate range from a Ukrainian revenge, to a settling of scores within the Russian elite. “The terrorists of the Ukrainian regime tried to kill Aleksander Dugin, but blew up his daughter,” Denis Pushilin, the leader of the pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Republic of Donetsk, in Donbass wrote on ‘Telegram’. “If the Ukrainian trail is confirmed by the competent authorities,” spokeswoman for the Moscow Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram, “it will be state terrorism by the Kiev regime”. From the Ukrainian presidency, Councilor Mikhailo Podolyak has rejected the accusations: “We have nothing to do. We are not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation, let alone a terrorist state,” Podolyak told Ukrainian TV.
Meanwhile, the murder has unleashed on social media and the media the voices of those in Russia who support a more radical line on Ukraine. “It is obvious that as of today there are no more safe places in Russia. The only way to protect the country is to destroy our natural enemy sitting in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Nikolaev, Odessa and other Russian cities,” said Akim Apachev, a friend of the victim and one of the last to speak with her on Saturday evening. – AGI