Darya Dugina: The Russian security service claims that a Ukrainian agent was behind the murder

“The murder of the journalist Darya Dugina was solved, it was prepared by the Ukrainian special services, by a citizen of Ukraine,” reported TASS, citing the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which named a woman as the perpetrator and affirmed that she fled after that Attack on Estonia.

Ukraine has denied any involvement in Dugina’s assassination, calling the FSB’s claims fiction.

“We have nothing to do with the murder of this woman – this is the work of the Russian special services,” Oleksii Danylov, secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine, said in an interview on Ukrainian television on Monday.

“I emphasize again that our special services have nothing to do with this,” he said.

Dugina, the editor of a Russian disinformation website, died on Saturday night after a bomb exploded in a car she was driving on the outskirts of Moscow.

The FSB said the attacker was a Ukrainian woman who arrived in Russia on July 23 with her young daughter, TASS reported. The couple attended a festival near Moscow on Saturday, where Dugina was the guest of honor.

“The criminals used a Mini Cooper to monitor the journalist,” TASS reported, citing the FSB, adding that in Moscow the woman rented an apartment in the same building where Dugina lived.

After remotely detonating explosives in Dugina’s Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, the FSB said the woman and her daughter drove through the Pskov region to Estonia, an approximately 12-hour drive.

CNN cannot independently verify the FSB’s claims cited in the TASS report.

Estonian police and border guards said on Monday that they only release information about cross-border movements “in cases specified by law” and not because of Russian allegations in the media.

The agency’s media representative, Ragne Keisk, told CNN in an email that the border guard force “did not receive any formal information or inquiries from the Russian authorities on the matter.”

Estonia’s Foreign Ministry said it could not comment and has directed inquiries to the country’s Justice Ministry and Border Guard.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a key adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Monday that the FSB’s allegations reflect the “fictional world” in which Russian propaganda thrives.

Car Bombs and Confusion: The Murder of Dugina is a flashback to 1990s Russia

“Ru propaganda lives in a fictional world: [Ukrainian] A woman and her 12-year-old child were blamed for blowing up propagandist Dugina’s car. Surprisingly, they didn’t find the ‘Estonian visa’ on the spot,” he said on Twitter.

The spokesman for Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Service, Andriy Yusov, also dismissed Russia’s claims as “false” on Monday.

“It is fake that Ukraine is involved. It is a falsification that the National Guard of Ukraine is involved in these events. The National Guard performs its statutory duties on the territory of Ukraine,” Yusov said in a statement.

Yusov then shifted responsibility for the blast back to Russia, saying: “It looks more like things are being sorted out inside Russia. Both Dugin and his daughter are marginal figures and of no interest to Ukraine.”

Dugina’s father, Alexander Dugin, is a prominent Russian nationalist who is credited with being the architect or “spiritual leader” of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

At a memorial service Tuesday, Dugin said his daughter “died for our victory, our Russian victory, for the orthodoxy of our country, our state.”

“She wasn’t scared, and the last thing she said when we were talking at the Festival of Traditions, she was like, ‘Dad, I feel like a warrior, I feel like a hero. I want to be like this, I don’t want any other fate. I want to be with my people, with my country,’” continued Dugin.

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Both the father and daughter have been sanctioned by the United States and the United Kingdom for acts aimed at destabilizing Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department in March sanctioned Dugina as editor-in-chief of disinformation website United World International, which it claimed was owned by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, and circulated messages suggesting Ukraine would “go under” if it would be accepted into NATO.
Known as “Putin’s chef,” Prigozhin is believed to be behind the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the notorious Kremlin-affiliated troll factory accused of meddling in the 2016 US election.

The UK, in a July filing from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, identified Dugina as a “frequent and high-profile contributor to disinformation regarding Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms.”

Putin expressed his condolences to Dugina’s family on Monday, calling her death “a heinous, cruel crime.”

In a statement published on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel, Putin said: “As a journalist, scientist, philosopher, war correspondent, she sincerely served the people, the Fatherland, she proved by deeds what it means to be a patriot of Russia. “

CNN’s Oleksandra Ochman, Teele Rebane and Victoria Butenko contributed to this report.

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