The murder of Daria Dugina by Russian special services should be compared with the explosions of residential blocks in Grozny (Chechnya) in 1999. Back then, the same Russian security agencies, acting on the Kremlin’s orders tried to create a pretext of an allegedly “growing terrorist threat” for a further invasion of Chechnya. So now, by killing Dugina and blaming Ukraine for the hit, the Kremlin will try to justify its aggression toward Ukraine.
On the evening of August 20, Daria Dugina, the daughter of the “Russian world” ideologist Alexander Dugin, was assassinated. The incident occurred in the Moscow suburbs as Dugina was returning home from a patriotic festival «Tradition». This is when her car exploded. As it was clarified later, the culprits planted an explosive device at the bottom of the vehicle. The incident received wide publicity in Russia. It was suggested that it was Dugin who was the actual target, but he survived the attempt as he left the festival in a different car.
Almost immediately, claims of Ukraine’s involvement in Dugina’s murder started spinning across Russian propaganda media and Telegram channels. The Kremlin invented an absolute insinuation, blaming Ukraine, which a priori cannot be involved in the incident. Rumors about Ukraine’s involvement began to circulate almost simultaneously on multiple information platforms – this indicates that Russia planned to deliver this newsbreak in the context of compromising Ukraine.
On the evening of August 21, representatives of the «National Republican Army», who say they are fighting Putin’s tyranny, claimed responsibility for the assassination. The corresponding statement was published in the Russian media, but received much less publicity than the accusation of Ukraine, voiced by almost all Russian propaganda mouthpieces with no evidence base whatsoever.
The only logical thing about the incident is that Dugina’s murder (an attempt on her father Dugin) was an FSB job as the agency in this way is trying to “hide its skeletons” and distract the attention of ordinary Russians rom the failed invasion of Ukraine, which led to unprecedented own losses and international isolation. In parallel lines, Ukraine is portrayed as a terrorist state. Russia needs this allegation to be spread in order to shift public focus away from its own criminal activities, which have already led U.S. Congress proposed to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Thus, a new framing is being created: the terrorist is Ukraine, not Russia.
In Russia’s domestic political vein, Dugina’s assassination is beneficial to Vladimir Putin in a number of ways: it allows attracting ideologically motivated Russians to take part in the war against Ukraine, as well as further justifying the invasion, despite all losses, since “Ukraine is a terrorist” so it must be dealt with.
Russian propaganda says law enforcers have even already found a “suspect”: Natalia Shaban (maiden name — Vovk), born in 1979, a citizen of Ukraine, who arrived in Russia along with her daughter and then settled in the same apartment block as Dugina to carry out surveillance work. Having committed the murder, Shaban crossed out of the country to Estonia. That’s the official version, pursued by the FSB, which turns out to be absolutely untenable. On April 13, 2022, Russia put the claimed perpetrator of the crime, Natalia Shaban, on the list of fighters of the Azov Regiment, which has been recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia. How was she able to legally cross into Russia holding a genuine passport issued in her name?
It’s Russian special services that stand behind Daria Dugina’s assassination, following Putin’s instructions to whip up anti-Ukrainian rhetoric to justify continued war with Ukraine against the backdrop of growing discontent among the Russians. In fact, the order to take down Daria Dugina can be compared to the bombings of residential buildings in Grozny in 1999, when the Kremlin needed a pretext to invade Chechnya.