The daughter of Alexander Dugin, a hardline Russian ideologue close to President Vladimir Putin, has been killed in a car bombing on Moscow’s outskirts, authorities said on Sunday.
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.
Daria Dugina was killed when a bomb placed in the Toyota Land Cruiser went off as she drove on a highway near the village of Bolshie Vyzyomy, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside Moscow, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Dugina, a journalist born in 1992 who herself openly supported the offensive, died at the scene and a homicide investigation has been opened, said the committee, which probes major crime cases in Russia.
In July Britain put her on a list of sanctioned Russians for allegedly spreading online disinformation about Ukraine.
Dugin, 60, sometimes called “Putin’s Rasputin” or “Putin’s brain,” is an outspoken Russian ultranationalist intellectual.
He has long advocated the unification of Russian-speaking territories in a vast new Russian empire and wholeheartedly supported Moscow’s operation in Ukraine.
He was put on a Western sanctions list after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, a move he also backed.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
The head of one of Ukraine’s breakaway separatist regions blamed the blast on Kyiv authorities.
“The Ukrainian regime terrorists tried to liquidate Alexander Dugin, but blew up his daughter,” DNR chief Denis Pushilin wrote on Telegram.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak denied that Kyiv authorities were behind the bombing.
“Ukraine surely doesn’t have anything to do with yesterday’s explosion because we’re not a criminal state,” he said in televised remarks.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram that “if the Ukrainian theory is confirmed… and it must be verified by competent authorities, it will amount to state terrorism on the part of the Kyiv regime.”