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23 Oct, 2023 14:23

CIA-backed spies behind Russian journalist’s murder – WaPo

The US spy agency has enabled assassinations by providing Kiev with training and capabilities, the newspaper reported
CIA-backed spies behind Russian journalist’s murder – WaPo

The assassination of Russian journalist Darya Dugina was one of multiple killings carried out by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) despite denials from Kiev, the Washington Post reported on Monday. The newspaper further claimed that the Ukrainian agency and its military counterpart, the GUR, have been empowered by the CIA. 

The post interviewed dozens of Ukrainian and Western officials for an article which offered fresh claims about the murder of Dugina, who was killed by a car bomb just outside Moscow in August 2022. Newly reported allegations include the use of a secret compartment in a cat cage to smuggle parts of the bomb into Russia.

Darya Dugina’s father, Aleksandr Dugin, was allegedly the intended target of the Ukrainian plot. Both he and his daughter had been expected to travel in the car which was blown up, the WaPo noted. The murder was said to be on the “extreme” side of Kiev’s program of targeted assassinations, in which dozens of civilians have been killed for allegedly being Russian collaborators.

According to the Post, one Ukrainian security official described the killing of Dugina as “very cynical,” but claimed that dissenting voices are a minority in Kiev. Another official said the victim was “the daughter of the father of Russian propaganda,” and claimed that Kiev should promote the narrative that “punishment is imminent even for those who think they are untouchable.”

A philosopher and Russian nationalist, Aleksandr Dugin has been dubbed “the brain” of Russian President Vladimir Putin by some Western media. The Post used the moniker too, without explaining how it measured his supposed influence on Russian politics.

Sources told the newspaper that neither the SBU nor GUR proceeds with operations unless they have received clearance – “tacit or otherwise” – from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

The country has fully embraced “liquidations” as a weapon of war, and “carried out dozens of assassinations against Russian officials in occupied territories, alleged Ukrainian collaborators, military officers behind the front lines and prominent war supporters deep inside Russia,” according to the report. 

Apart from the assassination of Dugina, Ukrainian intelligence was behind the killing of Russian war blogger Maksim Fomin (best known by the pen name Vladlen Tatarsky), sources told the Post. The blogger was killed in April in an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, where he was holding a meeting with his readers. More than 40 other people were injured in the blast.

Much of the report was dedicated to the CIA’s investment of tens of millions of dollars in the Ukrainian special services. The US agency created an entirely new directorate in the SBU, while the GUR was reportedly rebuilt “from scratch” for American goals. A former US intelligence official who worked in Ukraine called the military agency “our little baby,” while Washington helped build a new GUR HQ and taught tradecraft to Ukrainian agents, the Post wrote.

The CIA is legally banned from participating in political assassination operations, and according to the Post, Ukraine keeps the US in the dark about any such plans.

Washington, however, was forewarned about the plot to damage the Crimean Bridge with a truck bomb in October last year, the newspaper claimed. The operation was hatched by the SBU and was allegedly designed to sacrifice the driver who unwittingly carried the deadly cargo. The bombing killed multiple civilians.