The Darya Dugina Assassination

The Darya Dugina Assassination

On August 23rd, Darya Dugina was laid to rest after losing her life in a car bombing on the outskirt of Moscow. The implications of Dugina’s murder are worth reporting, as the war continues between Russia and Ukraine. However, there is something unsettling surrounding Darya’s death, especially the reactions which could lead to even further escalation of Russia’s invasion.

The Death of Darya Dugina

On August 20th, Darya Dugina attended Tradition, a daylong festival at which her father, Aleksandr Dugina, was lecturing. After the event, Darya Dugina drove away in a Toyota Land Cruiser. The car exploded, killing the 29-year-old instantly. The death came as a shock to many people who know the young journalist. Russia’s elite attended the memorial at Ostankino, Moscow’s TV Center.

At the memorial, there was something concerning about the reactions of Dugina's father, Putin, and other Russian elites. At the memorial, Aleksandr Dugina commented that his daughter died for Russia. During the funeral, President Vladimir Putin gave Darya Dugina the Order of Courage, posthumously for “courage and selflessness shown in the performance of her professional duty.” 

However, it was business tycoon Konstantin Malofeyev's statement that showed the intention of these tributes:

The people fighting against us do not understand that the Russian people are not just made up of those who are alive now. But is made up of those who lived before us and will live afterward. And we will become stronger with the blood of our martyrs.

Is this an ominous proclamation foretelling an imminent escalation of the War? It certainly must be seen as an event that could potentially galvanize the people of Russia in support of the invasion and continuation of the war.

Ukraine’s Involvement

Russia believes that Ukraine is responsible for the death of Darya Dugina. According to Don Courter, it was not a surprise that the Russian Federal Security Service discovered that Ukraine Special Service was involved. The alleged assassin, 43-year-old Natalia Vovk, was already following Darya Dugina. The Ukrainian woman was shown living in the same apartment building and was at the Tradition festival on the night of Dugina’s death. That night, Vovk and her daughter went across the Russia-Estonia border. 

Ukraine has denied the accusations. However, it is very clear that the country is going out of its way to antagonize Russia. This Ukrainian ambassador, Andrii Yurash, going after the pope for calling Darya an innocent victim. Yurash went as far as to call Darya “a Russian imperialist that was killed by Russians.” 

Regardless of the position, it is becoming clear that Darya Dugina’s death is significant and as a martyr, will be used by the Russians in the war. 

Will Darya Dugina’s Martyrdom Escalate the War?

Even though there are still a lot of questions, Russia’s elites have made it clear that they blame Ukraine for the death of Darya Dugina. Meanwhile, Ukraine is not doing anything to ease those tensions, having officials insult Dary Dugina and her life. 

Other countries have viewed this as a concern as well. In the aftermath, the United States is telling U.S. citizens in Ukraine to return and other countries are issuing warnings as well. Although her assassination was mentioned in stories, it’s not clear the actual impact it will have.

Russia Recruiting Motivation

Russia is facing significant resistance from the Ukrainians in a renewed battle for Kherson. In addition, Putin announced the addition of nearly 137,000 new troops to its forces. However, several reports indicate this will not make an impact while others point out that they are having trouble recruiting and drafting soldiers to go to Ukraine. 

Regardless of what motives you want to infer from others, there is no questioning a father’s loss of his daughter.

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