Russia has identified a second Ukrainian ‘suspect’ in the car bomb killing of Alexander Dugin’s daughter, with Moscow-based media painting him as a ‘sex-crazed beer lover’ in an attempt to incriminate him.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed Bogdan Tsyganenko helped prepare the killing of Darya Dugina, the daughter of the Russian nationalist ideologue, who has been described by some in the West as ‘Putin’s brain.
The FSB charged that Tsyganenko provided the main ‘suspect’, Natalya Vovk, with a fake ID and fake license plates, and helped her assemble an explosive device that was planted in Dugina’s car.
Russia has said Bogdan Tsyganenko (pictured) is a second Ukrainian ‘suspect’ in the car bomb killing of the daughter of a Russian nationalist ideologue, with Moscow-based media painting him as a ‘sex-crazed beer lover’ in an attempt incriminate him
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed Bogdan Tsyganenko helped prepare the killing of Darya Dugina (shown in a photograph displayed during her funeral, left), the daughter of Alexander Dugin (right), who was described by some in the West as ‘Putin’s brain’
‘It has been established that the murder of Dugina, together with Vovk, was prepared in Moscow by another member of the Ukrainian sabotage and terrorist group,’ the FSB – the main KGB successor agency – said in a statement on Monday, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.
Tsyganenko is ‘a citizen of Ukraine born in 1978, who arrived in Russia in transit through Estonia on July 30, 2022 and left the territory of Russia the day before the commission of undermining Dugina,’ the agency said.
Since the FSB’s statement, Russian media has worked to dig up incriminating ‘evidence’ to paint Tsyganenko in an unsavoury manner.
Moskovsky Komsomolets, a Putin-friendly tabloid, declared him to be ‘sex crazed,’ writing that his social media profiles featured ‘many sites and videos with an erotic slant, sometimes bordering on pornography.’
Russian state-owned RIA news agency posted pictures of Tsyganenko posing in a pirate hate, while calling him a ‘member of a Ukrainian sabotage and terrorist group’.
The agency said he used a pseudonym online, and claimed he posted ‘many collages, including with the captions “Sex Instructor,” “Beer lover,” and “Take everything from Pepsi,” (where the Pepsi bottle is used for the consumption of hashish,’ according to the Daily Beast.
Russia’s FSB spy agency claimed the SBU – Kyiv’s special forces – were behind the murder and alleged a woman called Natalia Vovk (pictured: her identity card), born in 1979, carried out the hit. Analysts have since said this image is of a faked passport
The charred jeep where Darya Dugina, 30, was killed by an explosion on 20 August. 30-year-old Darya Dugina died in the car explosion late on 20 August 2022 in Moscow region
Tsyganenko, 44, arrived in Russia via Estonia on July 30 and left the country the day before the killing, the FSB said.
Dugina, a 29-year-old commentator with a nationalist Russian TV channel, died when a remotely controlled explosive device planted in her SUV blew up on the night of Aug. 20 as she was driving on the outskirts of Moscow, ripping the vehicle apart and killing her on the spot, authorities said.
Both she and her father, who is a philosopher, writer and political theorist, ardently supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine.
Ukrainian and Western officials, as well as a number of prominent Russian commentators, believe the car bomb was likely executed by agents loyal to Putin after Dugin criticised the Russian president in a public Telegram post.
However, as Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine reached its six-month mark, Moscow was quick point the finger at Kyiv.
Dugina (right), whose father Alexander Dugin (left) is a notorious ultranationalist. She died when a remotely controlled explosive device planted in her SUV blew up on the night of August 20 as she was driving on the outskirts of Moscow
The FSB said Dugina’s killing was ‘prepared and perpetrated by the Ukrainian special services’ and accused Vovk of carrying out the killing and then fleeing to Estonia.
Vovk, according to the FSB, arrived in Russia in July with her 12-year-old daughter and rented an apartment in the building where Dugina lived in order to shadow her.
The agency alleged that Vovk and her daughter were at a nationalist festival that Dugin and his daughter attended just before the killing.
The FSB said Vovk used a license plate for Ukraine’s Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region to enter Russia and a Kazakhstan plate in Moscow before switching to a Ukrainian one to cross into Estonia.
It released video and photos of the suspect from surveillance cameras at the border crossings, while driving the car in Moscow and at the entrance to the Moscow apartment building.
Alexander Dugin – father of 29-year-old Darya Dugina who died in the car explosion late on 20 August 2022 in Moscow region – is shown at the explosion site
The car bombing is believed to have taken place in Bolshiye Vyazyomy, on the outskirts of Moscow
The agency said Monday that Tsyganenko provided Vovk with a Kazakh license plate and Kazakh ID documents belonging to a real person named Yulia Zaiko.
It didn’t offer any details as to how Vovk obtained other license plates and whether those were fake, too.
Kyiv has vehemently denied any involvement in Dugina’s death.
Estonian authorities said they have not received any formal requests or inquiries from Russia regarding Vovk.
