On August 20, Daria Dugina, Russian journalist, philosopher and war correspondent, died on the road in the Moscow region. The SUV she was driving exploded and burned down.
Daria was driving a Land Cruiser Prado. The explosion took place when she was driving near the village of Bolshye Vyazemy at about 10 pm Moscow time. Daria Dugina and her father, the philosopher, considered to be the ideologist of the “Russian world” Alexander Dugin, were returning from the festival Tradition. Alexander reportedly planned to go with her, but got into another car. His daughter died in his eyes.
Alexander Dugin, 60, is a Soviet and Russian philosopher, political scientist and public figure. He is one of the main ideologists of Eurasianism and heads the International Eurasian Movement. From 2009 to 2014, he was Head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations of the Faculty of Sociology of Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The United States imposed sanctions on Dugin in 2015 for being “responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, or sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine”. Canada and Australia have also imposed sanctions against him. At the same time, he has no official ties to the Kremlin. His dossier was also published on the Ukrainian website Mirotvorets (Peacemaker), which states that he “engaged in anti-Ukrainian propaganda.” The Mirotvorets website was created in 2014 as a public database with personal information of those the Kiev regime considers to be “pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers.”
Daria dugina was 29 when she was killed. She was a political commentator and the chief editor of United World International website. She was sanctioned by the US and Britain. At the beginning of the summer, Dugina went to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, covering the ongoing events and helping civilians. She also collected information about the Azov regiment.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin awarded her with the Order of Courage posthumously for courage and dedication shown in the performance of professional duty.
Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal murder case after a Toyota Land Cruiser “went off at full speed on a public highway” and caught fire, after an “explosive device planted under the bottom of the car on the driver’s side” was remotely detonated.
In two days after the assassination, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) blamed Ukrainian special services for the attack. The FSB claimed that the perpetrator of the crime was a 43-year-old citizen of Ukraine Natalia Vovk (née Shaban), who arrived in Russia on July 23 with her 12-year-old daughter. After the murder, Vovk and her daughter escaped to Estonia through the border in the Pskov region, the FSB said in a statement.
According to the Russian special services, Vovk entered the territory of Russia in a Mini Cooper with DPR numbers. Then, she used Kazakhstan numbers when driving in Moscow, and Ukrainian numbers were on the car when she left Russia. In Moscow, Vovk rented an apartment in the house where Daria Dugina lived in order “to collect information about her lifestyle,” as well as to organize the assassination.
On the day of the assassination, Vovk and her daughter were at the same festival in the Zakharovo park near Moscow, where Daria Dugina was an honorary guest and Aleksandr Dugin lectured. There, the explosive device was planted in the Daria’s car.
The media supposed that the 12-year girl could be involved in the preparation or even execution of the crime. They both fled to Estonia immediately after the assassination.
The FSB published a video of Natalia Vovk suspected of committing a political terrorist act:
1. Vovk and Shaban enter Russia
2. Vovk enters the house where the deceased lived.
3. Vovk and Shaban leave Russia for Estonia.
After the publication of information about the assassin, it turned out that she had long been listed on the Nemezida website. This is a website denouncing the Nazis of the 21st century and their crimes. The team of Russian hackers RaHDIt published the certificate of the Azov regiment in the name of Natalia Pavlovna Shaban back in April 2022. She served in the Ukrainian National Guard in the military unit 3057 which includes the Azov regiment.
Shaban (Vovk) Natalia Pavlovna reportedly received a salary from Azov when holding the position of a telephone operator until February 2022, according to the accounting department of the Azov battalion (military unit 3057). The source of the screenshot of the Azov documents is unknown.
Azov denied that Vovk served in their ranks.
Following Natalia’s identification, Russian law enforcement agencies declared their intent to seek her extradition.
Despite all the evidences presented by the Russian side, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu called the information of the Russian FSB about the escape of Natalia Vovk to the republic a provocation.
“We regard this [statement by the FSB of Russia] as a provocation by the Russian Federation <…>, we have nothing more to say about this,” Reinsalu claimed.
After the FSB’s statement was released on August 22, it raised questions in the Russian media space about how, after committing a crime, Vovk managed to freely leave the Russian territory and cross the border with an unfriendly country, where deep control measures should be applied especially to third-country citizens.
