The 29-year-old journalist and daughter of famed Russian political philosopher Alexander Dugin was killed instantly Saturday night on a highway outside Moscow after a powerful car bomb attached to the SUV she was driving detonated.
Ukraine’s special services are behind the murder of Daria Dugina, and the perpetrator of the crime is Natalya Vovk, a Ukrainian national, the Federal Security Service (Russian acronym FSB) has concluded.
“It has been established that the crime was prepared and committed by the Ukrainian special services. The perpetrator is Natalya Pavlovna Vovk, a citizen of Ukraine born in 1979, who arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022 together with her daughter…,” the domestic security agency said in a statement Monday.
Vovk was said to have rented an apartment in the same building where Dugina lived to obtain information about her lifestyle. The perpetrator was said to have driven a Mini Cooper, with the vehicle entering Russia with Donetsk People’s Republic plates, using Republic of Kazakhstan plates while in Moscow, and Ukrainian plates when leaving the country through Pskov region into Estonia.
“On the day of the murder, Vovk and [her 12-year-old daughter] attended the ‘Tradition’ literary and music festival, where Dugina was present as an honored guest,” the FSB said. “After carrying out the controlled explosion of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado which Dugina was driving, Vovk and her daughter left [Russia] through Pskov region into Estonia,” the agency indicated.
The security service said it has transferred its information to the Investigative Committee.
The FSB later released footage of Vovk during her time in Russia, including footage from border guard body cameras of the suspected assassin crossing into and out of Russia, and footage from door cams entering the residence where Dugina resided.
Dugina, 29, died instantly in an car bombing west of Moscow on Saturday night. According to investigators, the vehicle belonged to her father, 60-year-old Russian philosopher, journalist, and radical geostrategist Alexander Dugin. Dugina was Dugin’s only daughter.
Donetsk People’s Republic head Denis Pushilin accused Kiev of involvement in the assassination almost immediately after the bombing took place. On Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that if suspicions of Ukrainian involvement in the attack were corroborated, it would point to Kiev’s policy of “state terrorism.” Kiev has denied any involvement.
Western media have nearly unanimously reported on Dugina’s murder in the context of her father’s supposed connections to Vladimir Putin, calling the philosopher the Russian president’s “closest aide,” “ally” or even his “brain.” In reality, although Dugin is a leading Russian conservative intellectual and proponent of Eurasianism – a highly eclectic ideology consisting of nationalism, mysticism, Orthodoxy, socialism and anti-modernist views, his connections to or influence on Putin are dubious at best, and there is no evidence that the two have ever even met.
Also on Monday, Russian tycoon Konstantin Malofeev posted a message which he said was from Dugin on Telegram. “[My daughter] was a beautiful Orthodox girl, a patriot, a military correspondent, an expert on the central television channels, a philosopher. Her speeches and reports were always profound, grounded and restrained. She never called for violence or war,” the message said.
“She was a rising star at the beginning of her journey. The enemies of Russia killed her in a scummy, underhanded way. But we, our people cannot be broken even by such unbearable blows. They wanted to crush our will with bloody terror against the best and most vulnerable among us. But they won’t succeed,” the message added.
Dugin wrote that “revenge or retribution” would be “too petty, not in the Russian way,” and that “we need only our victory. My daughter has laid her life on its alter. So win, please!”
The Kremlin’s Telegram channel expressed the Russian president’s condolences to Dugina’s family, calling her killing a “vile and cruel crime,” and characterizing her as a true patriot.