The Russian authorities on
Monday blamed Ukraine for organizing the killing of Daria Dugina, the
ultranationalist daughter of a prominent Russian supporter of the invasion, a
claim that raised fears of a further escalation in the six-month war.
Russia’s domestic intelligence
agency, the F.S.B., issued a statement on Monday saying that the attack “was
prepared and committed by the Ukrainian intelligence agencies.” The claim could
not be independently verified.
But the F.S.B.’s statement
described Ms. Dugina — herself a hawkish commentator who had earned a
following with frequent appearances on state media — as the intended
In its statement, the F.S.B.
alleged that a Ukrainian woman had been contracted to carry out the bombing,
saying that she had entered Russia on July 23 and rented an apartment in the
Moscow building where Ms. Dugina lived “in order to organize the murder of
Dugina and obtain information about her lifestyle.” The woman was at the same
nationalist festival attended by Ms. Dugina and her father on Saturday before
the bombing, the agency said.
The F.S.B. also alleged that
the perpetrator of the bombing had left Russia for Estonia, later releasing
video footage of what it said showed her in a gray Mini Cooper crossing the
border. The Estonian Foreign Ministry said it had no immediate comment. But the
F.S.B.’s claim was likely to further inflame tensions with the Baltic
nation, which has been among Europe’s leading critics of the Kremlin.
The car bombing came on the
heels of a spate of Ukrainian attacks deep behind the front line in Crimea,
and the F.S.B.’s accusations heightened the clamor among the war’s most ardent
cheerleaders to escalate the fighting and punish President Volodymyr Zelensky