CNN – Russia has accused Ukrainian special services of the murder of Darya Dugina, a Russian political commentator and daughter of prominent ultranationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin, according to Russian news agency TASS.
“The murder of journalist Darya Dugina has been solved, it was prepared by Ukrainian special services, by a Ukrainian citizen,” TASS reported, citing Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which named a woman as the perpetrator. and said she had fled to Estonia after the attack.
Ukraine has denied any involvement in Dugina’s murder, calling the FSB a fiction.
Dugina, editor-in-chief of a Russian disinformation site, died after a bomb exploded in a car she was driving in suburban Moscow on Saturday night.
The FSB said the attacker was a Ukrainian woman who arrived in Russia on July 23 with her young daughter, TASS reported. The couple attended a festival on Saturday near Moscow where Dugina was the guest of honor.
“The criminals used a Mini Cooper car to monitor the journalist,” TASS reported, citing the FSB, adding that the woman had rented an apartment in Moscow in the same building where Dugina lived.
After remotely detonating explosives placed in Dugina’s Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, the FSB said the woman and her daughter traveled through the Pskov region to Estonia, a journey of around 12 hours.
CNN cannot independently verify the FSB claims cited by the TASS report.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a key adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Monday that the FSB accusation reflected the “fictitious world” in which Russian propaganda thrives.
“Ru-propaganda lives in a fictional world: [Ukrainian] a woman and her 12-year-old child have been “assigned” responsibility for the explosion of propagandist Dugina’s car. Surprisingly, they didn’t find the ‘Estonian visa’ there,” he said on Twitter.
Dugina’s father, Alexander Dugin, is a prominent Russian nationalist credited with being the architect or “spiritual guide” of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Both father and daughter have been sanctioned by the US and UK for acting to destabilize Ukraine.
The US Treasury sanctioned Dugina in March as editor of the disinformation website United World International, which it said was owned by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin and disseminated messages suggesting Ukraine would ‘perish’ if admitted to NATO.
Prigozhin, known as ‘Putin’s boss’, is believed to be behind the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the notorious Kremlin-linked troll factory accused of interfering in the 2016 US election.
The UK, in a July filing by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, called Dugina a “frequent and high-level contributor of misinformation regarding Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms”.
Putin sent his condolences to Dugina’s family on Monday, calling his death a “despicable and cruel crime”.
In a statement posted on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel, Putin said: “Journalist, scientist, philosopher, war correspondent, she honestly served the people, the motherland, she proved by her deeds what it means to be a patriot of the Russia”.
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