A woman has asked people to stop writing “RIP” in the comments sections of her Instagram posts after being mistaken for the daughter of a Putin ally, who was killed in a car explosion at the weekend.
“I’M ALIVE,” 22-year-old Daria Dugina posted to her Instagram story after receiving a flood of memorial messages intended for her namesake Darya Dugina.
“I am not Alexander Dugin’s daughter,” she added, in reference to the deceased’s father, known as Vladimir Putin’s “spiritual guide”.
Darya Dugina with her father Alexander Dugin
Daria said in a second post, translated from Russian, that “foreigners” mixed her up with Mr Dugin’s daughter and she was unable to delete comments or close her account.
The woman killed was 29 years-old and often appeared on Russian state TV as a journalist. An explosive planted in the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving exploded on Saturday.
Reports said she was returning from a cultural festival she had attended with her father. Russian media cited witnesses as saying the vehicle belonged to her father and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another car.
Mr Dugin is a Russian nationalist who is said to have spread the concept of “Novorossiya”, or “New Russia”, that Mr Putin used to justify the annexation of Crimea and the support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
His influence in Russia and proximity to the president have been the subject of speculation.
Investigators at the site of the car blast on Sunday
(Investigative Committee of Russia/Reuters)
Some Russian watchers have labelled him “Putin’s brain”, with significant sway over Moscow’s foreign policy, claiming he helped lay the intellectual groundwork for Mr Putin to adopt a more aggressive and expansionist foreign policy.
Ms Dugina expressed similar views to her father and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist TV channel Tsargrad.
“Dasha, like her father, has always been at the forefront of confrontation with the West,” Tsargrad said on Sunday, using a colloquial form of her name.
Ms Dugina was killed in an explosion on Saturday
She was sanctioned by Britain on 4 July. The Foreign Office said she was a “frequent and high-profile contributor of disinformation in relation to Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various online platforms.”
The United States also sanctioned Ms Dugina in March for her work as chief editor of United World International (UWI), a website that the US government 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. Mr Dugin has been sanctioned in America since 2015.
Russia’s state security agency, Federal Security Service (FSB), blamed Ukraine for her death.
In a statement on Monday, the FSB accused a Ukrainian citizen of perpetrating the killing and then fleeing from Russia to Estonia.