Darya Dugina’s father, Alexander Dugin, is believed to have influenced President Vladimir Putin’s approach to Ukraine.
Moscow, Russia (JC) | The daughter of a prominent Russian ultranationalist rumoured to be a close ally of President Vladimir Putin was killed in a car bomb blast outside Moscow in what may have been an assassination attempt on her father.
Darya Dugina, 29, died after an explosive device detonated, destroying the Toyota Land Cruiser she was travelling in late on Saturday, investigators said in a statement on Sunday.
Dugina is the daughter of Alexander Dugin, an ideologue who has long advocated for unifying Russian-speaking regions and territories as part of a new Russian empire. He is believed to be an influential voice in shaping Putin’s worldview and approach to Ukraine, although the extent of his sway on the Russian leader’s thinking is debated.
State news agency TASS quoted Andrei Krasnov, who said he knew Dugina personally, as saying the vehicle belonged to her father and he was probably the intended target. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Russian government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported the father and daughter attended a cultural festival outside Moscow and decided to switch cars at the last minute.
“An explosive device was placed on the underside of the car on the driver’s side,” Russia’s investigative committee said in a statement.
“Darya Dugina, who was behind the wheel, died at the scene. The investigation believes that the crime was planned in advance and was of a contractual nature.”
Analyst Sergei Markov, a former Putin adviser, told the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that Dugin, not his daughter, was the intended target. “It’s completely obvious that the most probable suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and the Ukrainian Security Service,” he added.
Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24 with the stated aim of demilitarising and denazifying the neighbouring country.