Alexander Dugin was seen among hundreds of mourners at his daughter’s funeral in Russia earlier today.
The country has vowed to show ‘no mercy’ to the killers of Daria Dugina, who was killed on Saturday when a bomb placed in her car went off outside Moscow.
It is thought that Mr Dugin – dubbed ‘Putin’s Rasputin’ and ‘Putin’s brain’ – switched cars at the last minute and may have been the intended target.
Attendees paid their respects to the 29-year-old media personality at a hall in Moscow’s Ostankino TV centre, where her black-and-white portrait was displayed over an open casket.
Mr Dugin, an ultranationalist intellectual, was dressed in black alongside his wife, next to their daughter’s coffin.
Their child, who was known as a journalist in her own right, was killed on a highway outside Moscow, with Mr Dugin pictured on the scene with his head in his hands.
He told the ceremony: ‘She died for the people, for Russia, at the front. The front – it is here.
‘Since childhood, among her first words – that we taught her of course – were Russia, our state, our people, our empire.’
Moscow says Ukrainian intelligence was behind the attack – but Kyiv was quick to dismiss the allegation.
Russia’s powerful FSB security agency said yesterday that it had solved the mystery – just two days after the incident – and claimed a Ukrainian woman was behind the attack.
It said the perpetrator had rented an apartment in the same building as Ms Dugina and followed her in a car, suggesting that she was the intended victim.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that there would be ‘no mercy’ for those responsible.
‘I believe that this is a barbaric crime for which there is no forgiveness,’ he said.
The US State Department said yesterday that it condemned targeting civilians, but stressed that Ukraine had denied any involvement.
‘I have no doubt that the Russians will investigate this. I also have no doubt that the Russians will put forward certain conclusions,’ spokesman Ned Price said.
Russia’s foreign ministry claimed that Washington’s reaction ‘discredits the international activity’ of the United States.
Mr Dugin, 60, backed Russia’s much-criticised 2014 annexation of Crimea, and called for a wider attack on Ukraine. He was then put on a Western sanctions list, which his daughter also appeared on.
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A regular on Russian television, the heavily bearded intellectual – who some say resembles the 19th Century mystic Grigori Rasputin – claims to have had an ideological influence on Putin.
While Putin has never publicly supported him, on Monday the Kremlin released a message of condolences from the president, denouncing the ‘vile crime’ that had led to Ms Dugina’s death.
The Russian President posthumously awarded the victim the ‘Order of Courage’, with the medal displayed near her coffin.
She had followed in her father’s footsteps, by becoming a regular on pro-Kremlin television channels including Russia Today and Tsargrad and was also known as Daria Platonova.
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