Who Killed Dasha Dugina?

Alexander Dugin
Imperialist ideologue Alexander Dugin, father of the late Darya Dugina. Photo: Contributor/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
August 25, 2022

Wars, once they start, have a way of taking on their own momentum. After the abject failure of Vladimir Putin’s initial plan for a Ukrainian blitzkrieg, Russia’s armies have gotten bogged down in the country’s east and south. As the autumn approaches and Ukraine continues pounding their positions with American-provided HIMARS rockets, the Russian military has lost whatever momentum it had managed to gain this summer. 

But despite the war’s now truncated aims, Putin now has to contend with the so-called party of war, the hardliners who think that he is being too moderate in his prosecution of the holy war in Ukraine. It’s hard for people in the West to imagine Putin as a moderating force, but he appears nearly docile compared to the hawks that his invasion unleashed. There is a sense among these hardliners that Russia’s war in Ukraine is some kind of handcuffed effort, restrained and polite. There is Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, who has long been publicly pleading with the Russian president to let him “finish the job” and whose fighters have appeared in Ukraine sporting “to Kyiv” patches. There are people like RT chief Margarita Simonyan, who bragged at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum earlier this summer that Russia could easily subdue the world through famine (this was before the U.N. helped broker a deal for the safe passage of Ukrainian grain)—or nukes.