VLADIMIR Putin was most likely the mastermind behind a deadly car bomb that wounded his so-called “spiritual mastermind” and killed his daughter, experts have claimed.
Alexander Dugin, the man sometimes described as “Putin’s brain”, has reportedly suffered a heart attack following the blast that wiped out his 30-year-old daughter Darya Dugina.
Vladimir Putin has been blamed for the attempted assassination of his ‘spiritual guide’Credit: Reuters
Alexander Dugin was returning from a festival with his daughter Darya, who was killedCredit: Twitter
The car was reportedly detonated remotely on a highway on the outskirts of MoscowCredit: Getty
Ultra-nationalist figure Dugin is said to be in hospital after dodging the attempted assassination, with unconfirmed reports saying he suffered a heart attack.
Video taken immediately after the bombing shows Dugin with his hands to his head in shock as he stares at the burning wreck of the car.
Dugina, a Russian journalist, had reported from Ukraine since the start of the war for pro-Russian media, including from the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol.
She was sanctioned last month by the British government as “a frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine.”
No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday evening’s bombing on a highway in southwest Moscow.
But various foreign policy and intelligence experts have claimed that the attack was likely carried out on the orders of Vladimir Putin.
Anders Aslund, economist and Russian expert, wrote on Twitter that the Kremlin was most likely behind the bombing.
Aslund, who previously spoke to The Sun Online about Dugin, and wrote the book ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism’, tweeted: “It appears most likely that Putin killed Darya Dugina. He has that habit.
“The videos at her house were out. Alexander Dugin was supposed to be in the car. Why would Ukraine waste resources on such a target?”
He added: “Given Putin’s fondness of false flag operations, it is most likely that he ordered Dugin to be blown up, making it look as done by the Ukrainians, while Dugin’s daughter was blown up instead. More such murders are likely.”
Russian state media has bizarrely claimed that the assassination was carried out by a female Ukrainian assassin who travelled to Russia last month with her 12-year-old daughter.
RIA Novosti claims that the mum used a Mini Cooper to tail Darya before detonating an explosive device remotely.
As reported by Russian media, the woman then escaped with her daughter to Estonia.
Conservative MP and chair of the cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat also pointed the finger of suspicion at Putin’s cronies.
“In recent months, Dugin had been criticising the Kremlin for being too soft,” he tweeted.
“Given the terrorism used by Putin over decades – Beslan, Nemtsov, Litvinenko, to name but a few incidents – means the list of suspects should include his own government.”
It appears most likely that Putin killed Darya Dugina
Anders AslundAuthor, ‘Russian Crony Capitalism’
Russian historian Dr Yuri Felshtinsky, author of the new book Blowing up Ukraine, said the car bomb was “most likely part of an internal Russian conflict” and ordered by those with an interest in eliminating Dugin.
He told The Daily Beast: “The blowing up of the car of the famous Russian fascist and ideologist of the Putin regime, Alexander Dugin, was organized, it seems, by the Russian security services.
“The Ukrainian special services, involved in a deadly battle with the aggressor on the territory of Ukraine, are unlikely to be able to send their officers to Moscow to organise terrorist attacks there.”
A former Russian MP has placed responsibility for the attack on a shadowy Russian group called the National Republican Army which is aiming to overthrow the Putin regime.
Speaking in Kyiv, anti-Putin activist Ilya Ponomarev alleged that the attack was the first of its kind aiming to bring down the Kremlin.
“A momentous event took place near Moscow last night,” he told the Russian-language opposition TV channel he launched in Kyiv earlier this year.
“This attack opens a new page in Russian resistance to Putinism. New – but not the last.”
On Monday, Russian state media outlet TASS said the explosive device on Darya’s car, which her father was supposed to be driving that night, was detonated remotely.
Witnesses say Dugin switched cars with his daughter at the last minute as they travelled back from an arts festival on the outskirts of Moscow.
Darya Dugina, 30, was a Russian nationalist journalistCredit: Twitter
Dugin, who switched cars with his daughter at the last minute, looks on in horrorCredit: East2West
Russia has blamed Ukraine for the attack, something Kyiv has strenuously denied.
Ukraine is reportedly bracing for an escalation in the conflict following the so-called “false flag” attack on Putin.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy.”
Dugin has been described as “Putin’s brain” and the “mastermind” behind the invasion of Ukraine, but his direct influence over the Russian president has been disputed.
The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse interviewed Dugin five years ago and wrote on Twitter: “Alexander Dugin is not ‘Putin’s brain’. He’s a man who roughly a decade ago provided a kind of intellectual underpinning for what Putin sees as Russia’s historic mission as a geopolitical counterweight to the US.”
Dr Ian Garner, an expert on Russian media, added on social media: “Through his youth groups, TV work, internet sites and online communities, he [Dugin] has had a huge impact on Russian political culture in the last 20 years.
“His ideas are everywhere in even mildly patriotic and nationalist culture.”
Dugin’s biggest influence on Russian thinking in the past 25 years has been his promotion of the idea of Eurasianism, a new Russian empire stretching 10,000 miles encompassing Britain and Europe.
His seminal 1997 book “The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia”, sets out the division of Europe between the Russian and German spheres of influence.
He slammed Putin for not taking all of Ukraine during the invasion of Crimea in 2014, which may have alienated him from the Kremlin.
Following the annexation, Dugin urged the Kremlin to “kill kill kill” Ukrainians as he called for the destruction of the entire country.
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