The daughter of a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin was killed in a suspected car bomb attack on Saturday night.
29-year-old Daria Dugina, who is a journalist and political scientist, died on the spot after an explosion in her father’s Toyota Land Cruiser, which she was driving, on a road outside Moscow, the Investigative Committee of Russia reported.
Her father, the Russian philosopher and prominent public figure Alexander Dugin, who is known as “Putin’s brain” and is considered one of the main ideologues of the concept of a “Russian world” and neo-Eurasianism, is believed to have been the planned target of the attack.
Dugin is a prominent ultra-nationalist ideologue who is believed to be close to the Russian president.
He and his daughter were at a festival near Moscow, where the philosopher gave a lecture. The Tradition festival is described as a family event for art lovers, held at the Zakharovo estate, where the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once stayed.
The two were supposed to leave the scene Saturday night in the same car, but Dugin decided at the last minute to travel separately.
The car driven by Dugina exploded near the village of Bolshie Vyazemi and burst into flames.
According to the Russian law enforcement authorities, the explosive was planted while the car was in a parking lot.
There were many guests at the festival, people parked their cars on both sides of the Zvenigorod highway, where the “Zakharovo” estate is located. Almost the entire parking lot was full.
The jeep in which Dugina left the festival was also there. There were no checks when entering the parking lot, so the explosive device could have been left at any time by anyone, which it did, according to a TASS source.
The law enforcement authorities said that there was a traffic police team at the entrance to the mansion, and the traffic was regulated by traffic policemen.
Attendees were screened immediately before entering the event.
Forensic and explosives experts continued to examine the scene on Sunday.
The version of Ukrainian involvement in the attack was immediately promoted in the Russian media, which was rejected by an official representative of Kyiv.
“Ukraine, of course, has nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state like the Russian Federation, much less a terrorist state,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn announced on Telegram that if any Ukrainian connection was discovered, it would be tantamount to “state terrorism.”
In this case, criminal proceedings have been opened for murder, carried out in a way that endangered the lives of many.
“This is her father’s car, Dasha drives another car, but today she was driving his car, and Alexander Gelievich was traveling the other way. He returned and was at the scene of the tragedy. As far as I understand, Alexander Gelievich was directly targeted, and maybe would both,” said Andrey Krasnov, head of the public movement “Russian Horizon” and an acquaintance of the deceased.
Darya Dugina was born in 1992. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Moscow State University “Lomonosov”, and later defended his doctorate in philosophy, TASS notes.
Her father Alexander Dugin is known as a philosopher and conservative publicist, one of the prominent authors and advocates of the ideology of the “Russian world” and neo-Eurasianism. For years, he has been calling for a more aggressive presence of Moscow on the world stage, notes the Russian edition of the BBC.
Western media call him one of the main ideologues of modern Russia, whose positions are closely watched by Vladimir Putin, many officials of the security services and the Kremlin.
Dugin strongly supports the war in Ukraine.
Since 2014, he has been included in the EU sanctions list, and in 2015, the US and Canada also imposed sanctions on him due to suspicions of complicity in the annexation of Crimea, the Russian edition of the BBC also notes.