The daughter of a prominent Russian ideologue – a man dubbed "Putin's brain" – has been killed in a car bombing.
Russian state investigators have confirmed the death of Darya Dugina, 29, the daughter of ultra-nationalist Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin.
She was killed Saturday night (local time), after a suspected explosive device blew up the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving, investigators said.
It is unclear if she was the intended target, with a leading theory suggesting the attack was an attempt on the life of Alexander Dugin, who is credited with providing the Kremlin's moral argument for invading Ukraine.
Russia's TASS state news agency quoted Andrei Krasnov, someone who knew Darya Dugina, as saying the vehicle belonged to her father.
Dugin is a prominent proponent of the "Russian world" concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasises traditional values and the unity of all ethnic Russians throughout the world.
While his exact ties to Putin are unclear, the Kremlin frequently echoes rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state TV. In a famous 2014 article, Foreign Affairs magazine described him as "Putin's brain".
His daughter was a frequent TV commentator who would also espouse his views, and in March was sanctioned herself by the US for her work as chief editor of United World International, a website the US described as a disinformation source.
The 29-year-old was attending a literary and arts festival on the outskirts of Moscow where her father was speaking, and reportedly decided to switch cars at the last minute.
A video circulating online appears to show a distraught Alexander Dugin arrive on the scene after the car had been engulfed by flames.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has publicly speculated that Ukraine might have been behind the attack, however Ukraine officials have denied any involvement.
Nonetheless, Kremlin-linked officials have vowed to strike Ukraine over the killing.
"We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy," Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said in his regular video address.
While it remains unclear who exactly was responsible for the attack, political analyst Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for Vladimir Putin, called it "an act of intimidation" aimed at Kremlin loyalists.
with Reuters, AP
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.