Daria Dugina’s assassination could spell trouble for Putin’s allies in Russia

August 24, 2022

Alexander Dugin attends a farewell ceremony of his daughter Daria Dugina, who was killed in a car bomb explosion in Moscow on August 23.

Earlier this week in Russia, there was a televised funeral for Daria Dugina, just days after she was killed in a car bombing in Moscow.

Dugina was a Russian propagandist who supported her country’s invasion of Ukraine, both on TV and online. Her death made global headlines, both for its violence and because of the political prominence of her father, Alexander Dugin.

It also signaled that Moscow’s elite may not be safe in their own city, said Marlene Laruelle, the director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University.

“The war is progressively coming to them in the Russian territory,” she said.

“The message the killing is sending, even if we cannot interpret exactly who did that and who the actual target was, is that if you can have a terrorist act in Moscow, in the middle of the war, it means elites are suddenly not feeling secure anymore.”

Laruelle joined All Things Considered to discuss Alexander Dugin’s rise and waning influence, how he spread his ideology across the world, and what Daria Dugina’s death may mean politically.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

On Alexander Dugin’s origins

He was pretty famous in the ’90s because he was one of the first ones in Russia to formulate a kind of political language of Russia’s great power and empire. But in the 2000s, he really lost some of his prominence, and there are many other ideologies who appeared who are much more influential on the regime’s kind of strategy. He has been pretty marginalized inside Russia. He’s more famous abroad than in Russia itself.

Alexander Dugin rose to prominence in the 1990s.

On his beliefs towards Ukraine

He has had very anti-Ukrainian ideology since the beginning, which is some of his most famous work in the mid-90s. He was saying that Ukraine doesn’t exist as a state, as a nation, that it’s a construction of the West as a kind of anti-Russian strategy.

And that’s something that was not so common at that time. But after that, he really has been working on many other countries, creating a big geopolitical vision for Russia as an empire, and he has always been very anti-Ukrainian, to the point that Ukraine has forbidden him from entering Ukrainian territory already for about 15 years. In the mid-2000s he was already persona non grata in Ukraine.

On whether there is any knowledge of Dugin’s influence on Vladmir Putin

No, we’re not even sure they have met. Putin has never quoted Dugin, Dugin is not part of any official institution, like several other ideologies. He’s only on the small internet channel, the far right, orthodox channel. So he’s not among the classic propagandists that are actually invited on talk shows.

His daughter was, and that’s what is interesting. His daughter was more mainstream in a sense, and she was able to be invited to all of these provocative talk shows. He has been pretty marginal, because his thinking is not an easy one to follow. It’s super philosophical, and religious, so it’s not something you can air on television very easily and get a big audience for.

Investigators work on the site of explosion of a car driven by Daria Dugina outside Moscow.

On Dugin’s popularity among international far-right communities

He’s really a big name in contemporary far-right thinking. First, because he has been speaking a lot of foreign languages, so he was able to read all of the European far-right productions, to translate in Russia, and also to translate his own work in English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Iranian.

So he has really been able to develop networks of international, transnational, far-right people, up to Latin America. He was able to articulate a narrative of this new empire of conservative values against the so-called decadent West and liberal culture and so on. It’s really a narrative that has resonated with a lot of European interests among the far right groups.

On what Daria Dugin’s death may mean politically

I think her death will be used by the conservative reactionary groups to kind of create a martyr out of her. She was a young, good looking woman, so that will help to create the myth of her martyrdom. I think her death will be used globally, not only by the conservative circles but also by the regime, for some kind of domestic repression. The regime will have to showcase that it can answer to a terrorist act, and that will probably mean higher repression.

This story was adapted for the web by Manuela Lopez Restrepo.



  1. “The message the killing is sending, even if we cannot interpret exactly who did that and who the actual target was, is that if you can have a terrorist act in Moscow, in the middle of the war, it means elites are suddenly not feeling secure anymore.”

    Maybe the execution of the Nazi, Dugina, is a message powerful enough for Putler’s buddies to face the reality that this regime’s war is a lost cause and that the regime is in its last death throes. This could accelerate the inevitable; the end of the era of Putlerism.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Violent death?
    Not violent enough if there were still bits left to fill a coffin.

    Thats more than some Ukrainian families have had.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I could be off base so feel free to tell me to shut up. I don’t believe the individuals arguing against helping us is a far right ideology. I thinks it’s both extremes that are the idiots. For instance, Main stream Conservatives, I think, believe in individual freedom, individual responsibility and limited government, and here I hold President Reagan or Senator Rubio as the standard bearers. The left, I think, believes in central control and government interference in all aspects of its citizens. There are too many examples but take a look at the left uproar when Trump (not exactly someone I care to highlight but it’s availablewas supporting the Cuban uprising or his embargo on Venezuela. The left went nuts.
    So my point it isn’t left or right, republican or democrat, there are morons and idiots on both sides.

    Liked by 3 people

    • No one here will tell you to shut up. We might argue against, but that’s about it.
      In this case, I fully agree with you, Sir Cap. And, I’m sure that there are morons in the middle, too. All across the board, as a matter of fact. In addition, there are also, more or less, sane people in all political spectrums.

      Liked by 2 people

    • All opinions are valid Cap. Except of course for kremtrolls.
      In Britain, the far left and the far right have practically identical views vis a vis putler : they support him and quote the same lying propaganda from the kremlin. They all hate Ukraine and want putler to win. The names of these people I have published many times.
      In the US, putler jackboot lickers are predominantly on the right. The Dems have two: Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders. (As far as I know of; you may know more). The GOP has a growing faction that hates Ukraine and wants putler to win. That is of course the Trump wing, which is supported by Trump’s many friends in the media.
      The more popular Trump gets, the more dangerous it gets for Ukraine. If you doubt that, you only have to read Trump’s actual words when putler started his holocaust. Then look at the words on the record of the Pauls, Taylor-Greene, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham etc. All of these opposed Biden’s aid packages; including of course Lend-Lease, which kicks in in September (I think).