In its turn, Kiev denies any involvement in the incident. President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of his anticipation that Dugina’s murder would inextricably result in the intensification Russia’s military campaign. In the media space, Kiev officials are trying to pursue the idea that the real reason of the assassination was the internal political struggle in Russia.
Immediately after the terrorist attack, the fugitive Russian opposition politician Ilya Ponomarev claimed his alleged involvement in the murder of Daria. The Russian ultraliberal political section indirectly claimed responsibility for the organization of the assassination through Ilya.
With a satisfied grin, he told how the murder was allegedly being prepared in his interview on August 21. He hastened to deny the involvement of Natalia Vovk and Sofia Shaban in the assassination after the FSB accused them. Immediately after the incident, he announced the creation of the so-called National Republican Army (NRA), which took responsibility for the murder of Daria Dugina and for other terrorist acts in Russia. Soon after his interview, terrorist threats were spread on the social media accounts allegedly linked to the NRA with calls for attacks on civil servants and security forces, businessmen and even usual citizens who support the Russian government.
Ponomarev declared his involvement in funding in Ukraine and supporting the NRA, which means an attempt to organize a terrorist movement inside Russia under the patronage of the Kiev regime. No relevant comments or any denials have been provided by Kiev. Thus, Ukrainian citizen Ponomarev, without any opposition from the Kiev authorities, supports and organizes a terrorist movement in Russia.
Many experts suppose that the claims of the Russian ex-deputy were aimed at diverting any suspicion from the Kiev regime and his Western curators.
Ponomarev’s figure was promoted by the Ukrainian media on the eve of the attack. The day before the attack, one of the main Ukrainian TV channels released a report dedicated to Alexander Dugin. The expert invited by the Ukrainian reporters was Ponomarev, who prepared the media space for the upcoming assassination and convinced the public that Dugin was allegedly the main ideologue of Putin and the war in Ukraine, which is an outright exaggeration.
In 1998-2014, Ponomarev held senior positions in Khodorkovsky’s YUKOS. In 2001, he became Vice President of IBS holding, which received a budget contract for the implementation of the Electronic Russia program worth about 30 billion rubles, the Skolkovo Foundation. He was an adviser to Chairman Vekselberg, a long-time business partner and friend of Chubais.
At the same time, Ponomarev engaged in political activity and closely cooperated with Surkov, who at that time oversaw domestic policy in the Presidential Administration, as well as the Ukrainian direction in Russia’s foreign policy, closely cooperating with the Ukrainian Security Service. In 2007, Ponomarev was elected to the State Duma thanks to his ties to Surkov. Having committed fraud at Skolkovo, he was forced to flee from Russia.
Ponomarev lived in the USA from 2014 to 2016. Then, he moved to Ukraine. On May 17, 2019, on the last working day of the cadence of Poroshenko, the then-president of Ukraine granted Ponomarev Ukrainian citizenship.
Recall that Ponomarev was one of the leaders of the Russian Left front. During his political activity in Russia, he was close to radical leftist and anarchist organizations that use terror as a method of political struggle.
The organization of terrorist guerrilla in Russia, with which Ponomarev allegedly interacts, is likely mythical and only exists in the social media.
However, this does not exclude the fact that the assassination of Daria Dugina corresponds to the interests of Russian radicals who have received asylum abroad.
Members of radical anarchist organizations who have always been engaged in combat training of saboteurs and were involved in various political assassinations in Russia could take part in the implementation of the murder. According to Ponomarev, these are “true Russian patriots”.
It is quite possible that Russian “activists” interacted in many ways with the Ukrainian special services in order to organize the attack. Russian leftists and anarchists could enlist the support of Ukrainian agents embedded in Russia, who provided technical support and carried out the assassination. It is also possible that the operation was carried out without the consent of the supreme leadership of Ukraine.
Daria Dugina was a public person. At the same time, she was little known to the broad Russian public. The same assessment is partially relevant to her farther. Dugin’s name is well known only to the active patriotic part of Russian society. Dugin has not been given the opportunity to spread his ideas through the state media lately. He participated in public discussions years ago, and then he disappeared from the Russian media. It’s hard to remember when Russian political talk shows invited Dugin to the TV broadcast. Today, the main channels for the dissemination of his patriotic ideas are Internet platforms, which are not widely popular. He did not hold any political positions. One could not find any of his photos with Vladimir Putin.
