Aleksandr Dugin, a political scientist and thinker, is a leading proponent of Eurasianism in modern Russia and speculated to have influence on President Vladimir Putin.
A car bombing in a Moscow suburb killed Daria Dugina, 29, a journalist and daughter of political scientist and thinker Aleksandr Dugin.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) blames Ukraine for the killing, an accusation Ukrainian authorities deny.
A suspected explosive device blew up the Toyota Land Cruiser Dugina was driving, Russian investigators say. Russian state media reports Dugin, 60, was the intended target, saying he only survived after changing his car last minute, resulting in the killing of his daughter.
But why was Dugin a target?
Dugin is a prominent backer of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Often described as an ultranationalist, Dugin has tried to influence Moscow through his writing, which largely focused on an idea of a resurgent Russia.
He has for long advocated the unification of Russian-speaking and other territories in a vast new Russian empire, calling it Eurasianism.
In his 1997 book, “The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia”, Dugin was fiercely critical of the US influence in Eurasia and called for Russia to rebuild its own authority in the region and advocated breaking up the territory of other nations.
The book featured on army reading lists, but there is no indication that Dugin has ever had direct influence on Russian foreign policy.
Dugin’s influence over Putin has also been a subject of speculation, with some Russia watchers asserting that his sway is significant and many calling it minimal, since he has no official ties to the Kremlin.
Idea of Eurasianism
The idea of Eurasianism, chiefly propagated by Dugin, has been one of the most prominent ideas around the Kremlin. Many analysts accuse him of being a Russian fascist, but that doesn’t seem to take away the influence he holds.
He has often been called “Putin’s brain”, for his position on several issues has been in tandem with actions taken by Moscow. The military incursion in Ukraine is one such thing, for which Dugin had long been an advocate.
Dugin’s idea of Eurasianism envisions the creation of a new Euro-Asian Empire, which seeks to unite all Russian-speaking peoples settled across all republics formerly under the Soviet rule in a single state and in alliance with other Asiatic nations.
The political scientist calls it the “Eurasian Union” or “Greater Russia”, but its borders are not yet defined. Dugin believes that globalism, under the leadership of the US, is a threat to Russia, Eurasia and other civilisations.
There had been a time when Dugin viewed Putin as a leader who would take the Eurasianist route, but it wouldn’t be correct to label the political scientist as the ideological architect of post-Soviet Russia.
Scholars have had divergent views, some of whom perceive Dugin’s Eurasianism as a geopolitical design to enable Moscow to wrest off former Soviet territories.
This particular line of thinking could be seen in the works of Soviet historial Lev Gumilyov, who traced Russian roots in Asia, rather than in Europe, as many other historians and scholars have done.
Dugin, too, uses Gumilyov’s analysis to argue in favour of his anti-Western political approach, putting Russia on the forefront to defend the causes of not only Slavic nations of Eastern Europe, but also Asiatic nations, against what he calls the West’s dominant liberal capitalist order.
Eurasianists, Dugin among them, believe if such a confrontation takes place, the West, which is in a moral decline, cannot come out victorious against the Russia-led Eurasian alliance.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies