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Russian Security Service Blames Ukraine For Death Of Putin Ally's Daughter; Kyiv Rejects Accusation

By RFE/RL August 22, 2022

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused Ukraine's secret service of carrying out the bombing that killed the daughter of prominent Kremlin-connected far-right ideologue Aleksandr Dugin, a vocal supporter of and propagandist for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Kyiv has vehemently denied any connection to the death of Darya Dugina, who was killed when the car she was traveling in exploded in the Moscow region on August 20.

The FSB claimed in a statement on August 22 that the "perpetrator" of the crime is a Ukrainian who then left the country through Estonia. It did not provide any evidence to back up its claim.

Some analysts cast doubt on the Russian claim, noting that the closest Estonian border crossing to Moscow is almost 770 kilometers to the northeast, a drive that would take about 10 hours. They added that such an escape would also mean the person passed out of Russia and into Estonia without resistance at the border.

The official state news agency TASS quoted an unnamed enforcement agency source as saying the bomb was activated remotely but gave no further details.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak denied that Kyiv was behind Dugina's death immediately after it was reported, and reiterated the point in a tweet on August 22 saying attempts to blame Ukraine for the incident are "useless."

Russia's Investigative Committee has said it has opened a murder case and is carrying out forensic examinations to try to determine exactly what happened.

The U.S. State Department said on August 22 that the United States unequivocally condemns the intentional targeting of civilians anywhere, when asked about the killing of Dugina.

Speaking at a daily press briefing, spokesperson Ned Price declined to say whether Washington knew who was behind the attack but said there was no doubt that Russians would put forward "certain conclusions."

According to family members and quoted by the Russian media Dugin and his daughter, who is described as a journalist and political analyst, had been attending a festival outside Moscow and he had decided to switch cars at the last minute.

In a statement released by a close associate on August 22, Dugin described his daughter as a "rising star" who was "treacherously killed by enemies of Russia."

"Our hearts are longing not just for revenge and retaliation; it would be too petty, not in Russia's style," Dugin wrote. "We need only victory."

In a message to her family released by the Kremlin on August 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Dugina's killing was "a vile crime."

Dugin is a far-right Russian author and ideologue described as being the architect or "spiritual guide" to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

He has long called for the absorption of Ukraine into Russia and is one of the main ideologues of Russia's Neo-Eurasianist movement, which has been described by political scientists as fascist for promoting an extreme right-wing view of Russia's place on the international stage that some have said resembles Nazism.

Putin has sometimes echoed Dugin's expansionist language and views, and while the extent of the ideologue's influence on the Kremlin is unclear, he is sometimes described as "Putin's Brain."

Both Dugin and his daughter have loudly backed the war against Ukraine.

Dugin was put on a Western sanctions list after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, a move he also backed.

Dugina was a political commentator for the International Eurasian Movement, which is led by her father.

In March, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Dugina for "acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of the United World International (UWI) website, whose chief editor she was.

The Treasury said Dugina also contributed to a UWI article suggesting that Ukraine would "perish" if it was admitted to NATO.

With reporting by RIA Novosti, AFP, and TASS

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/dugina-death-russia-blames- ukraine/31999306.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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