24 August 2022 in Dossier Powder Keg Russia, Geopolitics


A scene from an American film. The victim gets into the car, turns the key, and from a few metres away someone presses a button, and everything turns into a cloud of fire. In this way, on the night of 21 August, Russian journalist Darya Dugina dies. She is the daughter of the philosopher who theorised the return of imperial Russia – the one before the 1917 coup that led to the birth of the Soviet Union. She, on the other hand, is the spearhead of the propagandists of the war in Ukraine and of racial hatred against the people of that country. She has just finished writing a book to convince Russian mothers to send their sons to fight, and her tragic death threatens to turn her into an international icon of neo-fascism.

We will never know for sure who killed her, and whether the target was her (probable) or her father, an old professor now excluded from the profession and the press because of his exaggerated theses even for Putin. Perhaps the Ukrainians, perhaps the opponents of the Russian regime, perhaps a warning to Putin coming from his own friends, perhaps a Western plot, chosen with the symbolism so clear to the American tension strategy of the 1970s: the bomb explodes on the anniversary of Ukrainian independence.

The most important thing is that, in this way, Putin will be able to justify a truculent revenge (which he has already publicly announced), and that this bomb is a signal of an attack on the regime that holds power in Russia[1]. A tightening of the liberticidal laws and police crackdowns within Russia is also to be expected, which is very useful to the regime, which, in recent weeks, has been confronted with the growing discontent of the thousands of Russian families who, in these six months of war, have lost their children in an invasion that they rightly do not consider worth the price in human lives and economic suffering that it is costing them.

Who are the Dugin

“I carry this flag with pride: to be a daughter and to continue my father’s struggle”[2]

Journalist and political analyst Darya Dugina died in a car explosion on the Mozhaiskoye highway in the Moscow region on the evening of Saturday, 20 August 2022, aged only 29. Dugina was on her way home with her father, Alexander Dugin, from the Patriotic Festival ‘Tradition’; he did not drive and decided to go with her, but he was late and got into another car at the last moment. The explosive device was next to the petrol pipes, under the driver’s seat: 400 grams of TNT[3]. Something well prepared by professional killers.

Darya Dugina was born on 15 December 1992, when her father was already famous as an ideologue of the Eurasian movement and head of the International Eurasian Movement and the Eurasian Youth Union, and her mother, Natalia Melentieva, is an acclaimed philosopher. She graduated in 2014, as Putin’s armies invaded Crimea, with a doctoral thesis on Plato’s political philosophy, as commented by the Greek writer Proclus Diadocus one of the most talented and intelligent students[4].

She also studied for a year at the University of Bordeaux, learnt foreign languages, and built her own political consciousness[5] – sharing her father’s extremist ideas and those of the European far-right parties, primarily Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement Nationale[6]. She is the ‘recognised leader of the young generation of Russian conservatives: a remarkable journalist, political scientist and researcher of ancient philosophy[7]. Under the pseudonym Platonova, chosen for her studies, she writes sharply criticising Western democracies and advocating sending Russian troops to Ukraine[8]. Her father Alexander, for decades, intellectually symbolised radical anti-liberalism and political anti-Westernism[9].

According to many observers the bomb should have killed him, who is a personal friend and theoretician of Vladimir Putin[10]: he holds no state office , he even lost his university professorship (because of his extremist , imperialist and denialist positions)[11], but he is a hammer that the Russian government media generously use to influence national public opinion[12]. His daughter follows in his footsteps and is ready to take over his position[13]: she is at the head of the state propaganda machine against Ukraine and an active member of the Russian fascist movement ‘Eurasians’. She calls for the massacre of Ukrainians who, she says, ‘are not human’. On her last trip, she filmed the people praising the war[14] and launched her new project, ‘Book Z’, written together with others (who now will be dedicated to her memory) to make the Russian people understand the indispensability of the invasion[15]. As if to say that the apple never falls far from the tree.

