The bombing of cars by Russian academic Alexander Dugin threatens to exacerbate the crisis in Ukraine as Moscow’s hardline voice turns to Kyiv.
On the evening of August 20, on the highway about 20 kilometers away from Moscow, a Land Cruiser Prado caught fire and crashed into the roadside after a loud bang. The owner of this car is Alexander Dukin, a famous scholar and political commentator, who is called the “ideological brain” of the Kremlin by Western media and has a great influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The blast killed Dugin’s daughter, Daria Dukina. Darya Dugina is also a political commentator with a tough stance on the West and the issue Ukraine.
A source in Russia’s investigative agency said the car contained an explosive device equivalent to 400 grams of TNT. At the scene, Du Jin watched from a distance, with a blank expression on his face. He kept his head down as he spoke to rescue workers and those around him as he waited for the fire truck to arrive.
Russian state television described the bombing as an “act of terror” and said the attackers targeted Dukin as he replaced his daughter’s car. last minute.
There was no evidence the attack was linked to the Ukrainian conflict, but Dugina’s associates were quick to accuse Kyiv of being behind the incident. “The person behind the bombing is likely military intelligence or Ukraine’s security services,” analyst Sergei Markov, a former adviser to President Putin, told Reuters. RIA Novosti.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that if Ukraine was linked to the bombing, “it is necessary to discuss state terrorism”.
Meanwhile, Mikhailo Podoljak, an adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, claimed Ukraine was not involved. “Ukraine has absolutely no role in this because we are not a terrorist state,” Podoljak said on television.
Still, the rare Moscow attack on members of the pro-Kremlin elite is expected to further strengthen Russia’s efforts to conduct military operations in Ukraine.
It followed a series of explosions at Russian military installations on the Crimean peninsula, prompting pro-war voices to urge President Putin to increase pressure on Ukraine to respond.
Calls for more retaliatory strikes against Ukraine have grown in the wake of the car bomb, with many seeing the attack as a sign that the Kremlin may have underestimated its adversary.
“The enemy is at the door. Rest in peace, Daria. You will be rewarded!” Russian nationalist musician Akim Apacheev wrote on social networks.
“Aim at the decision-making brain center!” Margarita Simonyan, director of Russia’s RT TV channel, wrote while sharing a post calling for the Russian military to raid the headquarters of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU).
According to commentator Anton Trojanovsky New York Times, The bombings couldn’t have been better for hardliners backing Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, who say President Putin is still too soft on Kyiv.
Despite the Kremlin boss’s announcement earlier last week that the Russian army was advancing “step by step”, many hardline Russian commentators still hoped he would take more drastic action, such as attacking buildings in central Kyiv, the government, or announcing A more confident army doctrine.
“This is happening in our capital,” Tigran Kosayan, a pro-Kremlin TV host, wrote on social media of the bombing that killed Dugina. “I don’t understand why there are still buildings on Bankova Street in Kyiv,” he said, referring to the street where the Ukrainian president’s office is located.
The Russian military has threatened to attack Ukraine’s “decision-making center” in retaliation for an attack on Russian soil. A series of calls for “retaliation” on August 21 even warned of “unintended” consequences if Russian leaders chose not to escalate the conflict.
“For the Kremlin, all the radical voices are both useful and dangerous. Now, they may be helpful. But soon they will become dangerous,” commented Mara Gurman, an expert on Russian politics.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff expressed hope that Ukraine was not behind the attack because it did not benefit Kyiv.
“I certainly never want to see anything like Ukraine attacking civilians and expect their claims to be accurate,” Schiff said.
Takeo (follow New York Times, Washington Post, TASS)