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Russia blames Ukraine for death of Daria Dugina daughter in car explosion

Russian investigators work at the scene of a car explosion on Mozhaisk highway near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemi in the Odintsovo urban district of the Moscow region, in this photo released Aug. 21, 2022. (Russian Investigative Committee/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Russia is blaming Ukraine for a car explosion that killed the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a far-right Russian nationalist and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin — a move that could lead to an escalation in the war.

Ukraine has denied involvement in the killing of Daria Dugina, chief editor of a Russian disinformation website who was herself under U.S. sanctions. Kyiv also has warned about a spike in Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities ahead of the country’s Independence Day.

Russia’s internal security service, the FSB, claimed in a statement to Russian media that the explosion Saturday near Moscow was orchestrated by “Ukrainian special services” and carried out by a Ukrainian woman before she fled to Estonia with her young daughter.

The Washington Post could not confirm the claims. Ukraine has suggested that the killing may have been the result of internal tensions within Russia.

A Putin ally’s daughter was killed near Russia’s capital: What to know

Video shows the aftermath of a car explosion near Moscow where Russia's Investigative Committee claims the daughter of Putin ally Alexander Dugin was killed. (Video: Twitter)

Dugina, 29, was driving her father’s car from a festival outside Moscow that they both attended when the blast occurred, engulfing the car in flames. Some outside analysts and friends of the family suspect that Dugin, an ideologue who helped shape the Kremlin’s narrative about Ukraine, was the real target. Dugina had also strongly supported Putin’s war against Ukraine.

The FSB said the Ukrainian national and her daughter both attended the same festival and were renting an apartment in Moscow near where Dugina lived.

The claim that the woman escaped to Estonia comes amid tensions between Moscow and Tallinn over the Estonian government’s recent announcement that it would remove hundreds of Soviet monuments and its move to refuse entry to Russians with Estonia-issued Schengen visas.

Russia’s Investigative Committee is looking into the incident and has opened a murder case. It previously said early evidence pointed to “a murder for hire.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Sunday on Ukrainian television that Kyiv “certainly had nothing to do with” the car bombing.

“Because we’re not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation is, and moreover not a terrorist state,” he said.

Car explosion kills daughter of Putin ally Alexander Dugin, Russia says

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Grain shipments from Ukraine are gathering pace under the agreement hammered out by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations in July. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports had sent food prices soaring and raised fears of more hunger in the Middle East and Africa. At least 18 ships, including loads of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, have departed.

The fight: The conflict on the ground grinds on as Russia uses its advantage in heavy artillery to pummel Ukrainian forces, which have sometimes been able to put up stiff resistance. In the south, Ukrainian hopes rest on liberating the Russia-occupied Kherson region, and ultimately Crimea, seized by Russia in 2014. Fears of a disaster at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station remain as both sides accuse each other of shelling it.

The weapons: Western supplies of weapons are helping Ukraine slow Russian advances. U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) allow Ukrainian forces to strike farther behind Russian lines against Russian artillery. Russia has used an array of weapons against Ukraine, some of which have drawn the attention and concern of analysts.

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