• The daughter of an influential Russian intellectual was killed in a car explosion on Saturday night.
  • Darya Dugina died at the scene after her car caught on fire immediately after the blast, per reports.
  • Her father, the ultranationalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, is often referred to as "Putin's brain."

The daughter of an influential Russian political philosopher commonly referred to as "Putin's Brain" was killed in a car blast on Saturday night, investigators said Sunday, per state news agency TASS.

Darya Dugina, the daughter of nationalist thinker Aleksandr Dugin, died at the scene shortly after the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado she was driving exploded near Bolshiye Vyazemy village, on the outskirts of Moscow, TASS reported.

The Investigate Committee branch for the Moscow region said the blast was caused by a bomb planted in the vehicle, per AP.

Dugina was returning home from a literature and music festival, which her father had been invited to lecture at, when the blast occurred, according to the Daily Beast. 

The car, which caught on fire immediately after the explosion, belonged to Dugin, TASS reported. He was meant to travel in the vehicle but got into a different car at the last moment, per the Daily Beast.

This has fueled speculation, notably from Andrei Krasnov, head of the Russky Gorizont movement and a friend of the family, that the explosion was an assassination attempt on Dugin, according to TASS.

Investigators have opened a criminal case into Dugina's death, TASS reported. Forensic and explosive experts, as well as investigators, are inspecting the scene, the state news agency said.

Dugina, 29, had also been a vocal proponent of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, per the Daily Beast. This year, she was sanctioned by the US in connection with a contribution to an article in which she argued that Ukraine would "perish" if admitted to NATO, CNN reported.

Aleksandr Dugin sits in his TV studio in Moscow, Russia, in 2016. Foto: Francesca Ebel, File/AP Photo

Her father, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, promoted an anti-Western, ultranationalist philosophy that became a staple of Russian politics, BBC News said.

Over the years, the media has repeatedly referred to Dugin as "Putin's brain." His philosophy helped shaped Putin's policy of expansion, which led to the invasion of Ukraine, the news outlet reported.

Dugin was sanctioned by the US in 2015 for his alleged involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea.

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