Russia’s so-called National Republican Army (NRA), which describes itself as an anti-Putin resistance group, has mocked Russian security services’ claims that Darya Dugina was murdered by a Ukrainian woman.
Soon after Dugina was killed in a car bombing on Moscow’s outskirts, former Russian State Deputy Ilya Ponomarev claimed that the assassination was planned by the NRA.
Ponomarev also claimed that the attack targeted both her and her father, Alexander Dugin, a powerful ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Newsweek was unable to verify Ponomarev’s claims.
Following a brief investigation, Russia’s FSB security services accused Ukraine’s secret services and a female Ukrainian citizen of plotting Dugina’s assassination on Monday. It accused the woman, who was allegedly born in 1979, of being involved in Dugina’s murder and said she fled to Estonia on Sunday.
Ukraine has denied having any role in Dugina’s death.
The NRA dismissed the FSB’s findings in a statement on the Telegram channel Rospartizan, claiming that Russian authorities are “so afraid of the partisans that they are willing to accept any fable in order to maintain the appearance of total control.”
“So, according to the FSB, the Ukrainian woman is to blame for everything,” the group wrote, citing the security service’s numerous findings, including that the Ukrainian citizen arrived in Russia with her daughter in July, rented an apartment in the same building as Dugina, spied on Dugina, and fled the country using Ukrainian license plates.
“All of this became known a day after the murder—this is the speed with which the investigation!” wrote the NRA.
According to the NRA, the Ukrainian woman who allegedly entered Russia with her daughter and fled to Estonia is most likely a refugee from the occupied Mariupol region. The besieged Ukrainian port city was taken by Putin’s forces in the early stages of the conflict, which began on February 24.
“Thousands of such women are fleeing the occupied city to Europe via Russia. Playing this story is very convenient for Putin’s special forces—they found the ‘guilty’ but have nothing to show for it “The NRA persisted.
Ponomarev stated that the NRA gave him permission to issue their “manifesto” through his Rospartizan Telegram channel.
The group describes itself as made up of Russian activists, military members, and politicians who are “now fighters and partisans,” and it says it opposes Russia’s war against neighboring Ukraine.
Estonia has also condemned Russia’s attempt to blame Dugina’s death on a Ukrainian woman who allegedly fled to the Baltic country.
“We regard this as one example of provocation in a very long line of provocations by the Russian Federation, and we have nothing more to say about it at the moment,” Estonia’s foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, told local TV station Eesti Rahvusringhääling.
Estonia was hit with the nation’s largest cyber attack in 15 years after relocating a Soviet-era tank memorial near its border with Russia last week. Reinsalu suggested that Russia was putting pressure on the country to support Ukraine during the ongoing conflict.
“Why did Estonia suffer its worst cyberattack since the Bronze Soldier night? Why did Russia’s former president say two weeks ago that Estonia’s freedom is due to their failure?”, he inquired.