by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted
Darya Dugina, 30, daughter of Alexander Dugin, a smart, strong, ebullient, enterprising young woman, whom I met in Moscow and had the honor to cherish as a friend, has been brutally murdered.
As a young journalist and analyst, one could see she would carve for herself a glowing path towards wide recognition and respect (here she is on feminism).
Not so long ago, the FSB was directly engaged in smashing assassination attempts, organized by the SBU, against Russian journalists, as in the case of Olga Skabaeyeva and Vladimir Soloviev. It’s mind-boggling that Dugin and his family were not protected by the Russian intelligence/security apparatus.
The key facts of the tragedy have already been established. A Land Cruiser Prado SUV, owned by Dugin and with Darya at the wheel, exploded in a highway near the village of Bolchie Vyazemy, a little over 20km away from Moscow.
They were both coming from a family festival, where Dugin had delivered a talk. At the last minute, Darya took the SUV and Dugin followed her in another car. According to eyewitnesses, there was an explosion under the SUV, which was immediately engulfed in flames and hit a roadside building. Darya’s body was burned beyond recognition.
The Russian Investigative Committee soon established that the IED – approximately 400g of TNT, unencapsulated – was planted under the bottom of the SUV, on the driver’s side.
The investigators consider that was a premeditated car bombing.
What is not already known is whether the IED was on a timer or if some goon nearby pressed the button.
What is already known is that Alexander Dugin was a target on the Myrotvorets list. Myrotvorets stands for a Center for Research of Signs of Crimes against the National Security of Ukraine. It works side by side with NATO collecting info on “pro-Russian terrorists and separatists”.
Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR, took no time to accuse “the terrorists of the Ukrainian regime” for Darya’s assassination. The inestimable Maria Zakharova was more, well, diplomatic: she said that if the Ukrainian lead is confirmed, that will configure a policy of state terrorism deployed by Kiev.
An existential war
In several essays – this one being arguably the most essential – Dugin had made extensively clear the enormity of the stakes. This is a war of ideas. And an existential war: Russia against the collective West led by the United States.
The SBU, NATO, or quite probably the combo – considering the SBU is ordered by the CIA and MI6 – did not choose to attack Putin, Lavrov, Patrushev or Shoigu. They targeted a philosopher and ended up murdering his daughter – making it even more painful. They attacked an intellectual who formulates ideas. Proving once again that Western Cancel Culture seamlessly metastasizes into Cancel Person.
It’s fine and dandy that the Russian Ministry of Defense is about to start the production of the hypersonic Mr. Zircon as it continues to churn out plenty of Mr. Khinzals. Or that three Mig-31 supersonic interceptors have been deployed to Kaliningrad equipped with Khinzals and placed on combat duty 24/7.
The problem is the rules have changed – and the SBU/NATO combo, facing an indescribable debacle in Donbass, is upping the sabotage, counter-intel and counter-diversionary dial.
They started by shelling Russian territory; spread out around Donbass – as in the attempt to kill the mayor of Mariupol, Konstantin Ivachtchenko; even launched drones against the HQ of the Black Sea Fleet in Sebastopol; and now – with the Darya Dugina tragedy – are on the gates of Moscow.
The point is not that all of the above is irrelevant in terms of changing the facts on the ground imposed by the Special Military Operation. The point is that an upcoming series of bloody psyops designed for pure PR effect can become extremely painful for Russian public opinion – which will demand devastating punishment.
It’s clear that Moscow and St. Petersburg are now prime targets. The Ukrainian ISIS is a go. Of course, their handlers have vast experience on the matter, across the Global North/South. All red lines are gone.
The coming of the Ukrainian ISIS
The cokehead comedian has duly pre-empted any Russian reaction, according to the NATO script he’s fed on a daily basis: Russia may try to do something “particularly disgusting” this coming week.
That’s irrelevant. The real – burning – question is to what extent the Kremlin and Russian intel will react when it’s fully established SBU/NATO concocted the Dugin plot. That’s Kiev terrorism at the gates of Moscow. That screams “red line” in bloody red, and a response tied to the reiterated promise, by Putin himself, of hitting “decision centers”.
It will be a fateful decision. Moscow is not at war with the Kiev puppets, essentially – but with NATO. And vice-versa. All bets are off on how the tragedy of Darya Dugina may eventually accelerate the Russian timetable, in terms of a radical revision of their so far long-term strategy.
Moscow can decapitate the Kiev racket with a few hypersonic business cards. Yet that’s too easy; afterwards, who to negotiate the future of rump Ukraine with?
In contrast, doing essentially nothing means accepting an imminent, de facto terrorist invasion of the Russian Federation: the Darya Dugina tragedy on steroids.
In his next before last post on Telegram, Dugin once again framed the stakes. These are the key takeaways.
He calls for “structural, ideological, personnel, institutional, strategic” transformations by the Russian leadership.
Drawing from the evidence – from the increased attacks on Crimea to the attempts to provoke a nuclear catastrophe in Zaporozhye – he correctly concludes that the NATO sphere has “decided to stand on the other end to the end. They can be understood: Russia actually (and this is not propaganda) challenged the West as a civilization.”
The conclusion is stark: “So we have to go all the way”. That ties in with what Putin himself asserted: “We haven’t really started anything yet.” Dugin: “Now we have to start.”
Dugin proposes that the current status quo around Operation Z cannot last for more than six months. There’s no question “the tectonic plates have shifted”. Darya Dugina will be flying like an eagle in an otherworldly sky. The question is whether her tragedy will become the catalyst to propel Putin’s strategic ambiguity to a whole new level.