US Intelligence Blames Ukraine for Assassination in Russia

Agencies worry that covert operations could broaden the war
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 6:25 PM CDT
US Agencies Pin Car Bombing in Russia on Ukrainian Forces
A woman passes by a mural mural reading ''Bright memory to our Russian sister'' and depicting Daria Dugina in Belgrade, Serbia, in September.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Ukrainian officials approved the car bombing that killed the daughter of a Russian nationalist, US intelligence officials said, raising fears about the effect covert operations could have on the war. Daria Dugina was killed in the explosion near Moscow in August. The officials said Americans didn't know of the attack ahead of time, didn't provide help, and rebuked the Ukrainians afterward, the New York Times reports. The intelligence agencies informed other parts of the US government last week of their findings. It's not clear whether the American agencies believe President Volodymyr Zelensky knew of the plan ahead of time, per CNN.

US, and evidently Russian, officials believe Dugina's father, Aleksandr Dugin, was the intended target. Dugina, 29, was a TV commentator who advocated nationalist positions; her father was a nationalist who'd called for Russia to step up the fighting. Ukraine has insisted all along it wasn't responsible for the killing. Russia has accused Ukrainian intelligence agencies and said they hired a Ukrainian woman to set off the explosives remotely; a Ukrainian national security official in turn blamed Russian special services.

The American agencies are concerned that a covert campaign against Russia could broaden the war. Russia hasn't retaliated after the assassination, but US agencies warn of potential attacks on senior Ukrainian officials as payback. The Americans have complained that intelligence sharing has been a one-way street at times, per the Times: US agencies have provided sensitive information to help Ukrainian forces strike targets, but the Ukrainians don't always let US officials know of their plans. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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