Russia Blames Agent in Mini Cooper for Car Bomb

Moscow says Ukraine operative fled to Estonia after attack on Darya Dugina
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2022 12:30 PM CDT
Russia Blames Agent in Mini Cooper for Car Bomb
Investigators work the scene of the car bombing in Russia that killed Daria Dugina.   (Investigative Committee of Russia via AP)

Russia has from the get-go blamed Ukraine for the car bombing that killed pro-Kremlin pundit Darya Dugina, but now the accusation is getting specific. On Monday, Russia's FSB security service said a female agent with Ukraine's secret services carried out the attack after elaborate planning, reports Reuters. Under the FSB scenario, the woman arrived in Moscow about a month ago with her young daughter and rented an apartment in Dugina's building so she could become familiar with Dugina's comings and goings. On Saturday, the woman attended the same nationalist festival as Dugina and her father, prominent Vladimir Putin ally Alexander Dugin, says the FSB.

After detonating the fatal car bomb by remote control, the FSB says the woman and her daughter drove across the border to Estonia in their Mini Cooper and remain at large, per CNN. The agency identified the woman, though no outlets have independently confirmed the narrative. Ukraine has denied involvement, and presidential adviser Mykhailo Padolyak mocked the FSB on Monday as living in a "fictional world," reports the New York Times. One notable thing about the FSB allegations: They suggest the 29-year-old Dugina was the primary target all along and not her father, an ultranationalist who has been described as "Putin's brain."

On Monday, the elder Dugina released his first public statement since his daughter's death. Instead of "revenge or retribution," he says what he wants is victory in Ukraine, per the Washington Post. "My daughter laid her maiden life on its altar," he wrote. "So win, please!" Putin, meanwhile, sent a letter to Dugin expressing his condolences over what he called the "vile" attack. "A journalist, scientist, philosopher, war correspondent, she honestly served the people, the Fatherland, and through her actions she proved what it means to be a patriot of Russia," Putin wrote. (More Russia stories.)

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