The Mysterious Murder in Moscow of Darya Dugina

On August 21, 29-year-old Russian propagandist Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian neo-fascist leader Alexander Dugin, was murdered in Moscow. Darya attended a rally in Rublevka, the Moscow suburb where the Russian elite live.  There, Dugin gave a talk entitled "Tradition and History," and Darya also spoke under the pseudonym “Darya Platonova”. She came to the rally with her father and after it ended, she got into her car to take him home. At the last moment, however, he suddenly decided he would follow her in another car with his friends. As the cars moved along the highway, a powerful charge exploded at the underside of Darya's car, blowing everything to pieces.

YouTube screengrab via Wikimedia CC BY 3.0 license

Immediately, without waiting for any results of the investigation, all the Russian propagandists announced that Darya had been killed by the Ukrainian special services and began demanding that Putin retaliate by bombing Kiev and the Ukrainian government buildings where the “decision makers” were located. Less than two days later, the FSB (Russian security service) announced that an investigation had established that the car bomb was planted by 43-year-old Ukrainian Natalia Vovk, who had come to Moscow from Mariupol with her 12-year-old daughter and a cat. Allegedly, Natalia tracked Dugin's daughter's travel routes, and after the assassination attempt, she left Russia by car for Estonia. There were so many inconsistencies and absurdities in this investigation that at first the leading Russian media did not even want to publish it.

The Vovk's version looks like a crudely fabricated fake. Judge for yourself: in the midst of the war, without arousing the suspicions of the Russian border guards, she was able to enter Russia from Ukraine in a Mini Cooper, a rare car on Moscow streets. She drove that car around Moscow, constantly changing the license plates, while her car was multiple times filmed on the security cameras. Not only that, for some strange reason the license plates “she was switching” were from the Republic of Kazakhstan. As can be clearly seen in the published photos of the car, the numbers and letters on the license plates were ineptly fabricated, probably on Photoshop. Another interesting fact: all the security cameras in the parking lot at the rally, where Vovk allegedly put a bomb under the car of Dugina, by a strange coincidence were turned off (just like in the New York City prison, where the lecherous Epstein “hung himself”). And after the murder, without any problems Vovk still was able to drive her car to the northern Russian border and into Estonia. Despite all this investigative nonsense, Russian authorities still announced that the fugitive woman was the Ukrainian agent-killer.

The victim's father, Alexander Dugin, is an ultranationalist who vehemently supports the war in Ukraine and its annexation to Russia. He is a philosopher and ideologue of the “Russian World” movement — the ideology of the domination of Russia over the entire European continent. After seizing Crimea in 2014, he appealed to Russian soldiers: “Go to Ukraine and kill, kill and kill there!” His so-called “philosophy” is a mixture of mysticism, the cult of death, and the declaration of Russians as the supreme Aryan race and leader of civilization.

His political position is believed to have strongly influenced Putin and his decisions on military actions in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine; thus, he was often called the “Putin's brain”. Political observers noted that all of Putin's narratives are in fact the Dugin's words. His daughter was a third-rate propagandist who fully shared her father's views. In her own words, she didn't get married in order to devote herself entirely to the “Russian Cause”. Some Joan of Arc. The father and daughter have been placed on the U.S. and Canadian sanctions lists. Nevertheless, Dugin's name, much less his daughter's, was not widely known either in Russia or outside of it.

At his daughter's funeral, Dugin declared her to be a martyr-maiden, and at the same time said the strange phrase that it’s the national duty of parents to sacrifice their children on the altar of the Russia's greatness. A surprising fact: all those present noticed the ruddy face of the deceased in the open coffin, even though it had been announced only the day before that after the explosion the victim's body had been almost completely burned beyond recognition. This gave rise to conspiracy theories that his daughter's death was a fabrication and that everything that had happened was some sort of propaganda spectacle. On the day of the funeral, Putin posthumously awarded Darya the Order of Heroism, which also raised the question: What kind of heroism could we be talking about here?

The Ukrainian authorities completely dismissed accusations of the attempt on Dugin's daughter's life as not only pointless, but also contrary to the principles of a civilized state: “Unlike Russia, Ukraine is neither a criminal nor a terrorist state”. Interestingly, the next day the blame for the murder was claimed by the hitherto unknown underground NRA, the “National Republican Party” of Russia, which announced that its goal was to overthrow the Putin regime.

The death of the young propagandist raises three questions: For what purpose was Darya Dugina murdered?  Who was the murderer? Who ordered the murder?

There are several possible answers to the first question, including that she died by mistake and that the victim was supposed to be her father. Another version is that it was a warning to all Russian propagandists. A third theory is that it was a typical Russian way to force Putin to take a more decisive action against Ukraine, a kind of "retaliation”. Another theory is an internal criminal showdown. It was suspected that Dugin stole the money that Kremlin asked him to secretly transfer to Marine Le Pen for her election campaign in France.

In any case, almost all independent analysts agree that the murder was committed by the FSB, and some even put forward the seemingly unbelievable theory that it was Alexander Dugin himself who initiated it. Although it sounds absurd, Russia is a country with a past, whose history is replete with cases of children denouncing their parents and parents giving children up to die in the name of some “higher ideals”.

The wisdom of ancient Rome suggests a way to solve a crime: look for “cui bono?”, that is: “who benefits?” So who benefited from the murder of Darya Dugina? Of course, so far, we do not know the correct answer, but we can make several guesses. According to one theory, Dugin had too much influence over Putin in the past year, which greatly annoyed the Putin's entourage and made Dugin no longer an asset, but rather a liability. For example, on the day his daughter died, he published a post where he wrote that after 22 years of Putin's rule, the Kremlin needs serious changes. He actively criticized Putin and began to put himself forward, forgetting that under Nazism there can only be one Führer. It is possible that Putin himself or one of his cronies decided to get rid of him in such a delicate way, similar to the way Hitler got rid of his associate Ernst Röhm in 1934. “The Moor has done his work; the Moor may go”. (Friedrich Schiller).

According to another theory, Dugin's daughter was sacrificed to incite in the Russian population even more hatred toward Ukraine before a show trial of the Ukrainian POWs, whom Russia is accusing of terrorism. Darya's murder could help to declare Ukraine a terrorist state. Russia may need this narrative as a counterargument against accusations of Russian troops of war crimes on the Ukrainian soil.

 It is also possible that this murder is part of a big game the FSB is playing to identify potential opposition. The scenario could be such that a mystical underground NRA party has claimed responsibility for Darya's murder. In fact, it is likely that this fake party was specially created by the FSB as a plant to attract people who want to change the existing regime. Such a “party” under the control of the FSB could exist as a flypaper and supply the FSB with the names of its members.

Be that as it may, the strange murder in Moscow is an indicator of some deep turbulent processes going on inside the Russian leadership. We shall see in the not so distant future.

©Jacob Fraden, 2022. The author’s website:

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