Ukraine’s intelligence agency (SBU) was responsible for conducting the 2022 bombing just outside of Moscow that inadvertently killed the daughter of a pro-invasion hardliner, Alexander Dugin, the Washington Post reported.

The attempted assassination was mostly carried out by a mother and her 12-year-old daughter who had smuggled bomb parts across the border in a carrier for a pet cat.

After anonymous interviews with Ukrainian and US officials, the Washington Post concluded that SBU agents orchestrated the woman’s transfer of the car-bomb components from Estonia to Russia, and set up an apartment for the spy and her daughter in the same complex in the capital’s outskirts where Dugin and his daughter Darya Dugina lived. Reporters described the “cluttered” carload that crossed the border as including a cat carrier that had a hidden compartment for the explosives.


The bomb, intended to assassinate the far-right political advisor, instead killed his 29-year-old daughter when she left with his car.

US intelligence officials told the New York Times last year that they had come to the same conclusion and condemned the incident in communications with Kyiv. The Kremlin was quick to blame Ukrainian operatives as well. The Ukrainian government publically denied any involvement.

However, in May, the head of Ukraine military intelligence admitted that Kyiv had been behind the assassinations of prominent Russian pro-invasion figures in the past. Major General Kyrylo Budanov told The Times, “We’ve already successfully targeted quite a few people.”

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In a subsequent interview he said, “Outright scum will eventually be punished in any country in the world. Only elimination can be a well-deserved punishment for such actions.”

(It should be noted that Budanov, the chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense, had been the target of unsuccessful assassination attempts himself.)


The attempted attack on Dugin and similar successful ones have furthermore cast suspicions that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has lent a hand in Ukraine’s assassinations of Russian figures, something the US has vehemently denied.

The Washington Post article pointed out that Ukraine’s “spy services have also twice bombed the bridge connecting Russia to occupied Crimea, piloted drones into the roof of the Kremlin and blown holes in the hulls of Russian naval vessels in the Black Sea.” It asserted that Ukrainians involved in those attacks were “formed, trained and equipped in close partnership with the CIA.”

It added that the the CIA’s collaboration with the SBU, and its military arm, the GUR, goes back to the months after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted. “They include a Russian submarine commander killed while out jogging in a park, a militant blogger who died in a bomb blast at a cafe, and a rebel commander killed when a woman who had accused him of rape planted a bomb at his side,” AFP wrote. “One US official told the Post that the ‘emphasis was “more on secure communications and tradecraft,” and pursuing new streams of intelligence inside Russia rather than ‘here's how you blow up a mayor.’”


Vasyl Malyuk, the director of the SBU, told the Washington Post that all “targets hit by the SBU are completely legal.”

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