The daughter of a close ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been killed on a highway near Moscow.

Darya Dugina died after her car exploded while she was driving home, Russia’s investigative committee said.

It is thought that her father, the Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin who is known as “Putin’s brain,” may have been the intended target of the attack.

Mr Dugin is a prominent ultra-nationalist ideologue who is believed to be close to the Russian president.

Alexander Dugin and his daughter had been invited as guests of honour at a festival at an estate near Moscow, where the philosopher gave a lecture.

Darya Dugina was vocal in her support for the Russian government on Ukraine

The “Tradition” festival describes itself as a family festival for art lovers which takes place at the Zakharovo estate where Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once stayed.

The pair were due to travel back from the event on Saturday evening in the same car before Mr Dugin made the decision to travel separately from his daughter at the last minute.

Unverified footage posted on Telegram appears to show Mr Dugin watching in shock as emergency services arrive at the scene of the burning wreck of a vehicle.

The BBC has not been able to verify the footage independently.

Investigators confirmed that Darya Dugina died at the scene near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemy.

They said an explosive device had gone off before the car caught fire. Forensic and explosive experts are investigating.

Analysis

While Alexander Dugin is not a state official himself, he is nevertheless a symbolic figure in Russian politics.

His anti-Western, ultranationalist philosophy has become the dominant political ideology in Russia and has helped shape President Putin’s expansionist foreign policy, most prominently on Ukraine.

Attention will now turn to who was behind this attack. Denis Pushilin, the “head” of the self-declared pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic”, has already laid the blame on Ukraine, writing on Telegram “Vile villains! The terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to eliminate Alexander Dugin, blew up his daughter… In a car. We cherish the memory of Daria, she is a real Russian girl!”

Incidents like this will make officials in Moscow nervous, especially in the aftermath of a series of explosions and attacks in occupied Crimea and in Russian regions near the border with Ukraine.

Kremlin propaganda consistently stresses how Vladimir Putin has brought security and stability in Russia following the turbulent 1990s, when car bombs and assassinations were commonplace.

This car bomb in the Russian capital undermines that narrative.

Despite not holding an official position in government, Ms Dugina’s father is a close ally of the Russian president and has even been branded “Putin’s Rasputin”.

The philosopher’s daughter, Darya Dugina, was herself a prominent journalist who vocally supported the invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this year she was sanctioned by US and UK authorities, who accused the 30-year-old of contributing to online “disinformation” in relation to Russia’s invasion.

In May, she described the war as a “clash of civilisations” in an interview and expressed pride in the fact that both she and her father had been sanctioned by the West.

Alexander Dugin was sanctioned by the US in 2015 for his alleged involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea.

His writings are credited with having a deep influence on Vladimir Putin’s worldview and he is considered to be a chief intellectual architect of the ultra-nationalist ideology adhered to by many in the Kremlin.

For years, Mr Dugin has called on Moscow to assert itself more aggressively on the global stage and has supported Russian military action in Ukraine.

 

Source:BBC

 

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