Putin ally Alexander Dugin's daughter killed in Moscow car bombing

Self-styled philosopher and Russian nationalist Dugin has been referred to as 'Putin's brain'

Investigators at the scene of a car bomb that killed Darya Dugina outside Moscow. Photo: Investigative Committee of Russia / AP
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The daughter of Alexander Dugin, a prominent supporter of Vladimir Putin, has died after a car exploded on a motorway outside Moscow on Saturday night.

Mr Dugin, 60, a self-styled philosopher, is well known in Russian media as a hardline nationalist and supporter of the war in Ukraine.

Darya Dugina, 29, was killed instantly on Saturday evening about 20 kilometres west of the Russian capital, the government-linked Tass news agency reported.

Andrei Krasnov, a Dugin family friend, told Tass he believed Mr Dugin, to whom the Toyota Land Cruiser belonged, was the intended target of the car bomb.

Russian authorities have launched a murder investigation.

The head of one of Ukraine's breakaway separatist regions blamed the blast on authorities in Kyiv.

Russian idealogue Alexander Dugin speaks at a rally in support of breakaway parts of Ukraine. Moscow News Agency / Reuters

"The Ukrainian regime terrorists tried to liquidate Alexander Dugin, but blew up his daughter," DNR chief Denis Pushilin wrote on Telegram.

Mr Dugin has long supported the annexation of parts of Ukraine by Russia, including Crimea, as well as Russian military intervention for Moscow to regain control of former Soviet republics, such as Georgia.

After the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, which involved heavy fighting over the disputed South Ossetia region, he said Russia should “do the same thing in Ukraine”.

At times referred to as "Putin's brain", Mr Dugin has long advocated the unification of Russian-speaking territories in a vast, new Russian empire and wholeheartedly supported Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

He founded the Eurasia Party, which was banned in Ukraine in 2007 after supporters of the group were accused of vandalising a national monument.

The US imposed sanctions on him in 2015 for his alleged involvement in Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Dugina, a journalist, was herself the subject of US and UK sanctions this year. Britain called her a “high-profile contributor of disinformation” about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

She had expressed similar views to those held by her father and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist TV channel Tsargrad.

“Dasha, like her father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” Tsargrad said on Sunday, using the familiar form of her name.

In the hours before her death, Dugina had been at a cultural festival with her father.

"I hope Dugin understands that this is only his fault," Inna Sovsun, a Ukrainian MP, said after the killing. "And I will actually quote Dugin himself: 'What doesn't kill me, kills someone else.' In this case, his daughter."

Updated: August 21, 2022, 9:48 AM