Russia's Investigative Committee opened a homicide investigation after the daughter of Russian nationalist intellectual Alexandr Dugin was killed in a car explosion.

The head of one of Ukraine's breakaway separatist regions blamed the blast on Kiev authorities.
The head of one of Ukraine's breakaway separatist regions blamed the blast on Kiev authorities. (AP)

The daughter of  Russian nationalist ideologist Alexandr Dugin, who is often referred to as “Putin's brain”, has been killed when her car exploded on the outskirts of Moscow.

According to family members quoted by Russian media, Dugin, a vocal supporter of Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine, was the likely target of the Saturday night blast as his daughter borrowed his car at the last minute.

Daria Dugina, born in 1992, was killed when a bomb placed in the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving went off as she was returning from a cultural festival she had attended with her father.

She was driving on a highway near the village of Bolshie Vyzyomy, some 40 kilometres outside Moscow, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Dugina died on the scene and a homicide investigation has been opened, said the committee, which probes major crime cases in Russia.

No suspects were immediately identified. But Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist so-called Donetsk People's Republic that is a focus of Russia's fighting in Ukraine, blamed it on “terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to kill Alexandr Dugin."

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukrainian involvement, saying on national TV that “We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and definitely not a terrorist state.”

Analyst Sergei Markov, a former adviser to President Vladimir Putin, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that Alexandr, not his daughter, likely was the intended target.

He said “it's completely obvious that the most probable suspects are Ukrainian military intelligence and the Ukrainian Security Service.”

READ MORE: Which political thoughts inspire today’s Vladimir Putin?

Advocates of a new Russian empire

Alexandr Dugin's exact ties to Putin are unclear, but the Kremlin frequently echoes rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state TV.

He has long advocated the unification of Russian-speaking territories in a vast new Russian empire and wholeheartedly supported Moscow's operation in Ukraine.

He was put on a Western sanctions list after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, a move he also backed.

Dugina expressed similar views and was sanctioned by the United States in March for her work as chief editor of United World International, a website that the US described as a disinformation site.

The sanctions announcement cited a UWI article this year that contended Ukraine would “perish” if it were admitted to NATO.

“Dasha, like her father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” TV channel Tsargrad said on Sunday, using the familiar form of her name.

Analysts fear the violent incident, unusual for Moscow, may aggravate Russia-Ukraine animosity.

READ MORE: US to give Ukraine drones, anti-mine vehicles in new $775M defence aid

Source: TRTWorld and agencies