Darya Dugina, the daughter of extremist Russian firebrand Alexander Dugin, notoriously died when her car blew up in a Moscow suburb a few days ago. Talk about poetic justice.

Not only was she the daughter of one of the ideological instigators of the invasion of Ukraine (he was known as Putin’s Rasputin), but she was also a militant neo-Nazi in her own right.
I hasten to add, she’s not the woman in the picture. She wishes…

In a matter of hours, if the Russian propaganda machine is to be believed, the FSB* has solved the case and identified a “person of interest”, a Ukrainian citizen (now, that comes as a surprise!) who is said to have fled to Estonia after the attack. All this in the best Russian tradition of “zero evidence.”

In my head, I hear someone saying, “We don’t need no steenkin’ evidence” in a heavy Russian accent.

To crack such a case in just two days is akin to science fiction, especially if you consider the FSB’s less-than-stellar record.

  • Boris Nemtsov (1959-2015) was a liberal politician who had served as deputy Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin.  A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov was gunned down by a commando of Chechen assassins in the vicinity of the Kremlin. 2,733 days later, the investigation aimed at identifying the mastermind of this murder has produced no results.
  • Natalya Estemirova was a Russian civil-rights activist who was abducted and murdered in Grozny, Chechnya, in 2009. Estemirova had denounced numerous civil rights violations by the Russian troops and their Kadyrovite proxies. Her body was found in a ditch near the town of Gazi-Yurt, some 80 kms to the west of Grozny. 4,786 days later, her murder has become a “cold case” that won’t be solved anytime soon—or ever.
  • Anna Politkovskaya (photo) was an American-born journalist who spent seven years in Chechnya covering the second Chechen war in spite of constant harassment and intimidation by the Russian military. She wrote for the Novaya Gazeta as an investigative journalist who did not pull any punches in criticizing Putin. Politkovskaya was killed in 2006 by a hit-team of five men. The killers got a prison sentence but the person who orchestrated the hit was never found—at least in the 5,798 days that elapsed since Politkovskaya’s death.

But today Vladimir Putin is satisfied that his FSB has found the culprit of Darya Dugin’s assassination in just 48 hours.

If any evidence to the contrary should surface, how sure are we that we’ll ever know?


*Since 1995 the FSB is Russia’s security service, the main heir of the infamous KGB of Soviet memory. In Moscow it occupies the same building, known as the Lubyanka.