After the death of right-wing Russian political scientist and journalist Darja Dugina, a previously unknown partisan movement claimed responsibility for the attack. “This attack opens a new page in Russian resistance to Putinism. A new one – but not the last,” said the Russian Ilya Ponomarev, who lives in Ukraine, in a YouTube video published on Sunday evening.
The National Republican Army movement is said to be responsible for the murder of the daughter of right-wing nationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin, as the former member of the Russian Parliament explained. Whether such a “National Republican Army” actually exists was not initially verifiable. Some commentators on social networks doubted that an improvised opposition movement could be behind such a sophisticated and elaborately planned assassination and rather see the handwriting of Russian security authorities.
According to Ponomaryov, the Russian partisans have carried out several actions in recent months, such as small arson attacks on administrative buildings. The 47-year-old hinted at further attacks in the coming months – for example against government officials and members of the security apparatus who are “henchmen” of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.
The 29-year-old was considered a fervent supporter of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. According to reports by Moscow media, she was on Britain’s sanctions list for spreading propaganda and false news about the invasion ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin on February 24.
According to investigators, Dugina’s car exploded on Saturday evening while driving in a suburban settlement in Moscow region. According to the investigators, according to initial findings, an explosive device was mounted on the vehicle, which detonated. The investigators also published a video of the search for clues. Investigated because of a contract killing in different directions.
Videos of the wrecked car on fire made the rounds on social media – and of a shaken Dugin, who rushed to the scene of the crime on Saturday and, as can be seen in photos, clapped his hands over his head. They left open whether the assassination attempt could have been aimed at Dugina’s father.
As reported by Russian media, citing family members, he was probably the real target. Accordingly, he had lent her the car, a Toyota Land Crusier, for the trip.
According to a report by the Russian news agency Interfax, Dugin and his daughter attended the patriotic festival “Tradition” together on Saturday, which is supported by a presidential foundation. “It was planned that father and daughter leave the festival together, but Darja drove alone in the vehicle,” says Interfax.
The government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta also reported that father and daughter went to a festival and Dugin only decided at the last moment to get into another car.
The father of the dead man, who is also well connected with right-wing extremists in Europe, is repeatedly described by the media and authors as a whisperer or as the “brain” of Russian President Putin.
Dugin has long espoused an ideology that aims to unify Russian-speaking areas into a new Russian empire. Based on this conviction, he also supports the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Dugin has been on the EU sanctions list since the annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014. Several of his books are banned in Ukraine.
The United States, which has Dugin on its sanctions list, sees the ideologue as the brain behind the invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin on February 24. As journalists in Kyiv reported on Sunday after the explosion, the 60-year-old openly called for the killing of Ukrainians. And this sentence has also been handed down from his daughter Darja: “Ukrainians are brutes!”.
Dugin, who has written many books, is considered an anti-Western hate preacher and campaigner for the idea of a Slavic superpower.
The attack sparked horror among Russian nationalists and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. And although the investigation into the alleged assassination is ongoing and nothing has been proven, Russian state propaganda has hastened to blame the assassination on “Ukrainian terrorists”.
“The terrorists of the Ukrainian regime tried to liquidate Alexander Dugin and blew up his daughter… in the car,” wrote the leader of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, on the Telegram news channel. Darja will be remembered – as a “real Russian girl”. Some commentators in Ukraine doubted that forces in the country attacked by Russia are currently capable of carrying out such an assassination.
Dugina’s colleague Margarita Simonian, the editor-in-chief of the Russian state television channel RT, condemned the attack on the “young, smart, beautiful and incredibly talented woman”. “Darya could have become one of those people who form a new national ideology for Russia.” Simonyan also called for revenge. “The decision-making centers!” She wrote three times in a row on the news channel. In doing so, she recalled multiple threats by Moscow to target the command centers in Kyiv.
After the shelling on its border regions of Kursk, Belgorod and Bryansk, Russia has repeatedly threatened counterattacks, allegedly from the Ukrainian side. But after almost six months of war, there are many questions for the military leadership of Moscow. Political commentators are increasingly surprised that the Kremlin has not reacted more sharply, especially after the most recent explosions on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
The explosion of a car bomb near Moscow brings Russia’s war very close again for the capitals, who largely ignore the bloodshed in the neighboring country. TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, who was sanctioned for his warmongering, is said to have narrowly escaped an attack in April.
Kremlin chief Putin personally commented on this. “We know by name the curators of Western intelligence, a primarily CIA group that works with Ukraine’s security agencies and appears to be giving such advice,” the president said.
It is clear that the explosion does not change the situation in Russia. But observers said on Sunday that the shock wave from the car bomb is at least shaking the comfortable world of the propagandists, who previously thought they were safe. The killing of a public supporter of the war against Ukraine on Russian territory near Moscow is considered unprecedented.
Russia’s domestic secret service FSB reports almost daily arrests of suspected terrorists who are said to have planned attacks on behalf of Ukraine. Again and again, the agents also published unverifiable photos and videos of self-made explosive devices and confessions of the suspects.
There have also been threats from Ukraine that partisans could cause problems for Russia with attacks for years to come. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from the war zone are now living in Russia – often with no alternative. The suspicion that “saboteurs”, as Moscow calls them, are also entering via the escape routes is omnipresent. Only last week, according to a statement, did the FSB arrest several “saboteurs” after the massive explosion in Crimea. However, the attacks by the Ukrainian side have not been confirmed.
Meanwhile in Kyiv, Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podoliak stressed that Ukraine had nothing to do with the attack. On television he said that this incident could also come in handy for Russia to justify mobilization for the war. In addition, many groups in Russia were now fighting among themselves for ideological positions in the domestic field.