Russia’s FSB security service has accused without evidence a second Ukrainian citizen of preparing the car bomb that killed the daughter of an ultranationalist Russian ideologue this month.
The FSB had previously claimed Ukrainian intelligence plotted the murder of Darya Dugina, a pro-war pundit who was killed when a bomb tore through the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving near Moscow after a conservative festival.
Ukraine has strenuously denied any connection to the killing, with a government spokesperson saying that “we are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and definitely not a terrorist state”.
Dugina was the daughter of the political philosopher Alexander Dugin, a radical voice on foreign policy who has called for conflict with the west and told Russians they should “kill, kill, kill” Ukrainians.
On Monday, Russia alleged that a member of a Ukrainian “sabotage and terrorist group” acquired fake documents and helped to assemble the car bomb in a garage in southern Moscow. The agency released video of the person it said was the suspect, but it did not publish any evidence that showed he had been involved in the killing. The agency’s claims could not be independently verified by the Guardian.
The accusations against Ukraine, as well as a mass funeral covered on state television and attended by a number of Russian officials, have raised concerns that the murder may be used as justification for a wave of violence against Ukrainian politicians. Vladimir Putin, who is not known to have ever met Dugin, awarded his daughter a posthumous medal for bravery and called the bombing a “vile, cruel crime”.
The death of a prominent pundit near the capital prompted some pro-Kremlin figures to warn there would be other killings in the future. Margarita Simonyan, the head of the state-funded RT, supported calls to bomb Ukrainian “decision-making centres” in revenge for Dugina’s death.
Within two days of the bombing, Russia accused a female Ukrainian citizen of driving into Russia in a Mini Cooper with her 12-year-old daughter and surveilling Dugina until shortly before the bombing. The woman then crossed the border from Russia into Estonia, the government said.
On Monday, the FSB released security camera footage that it said showed the woman at the Zakharovo estate outside Moscow where the festival took place. The woman’s face is not clearly visible in the footage. The FSB alleges she walks by the Toyota Land Cruiser that was later driven by Dugina.
The agency, once again without direct evidence, claimed the woman tailed Dugina after she left the festival and triggered the bomb that killed her. It was the first time the woman had been accused of triggering the device. The Russian government has called the bombing premeditated and “resembled a contract killing”.