Daria Dugina was the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, a prominent political ally of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who died on August 21, 2022, when she was driving her father's car and it exploded.
Her father has been described as the primary architect of Russia's 2014 Invasion of Crimea, and its 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. In reaction her father had been placed under economic sanctions by various nations, in 2015. Following the invasion of Ukraine, and her own strong public support of that invasion, both the United States and the United Kingdom placed Daria herself under sanctions.
Russian authorities initiated a murder investigation almost immediately after the explosion. According to members of her family Daria had borrowed her father's car at the last minute, and died in an assassination attempt targetting him.
Career as a political analyst and commentator
Dugina had been employed by the International Eurasian Movement, an organization lead by her father. She had been the chief editor of United World International, a website her organization maintains.
Dugina visited Mariupol on June 13, 2022, to celebrate Russia's subdual of the last elements of resistance in that port city. American ex-patriate John Mark Dougan interviewed Dugina on board a Russian vessel in Mariupol's harbor . He appeared to agree to her claims that Ukrainians were committing war crimes, against their own civilians, with NATO support. The New York Times reported that, after touring the bunkers in the massive Azovstal steel plant, she said she found this plant, where the last Ukrainian soldiers had made their last stand, "was filled with 'Satanist,' 'black energy'."
Death and legacy
Dugina and her father were attending a cultural event, described as centering around the Arts and traditional Russian values. Accounts differ over how she ended up driving the car with the bomb, when observers seem to concur it was her father who was the assassination target. Leo Sands, of the BBC News, reported that her father was going to leave the event with Dugina, but changed vehicles at the last moment. The New Indian Express reported she borrowed one of her father's cars, at the last minute. The Washington Post quoted Andrey Krasnov, a friend of her father, who said “Darya was driving another car but she took his car today.”
Dugina is a co-author of a book about to be published on the Ukraine war, entitled "The Z book". The name is based on Russian soldiers using the symbol to distinguish their vehicles from Ukrainian vehicles. Russian and Ukrainian forces both use vehicles they inherited from the old Soviet Union, making the use of ad hoc symbols urgent, to prevent friendly fire.
Radio Free Europe reported that the FSB claims about Dugina's killing had triggered skepticism. They asserted that the Dugins' influence had been waning, and they were unlikely targets for outsiders to kill, and suggested that the bomb was a sign of infighting between factions within the Russian leadership.
Ilya Ponomarev, is a former member of the Russian Duma, is one of the people who have asserted the assassination was Russian-on-Russion - not outsiders. Ponomarev was the sole member of the Duma to oppose the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and left Russia for exile in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2016. Following Dugina's death he asserted he was in contact with a militant group in Russia, named the Natsional'naya respublikanskaya armiya (National Republican Army), who, he said, took responsibility for Dugina's assassination. He said this group had supplied him with photos of the scene of the car-bomb that confirmed they were present. He also said observers from this group saw two people enter Dugina's car, which made them think her father was also a passenger. However, official reports have said nothing about her car carrying a passenger.
- "Did daughter of Aleksander Dugin, known as 'Putin's brain', die in Moscow car accident?". New Indian Express. 2022-08-21. https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2022/aug/21/did-daughter-of-aleksander-dugin-known-as-putins-brain-die-in-moscow-car-accident-2489795.html. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "According to several Russian media reports, an explosion preceded the accident involving the Land Cruiser Prado vehicle."
- Rustam Roy (2022-08-21). "Alexander Dugin's daughter killed in car bomb attack: Who is Darya Dugina?". Wion News (Moscow). Archived from the original on 2022-08-21. https://web.archive.org/web/20220821125529/https://www.wionews.com/world/alexander-dugins-daughter-killed-in-car-bomb-attack-who-is-darya-dugina-508788. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "Darya Dugina graduated from Moscow State University and specialised in Neoplatonism. Darya was reportedly influenced by Plato and Marxist writer Antonio Gramsci. She was a vocal supporter of the Ukraine war and described Putin's "special military operation" against Kyiv as a 'clash of civilisations'."
- "Daughter Of 'Putin's Brain' Ideologue Dugin Killed In Car Explosion". Radio Free Europe. 2022-08-21. Archived from the original on 2022-08-21. https://web.archive.org/web/20220821132349/https://www.rferl.org/a/daughter-kremlin-idealogue-dugin-killed-car-explosion/31997791.html. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "In March, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Dugina for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of the United World International (UWI) website, of which she was the chief editor. The treasury said Dugina also contributed to a UWI article suggesting Ukraine would "perish" if it is admitted to NATO." mirror
- "Ukraine Live Updates: Russia Opens Murder Investigation After Blast Kills Daughter of Putin Ally". New York Times. 2022-08-21. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/21/world/ukraine-russia-news-war. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident. Russian news media said that associates of Mr. Dugin believed that he, not his daughter, was the target."
- "Car Bomb Kills Daughter of Kremlin Hardline Ideologue". The Moscow Times. 2022-08-21. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/08/21/car-bomb-kills-daughter-of-kremlin-hardline-ideologue-a78619. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "According to family members quoted by Russian media, Dugin — a vocal supporter of Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine — was the likely target of the blast as his daughter borrowed his car at the last minute."
- "In the state of war, one needs to talk and Russia wants a constructive dialogue: Dr. Daria Dugina, Political Analyst". Republic Media. 2022-02-27. Archived from the original on 2022-02-27. https://web.archive.org/web/20220227145402/https://twitter.com/republic/status/1497948120076144644. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
- Anton Troianovski (2022-08-21). "Daria Dugina was a Russian hawk who railed against the West’s ‘global hegemony'". New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/21/world/europe/daria-dugina-russia-politics.html. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "She was a co-author of a forthcoming book on the war in Ukraine called 'The Z Book,' after one of the identifying markings painted on Russia’s invading tanks."
- John Mark Dougan (2022-06-13). "As you asked! An interview with Daria Dugina, Alexander Dugin's Daughter" (video). You Tube (Mariupol). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azn8X1e9xtE. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
- Leo Sands (2022-08-21). "Darya Dugina: Daughter of Putin ally killed in Moscow blast". BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62621509. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "The pair were due to leave the venue in the same car, before Mr Dugin reportedly made a decision at the last minute to travel separately."
- Annabelle Timsit, Rachel Pannett (2022-08-21). "A Putin ally’s daughter was killed near Russia’s capital: What to know". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2022-08-21. https://web.archive.org/web/20220821223358/https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/21/alexander-dugin-daughter-daria-dugina-russia-ukraine-war/. Retrieved 2022-08-21. "Andrey Krasnov, a friend of Dugin’s, told the Russian state media outlet Tass that he believed her father was the target of an attack, 'or maybe the two of them.' 'Darya was driving another car but she took his car today,' he said." mirror
- Todd Prince (2022-08-23). "Russian Claims On Killing Of Dugin's Daughter Prompt Skepticism, Speculation About Kremlin Infighting". Radio Free Europe. https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-dugina-ukrainian-women-claims-skepticism-fsb-infighting/32001331.html. Retrieved 2022-08-23. "These and other questions -- as well as the dearth of hard evidence and the bewildering speed of the purported investigation -- are leading some observers to speculate that the attack may be a sign of infighting within the Russian elite, as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, now beginning its seventh month, grinds on with unexpectedly high losses and few tangible victories."