Daria Dugina was a Russian hawk who railed against the West’s ‘global hegemony.’
Daria Dugina followed in her father’s footsteps as a commentator who combined hawkish, imperialist views with jargon-laden political philosophy.
On Thursday, two days before her death in a car bombing outside Moscow, she argued on a state television talk show that “the Western man lives in a dream — a dream that he got from his global hegemony.” On Friday, she delivered a lecture on “mental maps and their role in network-centric warfare,” describing atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb, as a staged event.
And before she died on Saturday, she attended a nationalist festival with her father outside Moscow called Traditions. In a selfie posted by Akim Apachev, a Russian nationalist musician, Ms. Dugina, 29, appeared beside her father, Aleksandr Dugin, with a military camouflage jacket tied around her waist.
“The enemy is at the gates,” Mr. Apachev wrote on social media on Sunday. “Rest in peace, Daria. You will be avenged!”
Last month, the British government imposed sanctions on Ms. Dugina, citing her as a “frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms.” The United States imposed sanctions on her in March, describing her as the chief editor of an English-language disinformation website owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch known as “Putin’s chef.”
She was a co-author of a forthcoming book on the war in Ukraine called “The Z Book,” after one of the identifying markings painted on Russia’s invading tanks. In June, she traveled to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol after Russian forces captured it in a brutal campaign. She told a state-run Russian radio station that the Azovstal steel plant, where the city’s defenders made their last stand, was filled with “Satanist,” “black energy.”
Echoing her father, Ms. Dugina’s public commentary provided an ideological framework for Mr. Putin’s aggressive foreign policy. In an interview with a Russian broadcaster hours before her death, she cited the theories of Samuel Huntington and other scholars to describe the war in Ukraine as an inevitable clash of civilizations.
“This is liberal totalitarianism, this is liberal fascism, this is Western totalitarianism,” she said, describing what Russia, in her view, was fighting against. “It has reached its end.”
Ms. Dugina was not well known in Russia beyond ultranationalist and imperialist circles. But the widely read bloggers and commentators who knew her described her death as a tragedy and called for revenge.
“This happened in the capital of our Motherland,” a pro-Kremlin television host, Tigran Keosayan, wrote on social media. Referring to the location of the Ukrainian president’s office, he added: “I don’t understand why there are any buildings still standing on Bankova Street in Kyiv.”