The assassination of Daria Dugina and the US-NATO war in Ukraine

On Saturday, Daria Dugina, daughter of Russian fascist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin, was assassinated by a car bomb that blew up her Toyota Land Cruiser on a highway west of Moscow, Russia.

Russian news media stated that people close to Dugin believed that he had been the intended target of the bombing that killed his daughter. The BBC reported that he had planned to travel in the same car as his daughter and changed vehicles only at the last minute.

Within hours of the attack, the US media hastened to deny the obvious conclusion that this assassination was connected to the ongoing war between the United States and Russia in Ukraine.

The New York Times assured its readers that “there was no evidence that the attack was connected to the war in Ukraine.” What an absurd lie! The assassination carries the stench of the Ukrainian secret police and their CIA handlers.

Both the evidence of history and the logic of contemporary developments lead to the inescapable conclusion that the assassination of Dugina was a political crime, bearing the fingerprints of Washington, calculated to provoke a wider war.

The involvement of Washington in such a scenario is not only plausible; it is the political default hypothesis, that which must be assumed to be true unless otherwise proven false. The entire history of US imperialism is one of assassinations and wars instigated by the US intelligence agencies.

Four days before the murder, the Times was enthusiastically describing the methods of assassination and car bombing being used by the Ukrainian secret forces. In an article headlined, “Behind Enemy Lines, Ukrainians Tell Russians ‘You Are Never Safe’,” the paper reported how Ukrainians would infiltrate Russian held territory to plant explosives and “assassinate officials.”

The Times described in detail how a right-wing Ukrainian operative planted a car bomb “wrapped in tape with the sticky side facing outward, into a wheel well.” On another occasion, they “placed a bomb under the driver’s seat, rigged to explode when the engine started.” Such assassinations were favored by Washington, and the bombings, the Times reported, were designed to “signal to Western donors that Ukraine is successfully rallying local resources in the war.”

Ukraine would do nothing that might jeopardize American support. The conflict in Ukraine is a war run by the CIA and funded by the Pentagon. The question raised by the Moscow car bombing of Daria Dugina is: Precisely what role did Washington play in this event?

Washington has piled provocation upon provocation, each calculated to expand the war. The car bomb explodes on the world stage in the immediate aftermath of multiple Ukrainian attacks on a Russian military base on the Crimean peninsula. The attacks were conducted with arms supplied by Washington and were welcomed by the Biden administration.

Washington has poured over $10 billion in direct military aid and another $40 billion in additional aid into Ukraine since the outbreak of the war earlier this year. It has armed Ukrainian military and paramilitary forces, has trained Ukrainian units and has provided targeting information for missile and drone strikes. The attacks on Crimea are an outgrowth and escalation of this policy.

Putin responded by downplaying the attacks in Crimea, seeking to control the spread of the conflict and wage a limited war in Ukraine. 

It is evident that the war has not gone well for Ukraine. Washington has funneled immense sums of money and arms into the conflict, yet Russia’s hold on southern and eastern Ukraine seems increasingly unshakeable.

The aims of US imperialism in conflict with Russia are nothing less than the redrawing of the map of the Eurasian landmass. Washington seeks to splinter the vast political bulk of Russia—from the steppes to the taiga—into manageable proxy states from which immense raw material wealth can be extracted.

If these ends cannot be achieved through a proxy war, then direct conflict must be provoked.

Ukraine is suffering huge and unsustainable losses. The achievement of the US’s war aims require greater NATO involvement in the actual fighting, not only weapons but soldiers.

Any significant retaliation by Russia for the latest assassination, as well as a string of attacks on Crimea, will be immediately denounced as “unprovoked” and used as a pretext for even greater and undisguised physical involvement of NATO personnel in the war.

What better means than compelling Putin to retaliate, making him seem culpable for the escalation of the conflict? The US strategy is escalation through provocation.

It is this reckless calculation that drives US imperialism. Existing US commitments and strategic aims can only be secured by the expansion of conflict, and this requires provocation. Provocation has become the bedrock principle of Washington’s international behavior. This rationale underpins Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, pushing conflict with China, as it does the car bombs of Ukrainian secret forces.

The targeting of Dugin and his daughter, both associated with the most hard-line and hawkish layers in the Russian military, will intensify the pressure on the Putin administration to escalate the war in Ukraine into open conflict with the United States and NATO. The New York Times indicated this aim today when it wrote that Putin had attempted to contain the war in an effort “to maintain a sense of normalcy” in Russian society. The assassination, they wrote, threatened to upend this.

The Kremlin kept silent, issuing no statement on Saturday in response to the assassination. Prominent militarist figures and right-wing media pundits publicly blamed Ukraine for the assassination and called for retribution. Tsargrad TV, the nationalist network of which Dugin is editor, declared that “Kyiv would shake” from missile strikes.

The New York Times wrote, “While it remained unclear how or if Mr. Putin would respond to Ms. Dugina’s death, the calls for vengeance underscored how the Ukrainian invasion’s most fervent supporters could still become inconvenient allies for the Kremlin—especially if the Russian leader seeks to avoid an escalation of the war.”

From the beginning of the war over Ukraine up to the present, the US has sought at every point to pour fuel on the fires of world war, seeking to provoke a reaction. The danger is growing daily that such a reaction will in fact come, with incalculable consequences.