Who is Aleksandr Dugin, the brain behind the Ukraine war?

 Who is Aleksandr Dugin, the brain behind the Ukraine war?

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The daughter of the man who is believed to be ‘Putin’s brain’ has died in a suspected car bomb attack in the outskirts of Moscow. The deadly blast was also intended for the victim’s father Aleksandr Dugin who narrowly escaped death. Dugin and his daughter had attended a cultural event on Saturday where the 60-year-old political philosopher and writer delivered a lecture. The two were to return together in the same car, but Daria Dugina (29) drove back alone after her father decided to switch vehicles at the last moment. Reports say that an explosive device underneath the car triggered the blast.
While investigations are underway, Ukraine has denied any link to the bombing. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said, “Ukraine, of course, has nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state, which is the Russian Federation, and even less a terrorist state.” Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that if any Ukrainian link was found it would amount to ‘state terrorism’.

Aleksandr Dugin was reportedly traveling behind his daughter’s car and witnessed the whole incident. Videos of him looking distraught were shared on social media platforms.

Daria Dugina is a journalist and political analyst, according to Russian media. Speaking to Russian news agency TASS, Andrey Krasnov, who knew her personally said that while the attack may have been intended for Aleksandr Dugin, that his daughter was also marked is “no surprise”.

Who is Aleksandr Dugin?

Dugin is known to be ‘Putin’s brain’ or ‘Putin’s philosopher’. Some say he wields significant intellectual influence on the Russian President, others say that such beliefs are exaggerated. He is an ultra-nationalist who gave ideological direction to Moscow’s Ukraine invasion. While Dugin does not hold any political post, he is considered a symbolic figure in Russia. Dugin supports Putin’s geopolitical vision but reportedly not his economic policies. The two men have never been photographed together.
In fact, when Putin first came to power in 2000 and sought to integrate Russia with the rest of the world, Dugin’s violent and totalitarian ideas were relegated to the fringe. The Kremlin is reportedly cautious of engaging with him publicly. However, when Putin returned to power in 2012 amid massive anti-government protests, Dugin was less of a pariah in political circles, as Putin adopted a more conservative approach to government.

Since then Dugin’s standing appears to have solidified among the intellectual elites of Russia.

Reports say Dugin rose to prominence in the 1990s while writing for the far-right Den newspaper. Both he and his daughter Daria are staunch supporters of the Ukraine war and have been sanctioned by the west. The attack comes just ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day celebrations on August 24th.

Ukraine is preparing for an escalation of Russian offensives after Russian nationalists called for retribution for the attack. Residents have been banned from holding gatherings for the next few days.

What are Dugin’s views?

Dugin dreams of a new Russian empire that should be built after consolidating all Russian speaking and other territories – essentially putting back the Soviet Union – and then forming alliances to stave off the “threat” of ‘Atlanticism’ spearheaded by the US and its allies.

He believes Atlanticism is promoted to contain Russia and opposes the “individualistic and materialistic west”. His ideas are laid out in ‘The Great War of the Continents’ (1991) which appeared in a serialized format in the Den and the ‘Foundation of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia’ (1997).

Being the ideological architect of the Ukraine invasion, Dugin is of the view that an independent Ukraine poses a huge danger to all of Eurasia. He says Russia should exercise full military and political control of the whole of the region to the north of the Black Sea for its internal security. He stresses that Ukraine should be nothing but an administrative sector of the Russian centralized state.

Ukraine Independence Day

These developments have raised tensions ahead of Ukraine’s 31St anniversary of independence on Wednesday. Government employees have been asked to work from home this week as some Russia media outlets spoke of attacks on Ukrainian decision-making centers.

On August 24, 1991, the Ukrainian parliament vowed to separate from the Soviet Union which itself would collapse four months later. August 24 will also mark six months since Russia launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The Independence Day events will be muted this year. Instead of the Russia-style parade, the way has been lined by captured Russian tanks and armored vehicles. There will not be any public celebrations, only the military will conduct private flag raising ceremonies and some monuments will be lit up in the colors of the national flag – blue and yellow.

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