Who Really Detonated the Car Bomb That Killed Darya Dugina, Putin’s Brain’s Child?

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The blame game over who detonated the car bomb that killed the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s “spiritual adviser” to the war in Ukraine is in full swing, with accusations and denials flying Russia saying it solved the case just over 24 hours after it happened.

Russia’s Tass news agency reported Monday that the Russian Federal Security Service has “discovered” that a Ukrainian woman in a Mini Cooper working for Ukraine special services detonated the bomb by remote. They also claim she brought her 12-year-old daughter with her to do the job. They say the mother-daughter duo attended the same festival and followed Dugina’s car. “The murder of journalist Darya Dugina has been solved, it was prepared by the Ukrainian special services, buy a citizen of Ukraine,” Tass reported Monday. “The criminals used a Mini Cooper car to monitor the journalist.”

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT television, has claimed that the suspect is already in Estonia and that Russian spies should get her there, despite the sovereignty of that nation. She also demanded Russian strikes on key Ukraine intelligence assets. “Decision-making centres!! Decision-making centres!!!” she wrote Monday.

Darya Dugina, the 29-year-old daughter of Alexander Dugin, often called “Putin’s Brain,” died when the car she was traveling in Saturday evening exploded. Sources have said a remote-controlled device was used to detonate a device affixed to the car’s frame and that it had likely been intended for the father, who changed cars at the last minute as the two traveled to Moscow from a cultural festival they attended together. Alexander Dugin was instead in a car behind his daughter when her car blew up, witnessing the devastating explosion.

On Monday, Dugin blamed “Ukrainian Nazis” for the murder of his daughter. “As a result of a terrorist attack carried out by the Nazi Ukrainian regime, on August 20, when returning from the Tradition festival near Moscow, my daughter Daria Dugina was brutally killed by an explosion in front of my eyes,” he said on a Telegram channel. “She was a rising star at the beginning of her journey. The enemies of Russia meanly, stealthily killed her.”

Ukraine has denied all involvement. “Ukraine, of course, had nothing to do with this because we are not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation, and moreover we are not a terrorist state,” prominent Ukraine politician Mykhailo Podolyak said Sunday.

On Monday, a former Russian Duma member—the only one to vote against the annexation of Crimea, which landed him an expulsion—instead claimed that the National Republican Army of Russian partisans were behind the attack. Ilya Ponomarev, who lives in Kyiv after being expelled from Russia, said in a broadcast on Telegram that anti-Putin forces were behind it.

“A momentous event took place near Moscow last night,” he said, according to The Guardian. “This attack opens a new page in Russian resistance to Putinism. New—but not the last.” Ponomarev also cited a manifesto he says the National Republican Army released, in which it called Dugina a legitimate target. “She was a voice calling for violence and murder,” he says the group wrote.

The bombing comes just days before Ukraine’s national independence day on Aug. 24. Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky warned Sunday evening that Russia might do something “particularly ugly” in the leadup to the day.

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