Car Blast Kills Daughter of Russian Known as ‘Putin’s Brain’

MOSCOW — The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as “Putin’s brain” was killed in a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow, authorities said Sunday.

According to preliminary information, the Moscow branch of Russian Investigative Commission said that Daria Dugina (29-year-old television commentator) was struck and killed in an explosion while driving her SUV Saturday night.

It was not immediately clear who the victim was. The bloodshed led to suspicions about Alexander Dugin her father, an author and philosopher of nationalist philosophy.

Dugin is a prominent proponent of the “Russian world” concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, restoration of Russia’s power and the unity of all ethnic Russians throughout the world. He is also a vehement supporter of Russia’s sending of troops into Ukraine.

His daughter, who was on her way back from attending a cultural festival with him at the time of the explosion, witnessed it. Russian media reports said that Dugin was the owner of the SUV, and that he decided to transport it in another vehicle.

This unusually violent act is expected to increase tensions between Russia, Ukraine.

Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, the pro-Moscow region that is a focus of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed it on “terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to kill Alexander Dugin.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukrainian involvement, saying, “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and definitely not a terrorist state.”

Analyst Sergei Markov, a former Putin adviser, told the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that Dugin, not his daughter, was probably the intended target and said, “It’s completely obvious that the most probable suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and the Ukrainian Security Service.”

While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin frequently echoes rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state TV. He helped popularize the “Novorossiya,” or New Russia, concept that Russia used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

He views Russia as a nation of virtue, tradition, leadership and piety and rejects Western liberal values.

The views of his daughter were similar to hers and he had commented on Tsargrad’s nationalist television channel, which Dugin was chief editor.

In March, Dugina was also sanctioned in the United States for being the chief editor at United World International. The website is considered a source of disinformation by the U.S. The sanctions announcement cited a United World article this year that contended Ukraine would “perish” if it were admitted to NATO.

Dugina, “like her father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” Tsargrad said on Sunday.

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