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Daughter Of Putin Ally Alexander Dugin Killed In Car Bomb In Moscow

The daughter of an ultranationalist Russian ideologue often referred to as “Putin’s brain” has been killed in a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow, according to Russia’s investigative committee.

Darya Dugina, whose father is the Russian political commentator Alexander Dugin, died when the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving was ripped apart by a powerful explosion about 12 miles (20km) west of the capital near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemy at about 9.30pm local time (1930 BST), according to investigators.

Witnesses said debris was thrown all over the road as the car was engulfed in flames before crashing into a fence.

“An explosive device allegedly installed in a Toyota Land Cruiser car went off at full speed on a public highway, and then the car caught fire,” investigators wrote in their report of the incident. “The female driver died on the spot. The identity of the deceased has been established: it is the journalist and political scientist Darya Dugina.”

Andrey Krasnov, a friend of Dugina and the head of the Russian Horizon social movement, confirmed the reports, according to the news agency Tass.

He said the bomb could have been intended for 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. He returned, he was at the site of the tragedy. As far as I understand, Alexander or probably they together were the target,” Krasnov said.

The media outlet 112 reported that Dugin and his daughter had been at an event outside Moscow and had been due to travel back together until he decided to go separately at the last minute.

Footage on social media appeared to show him at the scene in a state of distress.

A number of pro-Kremlin officials immediately blamed Kyiv for the blast. Margarita Simonyan, the head of the state-funded RT television station, wrote that “they blew up Dugin’s daughter” and called for attacks against the “decision-making centres” in Kyiv.

The head of the self-proclaimed, Russian-controlled Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, wrote on his Telegram channel that Dugina had been killed and blamed the Ukrainian government.

“Vile villains! The terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to eliminate Alexander Dugin, blew up his daughter … In a car. Blessed memory of Daria, she is a real Russian girl!”

Investigators said they had opened a murder case and would be carrying out forensic examinations to try to determine exactly what had happened. They said they were considering “all versions” when it came to working out who was responsible.

Dugin is known for developing an extreme rightwing view of Russia’s place in the world. He has been described as a “Russian fascist” who has helped shape Russian president Vladimir Putin’s expansionist foreign policy.

The influence of Dugin over Putin has been a subject for speculation, with some Russia watchers asserting that his sway is significant and others calling it minimal.

Dugin and his daughter have been sanctioned by the UK and US for acting to destabilise Ukraine. In its filing, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation called Dugina a “frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms”.

The US Treasury sanctioned her as the chief editor for the website United World International, which it claimed was owned by the Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin.

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