Russia accuses Ukraine of killing nationalist’s daughter, Putin presents him with award

  • Russian security services accuse Ukraine of an attack
  • Ukraine calls accusation propaganda
  • Putin says Dugina’s murder was evil, awards posthumous honor

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Russia’s Federal Security Service on Monday accused Ukraine’s secret service of killing Darya Dugina, the daughter of an ultra-nationalist, in a car bomb attack near Moscow that President Vladimir Putin called it “evil”.

Dugina, whose father Alexander Dugin is a prominent ideologue, was killed on Saturday when a bomb blew up the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving, Russian investigators said. Read more

Ukraine, defending itself from what it says is an imperial-style war of conquest waged by Russia, has denied any involvement in the attack, with Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak calling the accusation “propaganda”.

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Putin on Monday posthumously awarded Dugina the Order of Courage, a prestigious state award, “for the courage and selflessness he has shown in fulfilling his professional duties”, the Kremlin said.

Dugina, a regular commentator on state television, has strongly supported Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

Alexander Dugin, 60, has long advocated violence to achieve the unification of Russian-speaking and other territories. Read more

In his first public statement on the bombing, he said Darya had been brutally killed before her own eyes by Ukraine.

“Our hearts don’t just crave revenge or retaliation,” Dugin wrote. “We only need our victory (against Ukraine). My daughter sacrificed her young life on the altar of victory. So please win!

Russia’s FSB security service said the attack was carried out by a Ukrainian woman born in 1979, whom it named and whose photo and information appeared on Russian news sites.

They linked her to the Ukrainian security services and accused her of being a member of the Azov Battalion, a unit of the Ukrainian army that Russia has labeled a terrorist group.

In response, Azov said the woman had never been a member of the unit and accused Russia of concocting a lie.

The FSB said the woman arrived in Russia in July and spent a month planning the attack. She then fled to Estonia, he added.

Russian law enforcement had placed the woman on the country’s wanted list, TASS news agency reported, with Moscow asking for her extradition.

The Estonian Interior Ministry, police and Border Guard Service said in separate statements that they could only share information about people entering and leaving Estonia ‘in cases provided for by law’ , adding that the FSB’s allegation did not meet this requirement.


Putin paid tribute to Dugina as a patriot, calling his murder “evil and cruel”, while Margarita Simonyan, editor of the Kremlin-backed media organization RT, suggested agents could find the woman.

“Estonia, of course, will not deliver them,” Simonyan wrote on Telegram.

A memorial service for Dugina will be held at the Moscow Television Center on Tuesday, her father said.

On Monday, Moscow residents laid flowers and lit candles in front of a makeshift memorial.

“He was a unique person, and this loss is absolutely irreplaceable,” Sergei Sidorov said.

Some Russian opposition figures were skeptical of how quickly the FSB seemed to have solved the case and suggested alternative versions.

Ilya Ponomaryov, a Ukraine-based former lawmaker turned Kremlin critic, said a previously unknown Russian militant group called the National Republican Army was responsible.

His claim and the existence of the group could not be independently verified by Reuters.

The Russian investigative committee did not respond to a request for comment.

Ponomaryov was the only member of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, to vote against the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 and subsequently left Russia.

Ponomaryov, who runs an online TV channel designed to challenge the Kremlin’s war narrative, read a manifesto he said the group sent him.

He said the group was determined to overthrow Putin and build a new Russia. Such statements are illegal in Russia and those who make them risk long prison sentences.

His claim adds to a list of possible theories about who killed Dugina.

Some people think his father was the target.

Ukrainian Podolyak said he believed the murder was the result of a fight between Russian intelligence services.

Some Russian opposition activists have speculated that the killing may have been orchestrated by forces inside Russia keen to discourage ultra-nationalists like Dugin from criticizing the Kremlin for being, in their eyes, too lenient towards Ukraine.

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Reuters Editing reporting by Gareth Jones and Rosalba O’Brien

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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