Assassination Outside Moscow: Cui bono?

The assassination of Darya Dugina, daughter of the well-known Russian ideologue Alexander Dugin, in a car-bomb in Moscow on Aug. 21 represents the crossing of a red line, i.e., the murder of a civilian personality on the outskirts of the Russian capital.

On the attack as such, it has been reported that Darya’s father Aleksander was supposed to be in the car, but according to TASS, Mrs. Dugina was the target. Most Western media have described Aleksander Dugin as “Putin’s brain” or “Putin’s leading ideologue”, but this is propaganda aimed at accusing the Russian President of espousing Dugin’s radical views of a “Great Russian Space”. The widely held view in France, expressed by well-known politologist Pascal Boniface, is that that “Dugin was not the mentor of Putin, but was close to him and supported his policy”. Contrary to the Russian President, Dugin has repeatedly called for the full annexation of Ukraine, to be integrated into an ethnically clean Nova Russia.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told TASS on Aug. 22 that Dugina’s murder had been devised by the Ukrainian special service and perpetrated by Ukrainian national Natalia Vovk, who then fled to Estonia. The next day, Sergey Lavrov specified that “the FSB has already established the facts, which are now being investigated”. While Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had warned that any link to Kiev, if confirmed, would make the regime responsible for “state terrorism”, the Ukrainian government has denied any responsibility in the assassination. From Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. condemns any targeting of civilians and referred to Kiev’s official response.

According to Le Monde, this assassination will put Vladimir Putin “under pressure from the ultranationalist camp”. France 24 quotes British expert Stephen Hall, saying that this fringe of the Russian political spectrum “will be up in arms, repeating over and over again that Vladimir Putin is doing nothing to restore Russia’s greatness”.

Former Italian Air Force chief of staff and ICSA Foundation president, General Leonardo Tricarico, does not endorse any assumptions about the matrix of the attack, but reiterates his hope that hostilities will be ended as soon as possible. “There is a lack of an engine pushing for a cease-fire,” although the timing is opportune to do so. Unfortunately, no signal is coming from the United States in this direction, Tricarico said.

What is very much to the point of the danger, is that there are no channels for diplomacy and contact among Russia and the major Western governments, in such a time of crisis. Russian Ambassador Gennady Gavilov, emissary in Geneva to the UN agencies there, spoke of this Aug. 22 saying of Ukraine: “I do not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts. And the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution.”

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