The assassination of Daria Dugina has far-reaching consequences, which are necessary for radical opposition and are of little benefit to the Kiev regime
The murder of Dugin’s daughter has already led to the spread of Professor Dugin’s ideas among the population. This assassination united various Russian patriotic political movements. At the same time, the attack led to the demonisation of Russian liberal activists in the eyes of the population.
Moreover, the incident is highly likely to cause changes in the Russian legislative framework and law enforcement activities. Starting with the radicalisation of the activities of Russian counterintelligence forces. They are likely to act as like in wartime conditions, realizing that there is a war going on, including on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Tough response measures by legislation authorities should also be expected. For example, Russian liberal movements can be recognized as extremist. Public support to the West or Ukraine can also be recognized as extremism, as it was done, for example, in Ukraine against Russia. At the moment, there are only norms in Russian legislation, according to which someone may be punished for spreading fakes about the military operations in Ukraine or the Russian army.
Law enforcement activities may be expanded within the Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to the article, criminal liability attaches for “actions aimed at inciting hatred or enmity, as well as humiliating the dignity of a person or a group of persons on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, attitude to religion, as well as belonging to any social group, committed publicly or using mass media”. It is noteworthy that the followers of Dugin’s ideas were the ones who were often accused under this article. Earlier, the article was actively used to prevent spreading of Russian nationalist ideas in order to prevent any marginalization of the ethnic minorities in the country. Now, it may be more widely applied to leftist movements on the basis of incitement to hatred based on political views.
Thus, if Dugina’s assassin is the Kiev regime, then it will get the opposite of the desired result.
Kiev in the hands of the Anglo-Saxons initially placed stake on attempts to destroy Russia from within, and the cold-blooded murder of a young girl only inspires Russian patriotic movements.
At the same time, Daria’s murder is beneficial for Russian ultraliberal forces in Russia and abroad. The response measures of the Russian government will lead to the marginalization of the political opposition, and the further radicalization of individuals and cells who remained on the territory of the country. Fugitive radicals are trying to initiate processes similar to those that took place in Russia in the early 20th century. They are trying to provoke social and political cases that will lead to the emergence of a terrorist movement of a political nature, following the example of the Combat Organization. It was created by the Socialist Revolutionary Party in the early 1900s to fight the autocracy through “centralized” terror against the most odious representatives of the ruling elite.
From the point of view of modern radicals, such a policy coordinated from abroad will create a revolutionary moment in Russia. In this case, the interests of ultraliberals converge with those of anarchists. It seems that, the Kiev regime should also benefit from this.
However, Kiev needs immediate results in the short term but the murder will only lead to immediate retaliatory measures against the Ukrainian regime, including on the battlefields.
Moreover, Kiev is now waiting for the approval of multibillion-dollar financial assistance from the West. Revealing of the Kiev’s terror policy on the international arena will complicate obtaining financial aid from at least “democratic” Europe.
Thus, Russia has already claimed that it will raise the issue of the murder of Daria Dugina at a meeting of the UN Security Council on August 23.
“The murder of Daria Dugina demonstrates the nature of the Ukrainian state, the connection of Kiev with saboteurs is obvious,” said the representative of Russia in the UN Security Council.
The UN has already called for an investigation to establish who was behind the death of Daria Dugina, said the official representative of the Secretary General of the international organization Stefan Dujarric.
Even the United States reacted to the attack with restraint. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States condemns attacks on civilians, commenting on the murder of Daria Dugina.
In their turn, Russian radical cells are awaiting for the medium and long-term consequences. In addition to the marginalization and radicalization of the opposition forces, they got the opportunity to demonstrate the results of their subversive activities to the US and British authorities and enlist their support in the long struggle for the destruction of the Russian nationhood.
The analysis of the short-term and long-term interests of different parties suggests that the Kiev regime is not the only one who should be suspected of the assassination of Daria Dugina. The Russian services have managed to identify the killer, but Moscow is yet to reveal the paymasters, organizers and accomplices.
The attack in Moscow have already been compared to the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Russia’s decisive response to the assassination is necessary for the Kremlin to fulfill the national demand. At the same time, the position of Estonia, a NATO member, causes concern. The policy of the political West may lead to a new round of escalation of the conflict not between Moscow and Kiev, but between Russia and NATO.