Hundreds of people attended Dugina’s funeral service in a large television studio in Moscow, where she worked as a prominent pro-Kremlin broadcaster.
A huge portrait of Dugina hung above her coffin which was heavily guarded and surrounded by flower wreaths and streamers bearing the colours of the Russian Federation.
The message from Putin read: ‘Accept my sincere condolences and words of support due to the hardest, irreplaceable loss you suffered.
‘A vile, cruel crime ended the life of Darya Dugina, a bright, talented person with a true Russian heart – kind, loving, open and sympathetic.
‘A journalist, a scientist, a philosopher, a military correspondent, she honestly served the people, the Fatherland, and proved with her life what it means to be a patriot of Russia.
‘The memory of Darya Dugina will be forever kept by her close people and friends, her comrades. Wishing you strength and fortitude in this mournful hour,’ the message concluded.
Dugin was later pictured sobbing into his hands on stage as Dugina’s mother stood by her coffin to pay her final respects.
Dugin, a bearded Rasputin-esque figure, sat forlornly alongside Dugina’s mother at the funeral.
When the moment came for him to deliver a speech, he told funeral-goers: ‘I wanted to raise my daughter the way I see an ideal human, so first of all it was about belief.
She spent her entire childhood in Orthodox camps. But I also wanted her to be a smart Orthodox person, so with her mother we advised her to become a philosopher, and she became one.
‘She died for Russia, on the front line… She lived for victory, and died in the name of victory.’ He said her last words to him before getting into her Toyota Land Cruiser were: ‘Papa, I feel like a warrior, I feel like a hero.’
Hundreds of people attended Dugina’s funeral service (pictured) in a large television studio in Moscow, where she worked as a prominent pro-Kremlin broadcaster. A huge portrait of Dugina hung above her coffin which was heavily guarded and surrounded by flower wreaths and streamers bearing the colours of the Russian Federation
The Kremlin has alleged that 43-year-old mother Natalia Shaban-Vovk (pictured) is a Ukrainian spy and was behind the car bombing attack
Seven hours before the assassination on Saturday night, Dugin had issued a vitriolic online post on Telegram saying that the war in Ukraine was now more important than Putin’s presidency.
Dugin had claimed the war and ‘desperate resistance of the Atlanto-Nazi regime in Kyiv’ demands from Russia ‘internal transformations’.
The tone was strongly critical of Putin.
‘The Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Putin] said that we haven’t really started anything yet. Now we have to start. Whether you want it or not, we’ll have to,’ the post read.
‘Now the question is not whether the government wants or does not want change. Such changes are simply inevitable… The mighty forces of history have come into play, the tectonic plates have shifted. Let the old regime bury its dead.
‘A new Russian time is coming. And it’s coming irreversibly.’
Most international observers remain convinced the assassination was actually carried out by Russian agents who wanted to silence the victim’s father.
Analyst Yekaterina Shulman says the outpouring of anger among pro-Kremlin commentators in response to the car bomb attack appears suspicious: ‘The reaction… was immediate. It looks as if they were waiting for something like this to happen.’
Shulman added the killing ‘could possibly be used to ramp up some public outrage in the country to justify even more active repressive actions by the state’.
WHO IS ALEXANDER DUGIN?
Russian ultra-right ideologue Alexander Dugin is responsible for shaping the world view of Putin’s inner circle. He has called for Ukrainians to be killed and strongly pushed Russia to invade for decades.
In his youth, Dugin emerged as a leader of the notorious anti-Semitic Russian nationalist organisation, Pamyat.
He founded his own publishing house after the fall of the USSR, going on to win university positions for his writings.
Dugin believes that the Russian Orthodox Church was destined to rule as an empire over all of Europe and Asia — uniting all the Russian-speaking peoples into a single state.
He laid out his plan for achieving this aim in his 1997 book Foundations of Geopolitics, a text which still has significant influence within Russian elites and has even been used as a textbook by the Russian military.
The Russian professor formed the ‘Eurasia Party’ in 2001, named after the hypothetical state, which also appears in George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Dugin believes that the Russian Orthodox Church was destined to rule as an empire over all of Europe and Asia — uniting all the Russian-speaking peoples into a single state
His novel calls for a Russian empire stretching from Dublin to Vladivostok, even calling for parts of China to be conquered.
Dugin was dismissed from his position as head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations at Moscow University after arguing for ‘people’s republics’ on the territory of Ukraine.
Seven years later, his position would become a reality after the Kremlin annexed the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic out of Ukraine’s occupied eastern territories.
Dugin called for the annexation of Crimea as far back as 2008, during Russia’s war with Georgia.
He travelled to the disputed region of South Ossetia, where he was photographed with a rocket launcher.
He was also involved with coordinating separatist movements in Ukraine during the 2014 occupation, for which the US sanctioned him.
The political scientist claims he also played a key role in reconciling the relationship between Russia and Turkey in 2015 after a Russian warplane was shot down on the Syrian border.
Dugin also developed links with far-right and far-left political parties in the European Union, attempting to influence EU policy on Ukraine and Russia.