In memory of Daria Dugina, victim of a terrorist attack in Moscow

The assassination in Moscow of Daria Dugina, the daughter of the famous Russian ideologist and architect of the concept of the “Russian world” Alexander Dugin, whom many pro-Western Russian liberals consider to be one of the main defenders of a new post- Soviet Union, was the first high-profile political crime of the Putin era.

It is very symbolic that the assassination of Dugina, 30, took place at the end of the first six months of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24 this year.

An important detail that could shed light on the mystery of this tragedy was that the Toyota Land Cruiser, which Daria Dugina was driving that evening, belonged to her father Alexander. Arriving at the scene, the distraught father, who was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack, saw flaming pieces of metal – all that was left of the car.

The explosive device placed under the bottom of the car had enormous destructive force and was installed with great precision – undoubtedly a highly professional job. A number of Russian experts have seen the signature of foreign special services is visible in the crime. It echoed the murder of the famous Russian journalist Pavel Sheremet, one of the editors of the Russian newspaper Kommersantwhen he had moved to kyiv.

And also in the early 2000s, under Kuchma’s presidency, prominent journalist Georgy Gongadze was beheaded, with the alleged involvement of Ukrainian special services. Gongadze’s murder preceded by two decades a somewhat similar execution of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi mission in Turkey.

Daria Dugina spent the last day of her life at the “Tradition” festival, inaugurated eight years ago, in 2014, with the support of the conservative Russian elite and ordinary people.

The revolt of the militias, which included ethnic Russians in the eastern regions of Ukraine – the part of the industrial and pro-Russian Donbass against the central government in Kyiv, was warmly welcomed by some influential people in this group.

For several years, the militias formed in the republics, with the support of supporters of the “Russian world” and the sympathy of the Kremlin, waged an armed struggle with the Ukrainian army.

The conflict was frozen after the signing of the 2016 Minsk agreements in the capital of Belarus. However, when it finally became clear that the Minsk Accords weren’t working, on February 24 this year, President Putin launched his special operation in Ukraine.

The “Tradition” festival, where Daria Dugina spent her last day of life, brings together field commanders, veterans of the war with kyiv for the independence of the republics, who have long called for the abandonment of the Minsk agreements, journalists, writers, musicians, actors, representatives of the creative intelligentsia, the expert community and the business elite, imbued with the idea of ​​the “Russian world”. On August 21, these people received a severe blow and were left in deep shock – Daria Dugina died, and her father, devastated by the news, was hospitalized.

Despite the fact that Daria Dugina is seen as a mere follower of her father’s work and a repeater of his ideology, she was a rising star of the youth movement in her own right – passionate about ideas in a special, Eurasian way of Russia.

Knowing her personally, I can say that she was one of the brightest and most talented representatives of the first generation, who was born, grew up and already showed herself to the world in independent Russia. A graduate of Moscow University’s Faculty of Philosophy, she poured out quotes from Kant and Hegel, was able to recall Ecclesiastes, and used her impressive baggage of humanitarian knowledge in disputes over Russia, its place in the world and the relations of the “Putin empire”. with West and East.

A few months before her death, she was invited for the first time as an expert to participate in the political talk show “Time will show” on the first Russian television channel.

I remember how I said the first words of encouragement to her before the show, so she could deal with the excitement more easily.

But in the end, she performed brilliantly then.

After that, his television performances were always distinguished by deep and lively journalism, and I did my best to advise him what to read and what techniques to use against extremely aggressive opponents in order to put them back to their place in time.

I must say that if her father gained a reputation as a staunch anti-Western, I still cannot call her a fighter against the West, where she also studied and received an education, having studied French and English perfectly. English. On the contrary, his views were close to those in Europe, who strongly criticize their own political establishment and the bureaucratic leadership of the EU in Brussels for having lost touch with reality, but still being part of Europe.

I would rather call her the Russian Marie Le Pen of her youth, who did not become a mere copy of her father’s ambiguous reputation.

Additionally, she was very interested in India and South Asia and often spoke on Indian talk shows.

It should be noted that his assassination did not trigger any condemnation of a heinous act of terrorism in the so-called Western strongholds of global democracies.

Given the current state of animosity, it would be foolish to expect the US State Department or the UK Foreign Office to suddenly utter a word of regret or concern. After all, the deceased was on the sanctions lists and ranked first among the enemies of the West. Well, if your enemy is being killed, even if that killing looks like a terrorist attack, then why talk about it out loud and call it a terrorist attack?

In any case, Dugina’s targeting demonstrates that another line has been crossed in the Eurasian-Western conflict unfolding in Ukraine. After the assassination, it would be foolish not to expect timely retaliation from Moscow.

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(Sergei Strokan is a veteran journalist, writer and columnist for the Kommersant publishing house based in Moscow. The opinions expressed are personal and exclusive to Story from India)

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