Who is Natalia Vovk, the spy accused of murdering Russian Daria Dugina?
The suspect arrived in Russia in late July and rented an apartment in the same building as Dugina to study her habits, according to the Russian FSB.
The Russian Federal Service (FSB) on Monday accused Natalia Vovk, a 43-year-old Ukrainian citizen, of having carried out the murder of Daria Dugina, daughter of the leader of the neo-Eurasianist movement, Alexander Dugin, a man inside the closed circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Early FSB theories pointed to it being an accidental killing, with the target being Dugin himself, but his daughter got into the wrong car (she died after the vehicle she was driving exploded). This theory has now changed.
Dugina assassination planned
The FSB now believes that the assassin’s crime went exactly as planned.
“Those who plotted the murder of Daria Dugina studied her daily routine and habits. When the explosive device was detonated, those who remotely blew up the car were sure that Dugina was alone. His father was not the target of the assassins”, said a source close to the TASS agency.
But who is Vovk and why is Russia accusing her?
According to some Russian propaganda accounts on social networks such as Telegram, Vovk had served in the Azov Battalion under the name of Natalia Shaban. According to 20 Minutes, these accounts have leaked military identification documents that show that the woman was part of the Battalion, considered a terrorist group by Russia.
The FSB claims that Vovk arrived in Russia on 23 July with her 12-year-old daughter, Sofia Shaban. There she rented an apartment in the same building where Dugin’s daughter lived, and there he studied all her movements and habits.
One of the other theories being put forward by those monitoring the war between Russia and Ukraine is that more leverage can be gained by killing those close to powerful people in Putin’s inner circle. By striking at those in powerful positions could strengthen the resolve of Russian fighters and supporters, while a threat to their loved ones could see them turn against the illegal invasion, something seen by experts as the only solution for Ukraine.