memri
August 25, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10156

Russian Nationalists Following Dugina Assassination Further Amplify Calls For More Extreme Measures In The War Against Ukraine

August 25, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10156

The August 20, 2022 assassination of Darya Dugina daughter of philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who some credit with exerting influence on Vladimir Putin in favor of restoring the Orthodox Slavic world and breaking with the West, was grist to the mill for those calling for Russia's escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Even before the murder, the partisans of more decisive measures to win the war had mustered enough support to call the Duma into special session.

Leading the charge was the Communist Party boss Gennady Zyuganov. Interviewed on the Russia-24 television channel, Zyuganov continued his party's double game of supporting Putin and invoking his name while simultaneously outbidding him by constantly calling for stepped up measures:

Interviewer:" Specify, please, what emergency measures are you proposing?

Zyuganov: "It has long been suggested that measures should be taken against the decision-making centers in Kyiv. I don’t see any such measures yet. We have sufficient power and resources to restrain crazy people giving criminal orders.

"It’s absolutely impossible to negotiate with Zelensky, because the entire process there is under the control of Washington’s and London’s puppeteers. It’s therefore naive to believe that fruitful talks with Zelensky are possible.

"We have genuine opportunities to prevent the supply of NATO arms to Ukraine. These arms are now being brought into Ukraine not by air, but by ship and rail transport. But not a single bridge has been damaged to prevent these arms from reaching the front line. Thus, tougher and more concrete measures are long overdue. The [Russian] military knows very well what exact measures need to be implemented... Intelligence reports, and space [satellites] provide the necessary support. We enjoy a superiority of forces in the skies over Ukraine, but I don’t see the will and the political decisions to take this kind of action...[1]

With the assassination of Dugina, calls by Russsian nationalists to escalate the war mounted. They took it for granted that the killers were Ukrainians, and argued that Dugina's assassination was an attempt to intimidate the Russian population. Russia's was in a kill or be killed situation. Others noted that the real target was Aleksandr Dugin, who articulated the reason behind the entire operation, and therefore his death should provide inspiration for more vigorous prosecution of the war.

An editorial by Nezavisimaya Gazeta ran against the trend by calling for an open investigation rather than employing the Stalinist method of identifying the culprits in advance and directing the investigation to a preferred outcome. The editorial also subtly called out the FSB for failing to protect Dugina at a time of high alert leaving open the question of how precisely did the Federal Security Service drop the ball?

MEMRI's report on reactions to the Dugina assassination follows below:


Darya and Aleksandr Dugin (Source: Yugopolis.ru)

The conservative Tsargrad.tv that shares the Orthodox Slavophile philosophy of Aleksandr Dugin, reacted by saying that resolute action against the Ukrainians was long overdue. Tellingly both at the beginning of the opinion piece and the close

"The blowing up of a car with the daughter of the Russian World ideologue Alexander Dugin clearly demonstrated that 'soft power' against the Nazi regime in Kyiv has become a symbol of weakness for its leaders.

"This has not happened for a long time. A long time ago. From the time when the "Ichkeria" [Chechen] terrorists attempting to sow panic in our society, and staged explosions in central Russia. Then everything seemed to be over. And we somehow lost the habit of looking with suspicion at bearded men and women wrapped up to their eyes in hijabs in the subway, at train stations and bus stops. Although the habit of reacting to unattended bags and packages in crowded places remained.

"And when, after some time after the start of the special operation, when reports began to appear about the blowing up of Russian World supporters in the liberated territories and attacks by kamikaze drones, we didn’t really tense up either. Because, it all happened somewhere out there, far away. And when undisguised threats 'to kill Russians' sounded from Kyiv – no longer [just] by the radicals who have been peddling this topic for the past eight years, but by politicians and figures floating in their vicinity – we again shrugged our shoulders: let them threaten themselves... And when the sabotage groups already began to organize raids on Russian territory - in the Crimea, in the Rostov and Belgorod regions, this did not bother us much: mosquito bites - yes, [they are] painful, but not fatal.

"However, every time something like this happened, a murmur arose - why is there no order for decisive - crushing - answers? Why are there only threats of strikes against 'decision-making centers', but no real action?

