(Reuters) – Darya Dugina, the daughter of ultra-nationalist Russian ideologue Alexander Dugin, was killed in a suspected car bomb attack outside Moscow on Saturday evening. Acquaintances of Dugina said the car she was driving belonged to her father and that he was probably the intended target.
Who is Alexander Dugin?
– Dugin, 60, has long advocated the unification of Russian-speaking and other territories in a vast new Russian empire, which he wants to include Ukraine.
– In his 1997 book, “The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia”, Dugin was fiercely critical of U.S. influence in Eurasia and called for Russia to rebuild its own authority in the region and advocated breaking up the territory of other nations.
– That book featured on army reading lists, but there is no indication that Dugin has ever had direct influence on Russian foreign policy.
– Dugin’s influence over President Vladimir Putin has been a subject for speculation, with some Russia watchers asserting that his sway is significant and many calling it minimal. He has no official ties to the Kremlin.
– The United States imposed sanctions on Dugin in 2015 for being “responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, or sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
– In a statement in March, the U.S. Treasury said his Eurasian Youth Union actively recruited individuals with military and combat experience to fight on behalf of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.
– “Dugin controls Geopolitica, a website that serves as a platform for Russian ultra-nationalists to spread disinformation and propaganda targeting Western and other audiences,” the U.S. Treasury said.
– In 2015, Dugin was quoted as saying by gazeta.ru that his being added to the U.S. sanctions list was “unprecedented” and that sanctions were being imposed for “intellectual activity that breaks no laws”.
– Dugin did not immediately respond to questions emailed to him on Sunday at an address listed on the website of the International Eurasian Movement that he founded.
– Dugin’s 1997 book increased his prominence. In the early 1990s, he co-founded the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), which espoused vehemently anti-centrist views and whose largely red flag featured a black hammer and sickle at its centre.
– Dugin left the NBP around a decade before it was declared an “extremist organisation” in 2007 and its activities banned in Russia.
– He went on to found political and social movements centred on staunchly anti-Western ideas for the future of Eurasia.
– Dugin worked a brief stint as chief editor of Tsargrad TV, a pro-Kremlin, Christian Orthodox channel owned by businessman Konstantin Malofeev. Malofeev was sanctioned by the United States and European Union in 2014 over accusations that he funded pro-Moscow separatists fighting in Ukraine, something he denies.
– Writing on Tsargrad’s website in May, Dugin said Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine required immediate, “patriotic reforms”.
– He wrote that a “new, eternal, true and profound Russia” needed to be established to attract the people of Ukraine.
– “Ukraine can become an integral, organic part of this,” he wrote. “Ukrainians must understand that we are inviting them to create this new, great power. As well as Belarusians, Kazakhs, Armenians, but also Azerbaijanis and Georgians, and all those who not only were and are with us, but also will be.”
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Nick Macfie)