      Liked by 3 people

        • He currently the leading choice of the GOP, with DiSantis close behind. As Cap informed us, the latter is refusing to state his position on Ukraine, which, along with the endorsement of Trumpkov, tells you all you need to know.
          Raging putlerite Laura Ingraham has already endorsed DiSantis as having all Trump’s policies without being Trump.
          It is likely that her putlerite colleague Carlson will take the same position.
          There is a danger of a Trump-DiSantis presidential ticket. Two years away yes, but this large and growing faction can do enormous harm to Ukraine’s cause between now and then.

          Liked by 2 people

          • DeSantis is ahead of Trump according to the latest YouGov poll.
            At any rate, it’s true that DeSantis doesn’t say much about Ukraine or Russia, but what he did say, thus far, makes it appear that he is rather pro-Ukrainian and anti-mafia land. This is a point for DeSantis. We all know what the orange monkey thinks about putler. For me, it’s still much too early to be worried about who will be the next POTUS. I want this war to be finished by well before the next elections. Right now, the important thing is that the current POTUS – Biden – sticks to his guns and keeps Ukraine well-supplied with weapons and ammo.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Biden is forecast to take losses in the mid-terms and the Trump wing of the GOP to do well, so that’s a concern.
              The fact that DiSantis is endorsed by Laura Ingraham and Trump leaves little or no doubt as to his true position.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Certainly, he’s not being endorsed by Laura because he’s supposedly pro-kremlin, but because he’s a conservative. DeSantis doesn’t want Trump’s endorsement.

                Liked by 2 people

                • Did you not know facts: Ingraham is a rabid putlerite skank? A fluent Russian speaker who has adopted Russian kids, a friend of Michael Savage as well as of course Carlson.
                  She has already stated that she backs DiSantis for having Trump’s policies without being Trump. If he’s not a putlerite, I’m a Venusian.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • Well, I haven’t seen any evidence yet, that proves DeSantis is a putlerite or hates Ukraine. If you have any, I would appreciate a link, Scradge. I have been unsuccessful at finding anything.
                    DeSantis hasn’t said very much about either country. I understand the support from these shit nuggets. They are conservatives, and so I assume that this is why they support DeSantis, and not specifically for any apparent putlerism. But, as I’ve requested, if you have anything that proves it, I would appreciate it.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    • He has said nothing, as Cap confirms, despite repeated requests. He did in fact blame Biden for putler’s holocaust though. What does that tell you? What does it tell you when a putinoid skank like Ingraham backs him over Trump? What does it tell you when Trump is a fan? Trump only backs putlerites. A close friend of Trump; Michael Savage, backs him. Savage is even more pro-putler than Karson!
                      No doubt we will soon learn that Alex Jones; the US fuhrer of putleite conspiracy theories and lies, backs him!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • DeSantis called Biden’s response to mafia land’s aggression weak, which is exactly what it was and to some extent what it still is. He also called putler a gas station attendant. This does not sound pro-ruskie to me. I refuse to see DeSantis as a putlerite, simply based on whimsical data. I need more than that.
                      On a side note; I know people in Germany who vote for the AfD. However, they are NOT Russophiles or anti-Ukrainians (or Nazis). They do so because this party is a conservative one, and there are no others left over in Germany that stand half a chance to get into parliament. As a matter of fact, this party’s pro-ruskie stance is a thorn in their eyes. Yet, they see the greater evil being done to Germany from the other parties, and so they swallow this bitter pill. This is how I see the support for DeSantis by these creatures.
                      What I need is concrete evidence that DeSantis is anything pro ruskie or putler, and/or anti-Ukrainian. If he plans to stop military aid to Ukraine, then this is such an evidence. If he wants to force Ukraine into a peace deal without a defeat of mafia land, this too. And so forth. Please, give me something more than just him being supported by assholes.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • You will get it sooner or later.
                      If you are supported by assholes, there is a high probability you are an asshole.
                      A vote for AfD is a vote for genocide.
                      Le Pen, Orban etc may have one or two good policies, but they are still evil bastards that hate Ukraine and tacitly endorse genocide.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • These Germans see it differently. Germany is being flooded with all sorts of foreigners, for example. There are many schools where only about 10% of students are ethnic Germans. They see this excessive immigration of ill-educated peoples of different cultures and religions as an existential threat to the country. None of the other political parties want to do anything about it, and some even propagate it further. There are more reasons, but this is one of the main ones. They see this as the main problems for their future. But, many have turned their backs to this party since this war started.

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sir Scradgel I Honestly don’t know DeSantis position on Ukraine. In March he’s reported as saying “DeSantis came down squarely in what POLITICO Nightly has called the “Blame Putin and Biden” camp. He labeled Putin an “authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy nuclear weapons” and praised the Ukrainian resistance but he decried some of President Joe Biden’s decisions as weak.” I’ve also learned thru the CFO office of Florida that the Florida pension plans have divested Russian investments but whether they were on orders or DeSantis or even if this true, I just don’t know. I’m concerned he doesn’t come out definitively on a policy other then Putin is an ass, Biden is weak and he praises Ukrainians. Not sure for the reasons for his silence whether it’s too appease the far right idiots or just he doesn’t see a need as there are other issues he’s fighting. I just don’t know but I do keep hoping as I do believe he’s a better alternative to Trump.

    Liked by 3 people

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