Experts argued that 'at the top things are more visible,' 'it's still premature,' and when necessary, we will strike so that it will be hell to pay for the scoundrels. But there were also warnings: 'mosquito stings'  were merely the beginning. Things will get worse.

"And so, we waited.

"30 kilometers from Moscow, on a busy Mozhaisk highway at any time of the day, on Saturday, August 20, a car was blown up with a journalist and public figure Darya Platonova, the daughter of the most famous philosopher of our time, the ideologist of the Russian World, Alexander Dugin.

"The attack is unambiguous...

"Was it an act directed personally against her, who, by the way, the UK put on the sanctions list a month and a half ago for supporting the SVO and her open position on the situation in Ukraine? Or did they plan to kill her father, a well-known public figure who caused obvious irritation in Ukraine with his statements and ideology...? It was rather, the latter...

"Why was Dugin the target?

"Seemingly, what does the philosopher have to do with it, even considering his status as the 'ideologist of the Russian world'? After all, there are figures more, so to speak, known to the general public - it's not about the politicians and propagandists of the Ukroreich, who perfectly understand the role of Alexander Dugin in shaping the very concept of a new alignment of forces in the international arena, but about the masses who need to be inspired with the idea of the Zelensky regime's ​​"long arms".

"But here a different goal exists. The calculus of intimidating Russia's population itself.

"[It is meant as] a demonstration that anyone who openly advocates the government line to eradicate the threat of Ukrainian Nazism, and the liberation of Russian territories, can become the target of sabotage....

"Therefore, the main mission of the terrorist attack is to cause panic. It was not without purpose that at the very beginning we recalled the attacks of the Ichkeria militants - they had exactly the same goal. Only now we are not talking about attacks by separatists, albeit morally and physically prepared to commit a cruel crime, but about state terrorism.

"A terrorist attack against Dasha [diminutive of Darya]- the intimidation of a young, new generation of patriots...

"Look at how the information wave about the tragedy is now accelerating in the Ukrainian media, trying, on the one hand, to hastily explain to their readers who Alexander Dugin is, and on the other hand, literally dancing, choking with delight, on the bones of the deceased Dasha...

" Now - the answer is left to those who make decisions for us. How will we react to a terrorist attack in the heart of Russia? Again, we will threaten, we will be loudly indignant, we will shout  on state TV channels? Or will we nevertheless begin to act – in the realization that a terrorist war was effectively unleashed against us, and it was perpetrated by a quasi-state, which is ruled by those who would not wager a penny on the lives of either their own fellow citizens, let alone ours?[2]

The comparison with Chechnya is illuminating, but it cuts both ways. In 1999, Russia had seemingly resigned itself to Chechnya's independence, but a series of apartment block bombings unleashed the Second Chechen War in which Russia restored its control over Chechnya. That war helped establish Vladimir Putin's reputation. For Tsargrad.tv, the parallel is obvious: as in 1999, Russia has been fighting half-heartedly in Ukraine. Dugina's murder should furnish the same wake up call as the 1999 bombings and rouse Russia to vigorous and victorious action in Ukraine.

The other side of the coin is that the 1999 bombings and responsibility for them have been a topic of controversy. Boris Berezovsky, a media magnate, who first supported and then fell out with Putin charged that the FSB then headed by Nicolai Patrushev, who currently serves as Security Council Secretary. Journalists like Anna Politovskaya, who sought to investigate the story met with untimely deaths.[3]

 
The 1999 Moscow bombings ( Source: Praviamag.ru)

Artist Anton Belikov described the situation as a kill or be killed choice:

"In the center of Russia, a Russian woman was killed because she was Russian. For the fact that she was smart, subtle, talented, for being capable of giving birth to and raising beautiful and smart Russian children.

"What else do you need? Is it already a red line or [is it] still pink?

"We cannot now have peace with Ukraine, just as a person cannot reconcile with his gangrene. Anyone who talks about reconciliation with Ukraine now is an enemy. The time for talking has passed (we have had thirty years and we have spoken enough), the time has come to heal the disease with the hands of warriors. We need [conquistador Francisco] Pizarro, [WWII Soviet Marshall Georgy] Zhukov, [Punic War victor Cornelius] Scipio...

