By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Darya Dugina, 29, was the daughter of nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, seen by Western officials as “Putin’s brain,” who supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Viewed by investigators as a journalist and political expert, Dugina publicly backed her father’s position. In an appearance on Russian television last week, Dugina called America “a zombie society” where people oppose Russia but cannot find it on a map.
Dugina herself was sanctioned by the U.S. in March for her work as chief editor of United World International, a website Washington described as a source of disinformation.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday, however, that Washington “unequivocally” condemns the targeting of civilians.
“We condemn the targeting of civilians, whether that’s in Kyiv, whether that’s in Bucha, whether that’s in Kharkiv, whether that’s in Kramatorsk, whether that’s in Mariupol, or whether that’s in Moscow. That principle applies around the world,” Price added.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor of the KGB spy agency, said that the killing of Darya Dugina had been “prepared and perpetrated by the Ukrainian special services.”
Investigators noted that Dugina, who was driving the car that exploded, died at the scene near Bolshiye Vyazemy, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Moscow, the capital.
Russian media cited witnesses as saying the “Toyota Land Cruiser SUV that exploded” belonged to Dugin but that he decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle.
The FSB said a Ukrainian citizen, Natalya Vovk, carried out the killing before fleeing to Estonia.
She allegedly arrived in Russia in July with her 12-year-old daughter and rented an apartment in the building where Dugina lived to follow her.
The two Ukrainians were at a nationalist festival, which the elder Dugin and his daughter attended, just before the car bombing, investigators said.
The FSB released video of the alleged suspect from surveillance cameras at the border crossings and the entrance to the Moscow apartment building.
The agency noted that Vovk used a license plate for Ukraine’s Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region to enter Russia and a Kazakhstan plate in Moscow.
She then switched to a Ukrainian one to cross into Estonia, according to FSB officials. Yet, in Estonia, the prosecutor general’s office said it “has not received any requests or inquiries from the Russian authorities on this topic.”
There has been no claim of responsibility for the car bombing. On Sunday, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied any Ukrainian involvement in the car bombing.
Some reports suggested militants may have been behind the attack, but the Kremlin appeared to disagree.
Sunday’s bombing underscored mounting pressure on Putin six months after launching the invasion of Ukraine that he calls a “special military operation.”
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