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Daughter of ‘Putin’s Brain’ killed in car bomb in Moscow

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 22, 2022

A planted car bomb exploded near Moscow on Saturday night, killing the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a Russian nationalist philosopher believed to be a major influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dugin may have been the intended target of the blast.

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Video emerged late on Saturday, showing Alexander Dugin looking at the exploded wreckage of his daughter of the SUV driven by his daughter, 30-year-old Darya Dugina.

While Dugin does not hold any official position within the Russian government, he is believed to be a close ally of Putin with heavy influence. At times, Putin has echoed expansionist views similar to those espoused by Dugin. Due to his alleged influence over Putin, Dugin has been dubbed “Putin’s Brain” and “Putin’s Rasputin.”

Dugin supported past Russian efforts beginning in 2014 to seize Crimea and other territory held by Ukraine. Dugina has been a supporter of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Sledstvennyi Komitet investigative service announced on Sunday they had determined someone planted a bomb under the bottom of a Toyota Land Cruise, on the driver’s side. The bomb exploded at around 9 p.m. on Saturday while Dugina was driving near the Bolshie Vyazemy settlement in the Moscow oblast.

After the bomb went off, the car caught on fire.

Andrey Krasnov, an associate of the Dugin family, told the Russian state-run TASS news agency that the Land Cruiser Dugina had been driving belonged to her father.

“This was the father’s vehicle. Darya was driving another car but she took his car today, while Alexander went in a different way,” Krasnov told TASS. “He returned, he was at the site of the tragedy. As far as I understand, Alexander or probably they together were the target.”

On Monday, TASS reported Russia’s FSB federal security service had determined the bomb attack was carried out by Natalia Vovk, a Ukrainian national linked to the Ukrainian Secret Service, SBU.

An FSB official told TASS that Vovk might have used falsified documents and a fake passport to enter Russia.

An FSB official also told TASS that Vovk escaped to Estonia after carrying out the bombing. The official said Vovk is now on a Russian wanted list and Russia is demanding her extradition.

Estonia is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The NATO alliance has been supporting the Ukrainian government against Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Dugin has led the National Bolshevik movement in Russia and is a proponent of Neo-Eurasianism. The ideology calls for the creation of a broad Russian-speaking empire.