"All pacifists and trans-Ukrainians should henceforth be considered accomplices in this murder and all other murders of Russian people....

We have no choice: Either we strike Bankova [Street in Kyiv, where the Ukrainian presidential administration is located with Iskander [missiles], or they will strike Tverskaya [Boulevard, Moscow's main shopping street] with HIMARS [rockets]."[4]

Journalist Dmitry Mikhailin believes that if Dugina's death had a purpose, then that purpose was to bring Russia to its senses. He wrote:

"...It couldn’t be anything else, but a terror attack, aimed, naturally, not at Dasha, but at Aleksandr Gelyevich [Dugin], one of the greatest philosophers on the planet, whose ideas and formulas contradict the global narrative. He predicted long ago all those processes currently taking place now.

"And there is no doubt that this is not the act of an individual madman (or of several of them), but a prepared terrorist attack on our country, not the first and, unfortunately, not the last one.

"'To escalate / not to escalate' – there is no need to use these categories now. We must admit clearly and cool headedly: a terrorist war is being waged against our country. And, in general, it’s clear who is a responsible party.

"War correspondent Sladkov is correct, 'The Dasha Dugina case' should be the most important one for us now, the most significant and prominent one, starting with a call for an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council.

"Ukraine, backed by Western intelligence services, has turned to an open phase of terrorist warfare, including the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which threatens not only us.

"I was not acquainted with Dasha Dugina, but everyone says she was a beautiful, bright and genuine person. People like that don't die without some reason, but for something. For example, for us all to finally come to our senses."[5]


Dmitry Mikhailin (Source: Sputnik-Georgia.ru)

There was uncertainty over whether the intended victim of the assassination was Darya Dugin or her more famous father Aleksandr Dugin.

RT Editor-In-Chief Margarita Simonyan sought to straddle the issue: "Let’s recall that Darya was assassinated in an SUV explosion on the night of 21 August. She was the daughter of Russian political analyst and well-known public figure, Aleksandr Dugin. The victim of the resonant crime was known for her active pro-Russian stance. She often appeared on TV and was active on social media.

Most Russian nationalists believed that the elder Dugin was the intended victim because he articulated best why Russia was fighting in Ukraine

Political consultant Marat Bashirov wrote believes that Dugina's death will draw attention to her father's writings and they will elucidate the purpose behind the fighting in Ukraine"Many argue that the Special Military Operation [hereafter – SVO] and the upcoming referendums [in the occupied Ukrainian regions] lack an ideological platform, that we are losing the spiritual battle.

"Dugin’s philosophy and ideas are very much in line with the SVO's goals. 'The new world order, the restoration of the Russian empire, he was writing a lot about this on the Nezigar [Telegram] channel in his last series of posts titled “On the philosophical meaning of the SVO.”

"Dugin’s philosophy seems complicated, but since the death of [Vladimir] Zhirinovsky, who paraded similar ideas on TV, there has been no one, who could meaningfully elaborate the ideological reasons for the SVO. In addition, Dugin was quite active on Telegram, which, as we know, has become an arena for the struggle of ideas and meanings.

""After tonight’s event, we can assert that we underestimated Dugin, while Washington, London and Kyiv “appreciated him” quite highly if they sent the DRG [i.e., Diversionary Reconnaissance Group].

"After this tragedy, Dugin will have ascended to the philosophical 'Olympus', his works will be read, translated into other languages, the media will start to wonder who he is, and they will strive for interviews. It won’t bring his daughter back, but her death was not in vain, as the masterminds behind this crime miscalculated.

Let me quote Dugin himself from the post left on the 19th of August, “An idea can only be defeated by an idea. And that means.... It means that SVO as a philosophical phenomenon marks the return of Empire. The return of Russia to an Imperial [state], the full restoration of our messianic futuristic destiny.”[6]

Going strongly against the grain, a Nezavisimaya Gazeta editorial commented on the FSB's claim that Ukraine was behind Dugina's murder. The investigation, argued the editorial, had to be impartial and convincing and without preconceptions. The editorial found it puzzling that the security services had solved the crime instantaneously, but had failed to prevent it with all their "expanded powers. Here is the editorial in full:

"The FSB claimed it had solved the murder of journalist and political analyst, Darya Dugina (Platonova), daughter of conservative philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. Even the name of her murderer has been revealed; she has been linked [by the investigation] to the Ukrainian security services.

