The most talked about fact about the Ukrainian war since the weekend is the death of Darya Dugina, daughter of philosopher Alexander Dugin, considered the “guru” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dugin preaches a nationalist vision, opposed to the West, and became better known after Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year, an aggression that for many echoes the philosopher’s vision for the Russian future: the construction of an empire to oppose politically, economically, militarily and culturally the influence of the United States.
Check out the most important points about the death of Darya Dugina:
Who was Darya Dugina?
Darya Dugina, 29 years old, studied philosophy at the University Moscow State and was editor-in-chief of the website United World International, in which she defended the nationalist views of her father and Putin.
In March of this year, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Dugina due to an article which said that Ukraine would “perish” if it were admitted to NATO, the Western military alliance. She classified the massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, discovered after the Russian withdrawal in late March, as “American propaganda.”
Alexander Dugin himself was sanctioned by the United States in 2015, for his support and that of his followers for Russian aggression against the territorial integrity of Ukraine – the year before, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and pro-Russian separatists declared two independent republics in eastern Ukraine, in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
How was the death?
Darya Dugina died in the explosion of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that was driving near from the village of Bolshiye Vyazemy in the Moscow region on Saturday (20).
She was returning from an event where she had been “guest of honor” – Western news agencies reported that it was a political event, while the Russian press reported that it was a literary and musical festival.
A person close to the family said to the Russian agency Tass who believes that Alexander Dugin was the target of the attack, as the car belonged to Darya’s father.
What does Russia say?
According to information from Tass, the FSB, the federal security service, pointed out this Monday (22) that Dugina was the victim of an attack by the Ukrainian secret services.
The FSB reported that the attacker was a Ukrainian identified as Natalia Vovk, who fled to Estonia after the explosion. According to information provided by the security service to Tass, Vovk would have arrived in Russia in 23 July, accompanied by the daughter of 22 years.
Both would have gone to the festival where Dugina was present as a guest of honor, and the explosive that killed the Russian would have been activated by remote control.
According to the FSB, Vovk had rented an apartment in Moscow in the same building where Dugina lived and followed her around the city in a Mini Cooper. From the arrival in Russia to the alleged flight to Estonia, the vehicle would have had three different plates: one from the People’s Republic of Donetsk, another from Kazakhstan and finally a Ukrainian one.
O what does Ukraine say?
The Ukrainian government has denied any responsibility for the death of Darya Dugina. Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Defense Intelligence at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, said in a statement that Russian accusations of Kyiv involvement were “false”. settling accounts within Russia. Both Dugin and his daughter are marginal characters and are not a point of interest for Ukraine”, claimed Yusov.
Could this episode escalate the war even more?
As described above, the death of Darya Dugina opens a new chapter in the war of narratives between Ukrainians and Russians – it remains to be seen whether the episode has the potential to provoke an escalation in the conflict.
Military analyst Alessandro Visacro believes that, in itself, the fact should not intensify the war that started in February. “An important consideration that needs to be made is that Dugin no longer had this influence as an ideologue over Putin, this role, this relevance as a great ideologue of this new Slavism, this anti-Western stance, he had already lost this prominence a few years ago” , he argued.
“The most important objective factors are what can contribute to a true escalation in the conflict, and the absence of a tangible strategic victory on the part of Russia is what I consider most important” , pointed out Visacro. “An event like this serves more to feed war propaganda, it has no potential to change the course of the conflict.”
The military analyst highlighted that, precisely because of the exchange of accusations common in war scenarios, the truth about Dugina’s death should not be known anytime soon.
“This is the type of event that, by its nature, should remain in the limbo of history for a long time, because there will be an exchange of accusations, questionable evidence will appear on both sides, this is more useful to be instrumentalized by the different narratives of the conflict. Possibly only later on will we have a true clarification of the facts”, justified Visacro.