On Saturday night, 29-year-old Daria Dugina got into her Toyota Land Cruiser somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. Seconds later, all that was left was burning rubber and steel, the result of a bomb planted under his seat. Some reports claimed that security cameras pointing to the bombing site were inoperable for two weeks. Even if some of these details were inaccurate or exaggerated, this was clearly a professional hit job.
Dugina was the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin – an ultra-nationalist nut who wrote a series of books calling for historical territorial control from Russia to Mongolia and northern Finland and “Slavic” European countries (as far west as Greece). China, and to the Indian Ocean. His daughter was following in her father’s footsteps. In fact, he made an appearance on state TV on Thursday:
Western media reports have referred to Alexander Dugin as “Putin’s brain”, that he is part Rasputin, part Karl Rove. CNN called him Putin’s “spiritual guide.” The New York Times Daria has been called “the daughter of Putin’s ally”.
Meanwhile, modern-day Kremlinologists—scholars and journalists who study and cover contemporary Russian politics—scoff at this characterization.
By some indications, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin considered Dugin a major irritant. He was dismissed from his teaching position at Moscow State University in 2014 Also Genocide in Russia’s first Ukrainian invasion. And after becoming a frequent guest on Russian state TV supporting Russia’s ownership of Crimea, he fell out of favor after criticizing Putin for not annexing Ukraine at the time. (The rules are clear – the military can be criticized from the right, but Putin himself never.)
In the late 90s he wrote a book in which he proposed to take Tibet, Inner Manchuria, Xinjiang and other parts of the North China compensates them with much of Southeast Asia (excluding Vietnam for some reason), the Philippines, and Australia. The Chinese were not happy, as you can imagine, and the Kremlin was forced to distance itself from Dugin. (This Twitter thread Digs into book maps. His main tool for European and Asian dominance? Not military might, but energy blackmail. Maybe Putin read that chapter.)
So no, Dugin was not Putin’s “mastermind” or “close ally” or “Rasputin” or whatever it has been written about. He was an ultra-nationalist crank who dreamed of an expansive Russian empire with zero expectations that any of it would become a reality. It was sheer madness.
Some sources, still trying to make Dugin particularly important, claim that his book was “influential” in Russian circles. Aside from the lack of actual sourcing, as far as I can tell, how effective would a book about global conquest be for Russia’s military establishment if they could actually maintain equipment at standards capable of conquering anything? Don’t bother?
However, none of this is helpful in determining why and by whom Dugina was murdered. Russia has launched an “investigation”, but no one is taking it seriously.
Some unanswered questions:
- Who was the real target, Dugin or Dugina? Some claim it should already be, because why would someone kill a 29-year-old kid when his father was a veritable lightning rod? Yet other reports claim the car was registered to Dugina. Honestly, not sure we can trust anything coming out of Russia right now.
- No, Ukraine was not included. Russia’s propagandists immediately pointed the finger at Ukraine, happy to fuel outrage and support for further escalation in Russia’s brutal, murderous aggression. Still it makes no sense. If Ukraine had that kind of murderous potential, what better targets than a young fascist. For example, the Russian command and control-general and other top military leaders. There is no strategic or tactical advantage in killing Dugina, and for good measure, Ukraine Firmly denied any involvement– A stark departure from the blind “denial” of attacks on infrastructure on Russian soil.
- Was Putin involved? Putin has a long history of shutting down enemies… And Friends, if it serves a wider purpose in his Machiavellian machinations. Heck, it could even be a false flag operation to incite anger among Russian citizens, making room for mass mobilization or other escalating measures.
- Did Dugina make her own enemies? A Russian journalist wrote“Dugina was involved in the theft of money that the Kremlin allocated to finance the election campaign in France – Le Pen. The money never reached the Marines. The same thing happened to the anti-European globalists. The girl is a mouse. But they wanted to remove the daughter and the father.” Again, not much Confirmation But if this is true, it is the Russian intelligence agency, the FSB. , which has been tasked with international rattling, and it will upset mafioso-style European far-right Nazis. Neither is a great enemy.
So many theories, and zero evidence for any of them, with little chance of actual testing that would give us some answers. And because that wasn’t confusing enough, this season is now testing the marketing of the introduction of a brand new character:
Is there supposed to be a resistance movement within Russia? This will be welcome news! But don’t get attached to that story line. It won’t go away. Certainly, this would be a convenient explanation for all the “smoking accidents” at Russian industrial and military sites. But one man, claiming to be the only source of information from this secretive newly armed Russian insurgency … is unreliable. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and we are nowhere near being able to see anyone Evidence absolutely.
But hey, if it’s between a nonsense “Ukraine did it” and an equally complicated “armed Russian rebels did it” story, the latter is less flammable internationally.
Occam’s Razor states that all things being equal, simpler explanations are usually better than more complex ones. In this case, we know that Russia is a mafia oligarchy. The simple explanation is that an ambitious and greedy Dugina stepped on a few toes, and the elite mafia or FSB responded in fortune.
One final note—Dugina’s assassination has hit Russian non-ruling elites hard, be they pro-Putin or anti-Putin. This thread suggests that ultimately, elitism thrives on personal relationships, not ideology.