Washington, Oct 6 (IANS): The US intelligence community believes the car bombing that killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of prominent Russian political figure Alexander Dugin, was authorised by elements within the Ukrainian government, local media reported.
The US was not aware of the plan beforehand, according to the sources, and it is still unclear who exactly the US believes signed off on the assassination. It is also not clear whether the US intelligence community believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was aware of the plot or authorised it, CNN reported.
But the intelligence finding, first reported by The New York Times, would seem to corroborate elements of the Russian authorities' findings that the car bombing was "pre-planned".
Russia had accused Ukrainian nationals of being responsible for the attack, which Ukraine had strongly denied in the aftermath of the explosion.
Asked to comment, a Ukrainian defence intelligence official said following publication of the latest reports that their agency had no new information on Dugina's death. Shortly after her death, the same official had told CNN that Ukraine had nothing to do with it.
US intelligence officials believe that Dugina was driving her father's car on the night she was killed, and that her father was the actual target of the operation, one of the sources said.
Dugin is a Russian ultranationalist and philosopher who has been a fierce proponent of Russia's war in Ukraine. A friend of Dugina also told the Russian state owned news outlet TASS shortly after the explosion that the car she was driving was her father's.
Just days after Dugina's death, Russian authorities accused a Ukrainian woman of remotely detonating explosives planted in Dugina's Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, and then driving through the Pskov region and into Estonia to escape, CNN reported.