U.S. believes Ukrainians behind killing of Dugina in Russia, NYT says
United States intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government approved a car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified officials.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
The United States took no part in the attack on Dugina and was not aware of it ahead of time, the Times reported. American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, the Times said.
After the attack, Ukraine denied involvement in the killing while Russia's Federal Security Service accused Ukraine's secret services of being behind it.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential advisor, told Reuters on Thursday that Dugina had been of no interest to Kyiv before she was killed.
"Objectively speaking, Dugina was really never of any interest to Ukraine," he wrote on WhatsApp in response to a Reuters request for comment.
"Before Dugina's murder, the people of Ukraine and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did not know about her public activities and her influence on propaganda programmes.
"In our opinion, the key beneficiary of Dugina's murder was certain Russian radical supporters of the war (in Ukraine). Including a section of the (Russian) special services."
He said Moscow had tried to use accusations against Ukraine after the murder to divert attention from allegations that some Russian soldiers had committed war crimes in Ukraine.
Dugina had been used as a "sacred sacrifice" and an important propaganda symbol, he said.
"The answer to the question 'Who benefited from it?' is obvious in this case," he wrote.