"The investigation received the investigation's direction already on Sunday. The State Duma deputies were posting about 'Ukro-terror', and 'the need to attack the centers of decision-making,' on social media. The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic [hereafter – the DPR], Denis Pushilin, also articulated the version of a Ukrainian [special services’] involvement.

"Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova stated, 'We would have to talk about the policy of state terrorism implemented by the Kyiv regime, provided the Ukrainian footprint is confirmed.'

"Deputy Alexander Khinstein wrote on his Telegram account that solving Dugina’s murder was 'a matter of honor' for Russian law enforcement agencies and investigators. The problem with this is that the numerous statements by politicians have already set in place a coordinate system for those involved in the case, situating it in a defined environment. It’s as if the investigation has received an assignment, an order: not only to find the killers and those who ordered the hit, but also to demonstrate their connection to Kyiv. How can one fail to find the Ukrainian footprint, when the entire political system has already sensed it and is ready to 'react harshly'?

"When something happens to opposition-minded politicians, political scientists or journalists (even if it is a murder) the investigation shows a varied set of versions. There are versions of domestic or business conflicts, mistresses etc. When the tragedy affects the like-minded people in power, it’s as if all other versions, apart from political ones, are swept aside in advance. This is, naturally, unsurprising.

"Russian history is replete with cases, in which politicians, or the authorities have given the investigation its work orientation. For instance, after the murder of [Sergei] Kirov on December 1, 1934, Stalin personally ordered the search for the perpetrators among the Zinovievites [i.e., supporters of Grigory Zinoviev].

"This was done, although, as participants in the events later recounted, many Chekists [members of the Cheka, the KGB's forerunner] doubted the validity of such a version.

"The possibility of a Ukrainian involvement in Darya Dugina’s case must be verified. But the investigation shouldn’t have any preconceived, 'desired' guidelines. Above all, the investigation must be qualitative and impartial, while its conclusions must be convincing. In the final result it’s not only a question of justice, but also of civil safety. Citizens must know and understand why a car was blown up in the country’s capital, why a person was murdered. The victim's views and her civic position are irrelevant here.

"'Security' is the key word here. The authorities have explained and continue to explain the regularly introduced restrictions and the security services' expanded powers precisely by security concerns. It should be easier for them to fulfill their duties on citizens’ protection, including against terrorist attacks and contract murders. The death of Darya Dugina is a high-profile case. Whatever the reason, it turns out that the authorized agencies don’t always fulfil their part of the 'security deal.'

"Provided the version with a 'Ukrainian footprint' is accepted by the authorities and (almost inevitably) by the investigation as the main one, then it appears that the special services could have been wary and should have expected attempts on the lives of people like Dugina (or Dugin himself) and made attempts to prevent it.

"They have more authority than their colleagues abroad. Judging by regular reports in the media, there are successes in preventing terrorist attacks. Here, despite the investigation immediately having a working hypothesis and motive, it’s strange to realize that the possible victim hasn’t been warned in advance and protected, and the moves of the malefactors have not been calculated.

"The 'Ukrainian footprint' doesn’t absolve anyone of responsibility and doesn’t at all reassure citizens, who see that despite the screws being tightened, no one's safety is guaranteed."[7]

 

[1] Kprf.ru, August 18, 2022.

[2] Tsargrad.tv, August 21, 2022

[3] For further details about the controversy over the 1999 bombings see: Wilsoncenter.org/publication/foiled-attack-or-failed-exercise-look-ryazan-1999; Hudson.org/research/12750-vladimir-putin-1999-russian-apartment-house-bombings-was-putin-responsible

[4] Vz.ru, August 23, 2022.

[5] Vz.ru, August 21, 2022.

[6] T.me/russica2, August 21, 2022.

[7] Ng.ru, August 22, 2022.

Share this Report:

Help Fight Extremism - Support MEMRI

MEMRI is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible and kept strictly confidential.