Hundreds mourn Russian nationalist's daughter killed in car bomb

Ukraine has denied any involvement in the car bombing that killed Ms Daria Dugina. PHOTO: AFP
Mourners paid their respects to Ms Dugina at a hall in Moscow's Ostankino TV centre. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (AFP) - Hundreds gathered Tuesday (Aug 23) for the Moscow funeral of Ms Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent ultra nationalist intellectual who was killed in a car bombing that Russia blames on Ukraine.

Mr Alexander Dugin - a vocal supporter of the Kremlin's military campaign who has claimed to be close to President Vladimir Putin - may have been the intended target of the attack that killed his 29-year-old daughter.

Ukraine denies any involvement.

Mourners - many carrying flowers - paid their respects to Ms Dugina at a hall in Moscow's Ostankino TV centre where her black-and-white portrait was displayed over an open casket.

Mr Dugin and his wife, both dressed in black, sat next to their daughter's coffin.

"She died for the people, for Russia, at the front. The front - it is here," Mr Dugin said at the start of the ceremony.

Ms Dugina was killed Saturday when a bomb placed in her car went off as she drove on a highway outside Moscow.

Russia says Ukrainian intelligence was behind the attack - a claim dismissed by Kyiv.

Russia’s powerful FSB security agency said Monday it had “solved” the crime – just two days after the incident – naming a Ukrainian woman as Ms Dugina’s attacker.  

The FSB said the perpetrator had rented an apartment in the same building as Ms Dugina and followed her in a car, suggesting that Ms Dugina was the intended victim. 

However, Russian media reported that Mr Dugin and his daughter had had a last-minute change of plans, with Ms Dugina driving her father’s car. 

The US Department of State said in a Monday press briefing that it “condemns” targeting civilians while stating that Ukraine had denied any involvement.  

“I have no doubt that the Russians will investigate this. I also have no doubt that the Russians will put forward certain conclusions,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.  

People attend the farewell ceremony of Russian Daria Dugina on Aug 23, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Russia’s foreign ministry said Washington’s reaction “discredits the international activity” of the United States. 

“Washington has no moral right... to judge human rights in remote parts of the world, since the murder of a journalist is not even commented on from this angle,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media. 

Mr Dugin, 60, gained prominence in the 1990s in the intellectual chaos that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union. He had been an anti-communist dissident in the last years of Soviet rule.

A regular feature on Russian television, the heavily bearded intellectual with the air of a prophet claimed he had an ideological influence on Mr Putin.

Mr Putin has become increasingly hostile towards the West and some see Mr Dugin's hand in this, calling him "Putin's Rasputin" or "Putin's brain".

While Mr Putin has never publicly supported him, on Monday the Kremlin released a message of condolences from the president, denouncing the "vile crime" that killed Ms Dugina.

Mr Putin posthumously awarded Ms Dugina the “Order of Courage”. The medal was displayed near her coffin on the day of the funeral.

Ms Dugina followed in her father's footsteps, becoming a well-known media personality who worked for pro-Kremlin television channels including Russia Today and Tsargrad.

She covered the conflict in the Russian-backed separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine, which she backed.

Like her father, Ms Dugina came under US sanctions at the start of March.

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