Daughter of Putin’s major ally killed in car explosion

ANKARA – The daughter of Russian political scientist and ally of President Vladimir Putin was killed in a car explosion on the outskirts of Moscow late Saturday, authorities and state media said.

The car of Darya Dugina, daughter of Alexander Dugin, exploded on Mozhayskoye highway around 9:45 p.m. local time (1845 GMT).

Initial reports said she died instantly, with reports claiming that her father, described as "Putin's brain," is believed to be the target.

In a statement, Russia’s Investigation Committee said: "The crime was planned in advance and committed on order, according to information received."

A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident.

Born in 1992, Dugina, like her father, was engaged in journalism, philosophy, and political science.

Ukraine not 'criminal state'

Ukraine is not a “criminal state” like Russia, and so had nothing to do with the killing of a relative of Dugin’s daughter.

"I want to emphasize that Ukraine had nothing to do with this,” Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine's senior presidential adviser, told local channel ICTV on Sunday.

"They don’t understand that we’re not a criminal state like Russia," he added, adding that blaming Ukraine for the incident is probably meant to justify the drafting of more soldiers for Russia’s war against its western neighbor, now in its sixth month.

In recent years Moscow has been accused of being behind the assassinations of Russian critics and defectors abroad, including the near-deadly poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in 2018 in Salisbury, England.

On Saturday’s incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed to what she called Ukraine’s "policy of state terrorism."

Russia’s Investigation Committee said the bombing “was planned in advance and committed on order” and that authorities are investigating.  (Anadolu)