20 Aug, 2022 21:58 

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Car blast kills daughter of Russian philosopher Dugin

Investigators suspect an improvised explosive device was involved

Darya Dugina alongside her father Aleksandr Dugin attending a traditional family festival in Moscow region just hours before the tragedy, August 20, 2022 ©  Telegram / akimapachev

A powerful explosion ripped apart an SUV near Moscow on Saturday night, instantly killing its driver. According to preliminary reports, the victim was identified as Darya Dugina, the daughter of a veteran Russian political commentator Alexander Dugin, who is often painted in the West as one of the Kremlin’s “ideological masterminds.”

The incident took place on a highway some 20 kilometers west of Moscow around 21:35 local time, with witnesses saying that the blast rocked the vehicle right in the middle of the road, scattering debris all around. The crippled car, fully engulfed in flames, then crashed into a fence, according to photos and videos from the scene.

Emergency services said one person was inside the car and was instantly killed by the blast and crash – a female whose body was reportedly recovered burned beyond recognition.

Authorities have yet to confirm the identity of the victim, but multiple Russian Telegram channels and media sources reported that the victim was 30-year-old Darya Dugina (Platonova). Her father, Alexander Dugin, was spotted at the scene soon after the incident, visibly shocked, according to several videos circulating on social media.

Preliminary reports suggested that a home-made explosive device might have been involved, but investigators have yet to confirm the cause of the blast, or any possible motive in case of a foul play.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Aleksandr Dugin was giving a lecture on “Tradition and History” at a traditional family festival in the Moscow region, while his daughter attended the event as a guest. Some unconfirmed reports suggested that Dugin initially planned to leave the festival alongside his daughter, but later decided to take a separate car, while Darya took his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

Darya Dugina is a political commentator and daughter of Professor Aleksandr Dugin – a veteran Russian philosopher known for his staunch anti-Western and “neo-Eurasian” views.

Western media repeatedly painted Dugin as one of the driving forces behind President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy over the past decade. Just in recent months, CBS dubbed him “the far-right theorist behind Putin’s plan,” while the Washington Post called him a “far-right mystical writer who helped shape Putin’s view of Russia.”

In Russia, however, the supposed shadowy puppet master is largely considered to be a relatively marginal figure with some of his views deemed controversial even in nationalist circles. While he has served as an adviser to several politicians, Dugin never enjoyed official endorsement from the Kremlin. Back in 2014, he was sacked from his job at Moscow State University, after critics interpreted his call to “kill, kill, kill”those behind massacres in Ukraine, such as the Odessa tragedy, as a call for a genocide against Ukrainian people.

An American global policy think tank RAND Corporation wrote back in 2017 that despite Western media reports of Dugin’s alleged “ties and connections” to the Russian leadership, he is “perhaps best thought of as an extremist provocateur with some limited and peripheral impact than as an influential analyst with a direct impact on policy.”

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