Since the start of the invasion, Darya Dugina has twice been placed on UK and Australian sanctions lists. The British authorities explained Dugina’s inclusion on the list by stating that she is ‘a frequent and well-known source of disinformation about Ukraine and the Russian invasion; supports and promotes policies or actions that destabilise Ukraine, undermine or threaten its territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence[16]. A key role, because Darya’s father is now more famous in the West than in Russia: ‘he is a polyglot who speaks 20 languages fluently, which means he can give interviews in the local language anywhere. His popularity is one of the reasons why Dugin is seen in Europe as an advisor to the Kremlin, even though he has had no ties for some time[17].

Now that he has lost his job as editor-in-chief of the Tsargrad TV channel, Dugin is financially supported by the Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev: ‘for Malofeyev, unlike the old Afonites, imperialism and statehood are more important than orthodoxy. Dugin is his closest ideologue’[18].

Who placed the bomb? Why?

Alexander Dugin, who rushed to the scene of the attack, just realised that the victim was his daughter Darya[19]

The Russian ‘patriots’ have very clear ideas. According to Denis Pushylin, a financier convicted of fraud and later to become Putin’s lieutenant in the occupied Donetsk region, ‘if the Ukrainian trail is confirmed, then we must talk about state terrorism practised by the Kiev regime’[20]. But this is not the only possibility, as there are different versions of the ongoing investigation – one from the Polish government[21], and one from Anglo-Saxon journalism[22], which believes in an attack by Western intelligence services[23]. According to some, the bomb was supposed to affect relations between Moscow and Ankara, as Dugin is Putin’s personal adviser on affairs with Turkey, openly supporting Erdogan[24]. Critics of the Russian regime do not believe in the intervention of the Ukrainian secret services, but are convinced that whoever planted the bomb is to blame for instigating the war and, not least, Dugin himself[25].

It took the Russian special services only two days to find out who did it: on 22 August, the FSB (military intelligence service) announced that the murder had been prepared and carried out by the Ukrainian security services: the perpetrator was Ukrainian citizen Natalya Vovk, who had entered Russia a month ago with her 12-year-old daughter. According to the FSB, the woman rented a flat in Moscow in the same building where Dugina lived in order to organise the murder and gather information. After a test detonation, carried out on a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado driven by Dugin’s daughter, Vovk and her daughter reached Estonia on 21 August – the bomb had now been planted[26].

Although the National Guard of Ukraine defends it and on its Facebook page[27] writes: ‘Russian media are spreading information that the murder of Alexander Dugin’s daughter was prepared and committed by the Ukrainian secret service, (…) but Vovk “has never served in the Azov Special Forces of the National Guard of Ukraine and has no professional military experience[28]. For Kiev, Dugin is just one among many of Putin’s friends: ‘In recent years, Dugin, as an ideological “owl”, has been stubbornly drawn to Putin’s “globe”. But the loss of Dugin would have no effect on Putin or ordinary Russians. They simply do not care about Dugin, and most Ukrainians have never heard of him. He is just another Russian fascist who does not recognise Ukraine’s right to exist and publicly calls for ‘killing, killing and killing’ Ukrainians[29]. Exactly like his daughter Darya, who could therefore be the intended victim of the attack, because she is more active and better known – and above all the author of the book designed to convince Russian families to send their children to fight a kind of holy war against the Ukrainians[30].

From the Western point of view, this attack has only one significance, and it is a negative one: it legitimises Putin to continue the war and to use ever more heinous methods of killing. Western governments will do well if they can keep their mouths shut and not comment on what is an internal Russian matter. Marine Le Pen is expected to make a statement, as her party is openly on Putin’s side and against the sanctions imposed by the European Union[31]. But she is the expression of modern European neo-fascism, not the French government. In Italy, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the extreme right, has clearly spoken out against Putin and, on the death of Dugina, has said nothing[32]. Even Salvini and Savoini, the Lega Nord leaders closest to the journalist’s father, preferred to keep their mouths shut[33]. A sigh of relief, because in this sense the attack seems to have failed in its objective of dividing the EU front even further.


