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Daughter of Putin supporter killed in car bomb; Ukraine says it's not to blame

A still image showing investigators on Sunday working at the scene of a car explosion on Mozhaisk highway near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemi near Moscow that killed Darya Dugina on Saturday night. Photo by Russian Investigation Committee/EPA-EFE
A still image showing investigators on Sunday working at the scene of a car explosion on Mozhaisk highway near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemi near Moscow that killed Darya Dugina on Saturday night. Photo by Russian Investigation Committee/EPA-EFE

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Ukraine denied responsibility Sunday for a car bomb in Moscow that killed the daughter of a staunch supporter of President Vladimir Putin and Russian nationalism.

Darya Dugina, the daughter of influential, ultra-nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, was killed by a car bomb in theoutskirts of Moscow late Saturday.

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Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the death will point to Ukraine's "state terrorism" policy if it is determined they are the blame for the death.

Ukraine quickly sought to distance itself from Dugina's death, blaming it on "various political factions" in Russia.

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"I confirm that Ukraine, of course, had nothing to do with this because we are not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation, and moreover we are not a terrorist state," said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, according to The Guardian.

Dugin has been credited with helping shape Putin's expansionist foreign policy. Dugin and Dugina had both been sanctioned by the United States and Britain for working to destabilize Ukraine.

Britain's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation said Dugina was a "frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms."

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Russia was blamed for a missile that struck the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear station and fresh shelling around the Zaporizhzhia power plant, renewing concerns throughout Europe of a nuclear accident.

"It is possible that this missile was aimed specifically at the Pivdennoukrainsk plant, which the Russian military tried to seize back at the beginning of March," said Energoatom, which manages Ukraine's four nuclear energy generators, according to The Guardian.

Ukrainian officials said Sunday that Russia continued its attacks along most of its frontlines in eastern Ukraine. Officials pointed to dozens of assaults where Moscow hit Ukrainian positions and civilian areas with warplanes and artillery guns, particularly in Pisky and Bakhmut.

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"They have focused all their efforts on the Bakhmut direction, but they have not achieved any serious victories or advances on the front for almost two months," said Serhiy Haidai, a Ukrainian regional military official, according to The New York Times.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine hold the fort, and the support of international partners allows us to make surprises in the rear."

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