The daughter of a close ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been killed in a suspected car bombing.
Darya Dugina, 29, died after an explosion on a road outside Moscow, Russia’s investigative committee said.
It is thought her father, the Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who is known as “Putin’s brain”, may have been the intended target of the attack.
Mr Dugin is a prominent ultra-nationalist ideologue who is believed to be close to the Russian president.
Alexander Dugin and his daughter had been at a festival near Moscow, where the philosopher gave a lecture.
The “Tradition” festival describes itself as a family event for art lovers which takes place at the Zakharovo estate, where Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once stayed.
The pair were due to leave the venue on Saturday evening in the same car, before Mr Dugin reportedly made a decision at the last minute to travel separately.
Investigators confirmed that Ms Dugina died at the scene near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemy.
They said an explosive device planted under the car went off and the vehicle caught fire. Forensic and explosive experts are investigating.
A Ukrainian official has dismissed accusations of Ukrainian involvement in the incident.
“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,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, said in a Telegram post that if any Ukrainian link was found it would amount to “state terrorism”.
Darya Dugina was herself a prominent journalist who vocally supported the invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this year she was sanctioned by US and UK authorities, who accused her of contributing to online “disinformation” about Russia’s invasion.
Alexander Dugin was sanctioned by the US in 2015 for his alleged involvement in Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
His writings are said to have had a deep influence on Mr Putin and the philosopher is regarded as a chief architect of the ultra-nationalist ideology endorsed by many in the Kremlin.
For years, Mr Dugin has called on Moscow to assert itself more aggressively on the global stage and has supported Russian military action in Ukraine.
A Land Cruiser Prado carrying the daughter of famed Rashist ideologist Alexander Dugin was blown up near Moscow.
The explosion occurred near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemi. Dugin's daughter Daria died on the spot. pic.twitter.com/KFwOxUVcic
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 20, 2022
It is reported that car was blown up with Daria Dugina in suburbs of Moscow. She was daughter of Alexander Dugin (a person close to Putin highly engaged in propaganda). Reportedly she died on spot. She was also in British sanctions list from 4th of July.
Partisans now in Moscow? pic.twitter.com/QknAJFFHGz
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) August 20, 2022
The face of a man who thinks it was a good idea to bomb Ukrainian children. He just lost his daughter in a car bomb in Moscow. pic.twitter.com/tjfYFiH5ca
— Anonymous Operations (@AnonOpsSE) August 21, 2022