[1] https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/vladimir-putins-inner-circle-fear-coup-after-war-gurus-daughter-killed-in-car-bomb-attack-in-russia/news-story/1583b9b4fd03817a4284a6f21d2a134a

[2] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa ; https://www.geopolitika.ru/sites/default/files/files/photo_2018-04-21_23-54-30.jpg

[3] https://lenta.ru/news/2022/08/21/ukr/

[4] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa

[5] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa

[6] https://www.facebook.com/diak.kuraev/posts/pfbid02in9skmB1F3VXuEkia4ej4gpvGF1XFRE5x5UHeknD9yWwe9rkWNzshX8m9GKFjKpkl

[7] https://www.svoboda.org/a/ot-terrora-sbu-do-zhertvy-fsb-sotsseti-o-smerti-darji-duginoy/31998033.html

[8] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa

[9] https://t.me/shevchenkomax_1/7174

[10] https://www.npr.org/2022/03/27/1089047787/russian-intellectual-aleksandr-dugin-is-also-commonly-known-as-putins-brain?t=1661220662286

[11] https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/2022-03-17/ty-article-magazine/.highlight/to-understand-putin-you-first-need-to-get-inside-aleksandr-dugins-head/00000180-5bca-dc1d-afc2-fbcf008d0000

[12] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/who-is-alexander-dugin-russian-nationalist-whose-daughter-died-car-bomb-attack-2022-08-21/

[13] https://file.liga.net/persons/bereza-borislav

[14] https://t.me/BerezaJuice/19032


[16] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa

[17] https://news-front.info/2022/08/21/zapadnye-smi-odobrjajut-ubijstvo-dari-duginoj/

[18] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/08/21/ya-s-gordostyu-nesu-eto-znamya-byt-docheryu-i-prodolzhat-bitvu-ottsa

[19] https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/vladimir-putins-inner-circle-fear-coup-after-war-gurus-daughter-killed-in-car-bomb-attack-in-russia/news-story/1583b9b4fd03817a4284a6f21d2a134a

[20] https://www.svoboda.org/a/ot-terrora-sbu-do-zhertvy-fsb-sotsseti-o-smerti-darji-duginoy/31998033.html

[21] https://t.me/chadayevru/841

[22] https://t.me/holmogortalks/23543

[23] https://t.me/evgenyprimakov/2627

[24] https://t.me/logikamarkova/3115

[25] https://www.facebook.com/JuliaAug/posts/pfbid0F6mRS17FUifiUARKDUJmTC8p34jM26ZFUXn4E7KNc3eXmrHqoEoJUPhLnSLzcRqFl ; https://www.facebook.com/vladislavl.inozemtsev/posts/pfbid02cNqeDh5GnQMBYZr4kEE9TLhPtZHJvVAfyidohDjyqnCBhMMq7uhrQBLTLz4zxopZl ; https://t.me/Baronova/19490 ; https://www.svoboda.org/a/ot-terrora-sbu-do-zhertvy-fsb-sotsseti-o-smerti-darji-duginoy/31998033.html

[26] https://www.rbc.ru/politics/22/08/2022/630365149a7947a23ae7d279

[27] https://www.facebook.com/NGUmainpage

[28] https://it.notizie.yahoo.com/alexander-dugin-mia-figlia-uccisa-dal-regime-nazista-ucraino-221217145.html

[29] https://spravdi.gov.ua/moskva-ne-vstygaye-perezaryadzhaty-zbrojni-naratyvy-dajdzhest-propagandy-rf-za-19-21-serpnya/?fbclid=IwAR3NgKw3u_jlPfHMaWyjAwsyiITPns2DY9PvtrGPPx1teGWz1FST8pkeymc

[30] https://www.kp.ru/daily/27434.5/4635583/

[31] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/02/french-far-right-leader-marine-le-pen-forced-to-defend-putin-links ; https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2017/04/29/russia-tries-influence-le-pen-repeal-sanctions/

[32] https://www.ilgiornale.it/news/politica/ossessione-sinistra-usa-anche-morte-figlia-dugin-attaccare-2060482.html

[33] https://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/mondo/europa/2022/08/22/attentato-a-mosca-bomba-comandata-a-distanza.-kiev-respinge-ogni-accusa_2037eb08-3bbf-44dd-a58f-7cb9243882c8.html ; https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2022/08/21/news/dugin_italia_lega_casa_pound-362481550/

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