Daughter of Russian nationalist hailed as martyr

  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Russian politicians bade farewell at a service on Tuesday to Darya Dugina, the daughter of one of Russia's most prominent nationalist ideologues, hailing her as a martyr whose death must inspire Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

Dugina, the daughter of ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugin, was killed on Saturday in a car bomb attack outside Moscow. Russia's FSB security service has accused Ukrainian intelligence agencies of masterminding her murder, something Kyiv denies.

As the six-month anniversary of what Russia calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine looms on Wednesday, Dugina's death has prompted calls among Moscow's political elite for revenge. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has warned of an increased possibility of Russian military strikes.

"I consider it a barbarous crime for which there can be no forgiveness," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"I hope the investigation will be quickly completed and according to the results of this investigation of course there can be no mercy for the organisers, those who commissioned this, and the perpetrators," he told reporters.

Moscow's TV centre was the setting for a major show of national mourning as senior politicians, fellow nationalists and friends filed past Dugina's dark wooden casket to say goodbye, lay flowers and convey their condolences to her parents, seated nearby.

A large black and white photograph of the dead woman, 30, who worked as a journalist and nationalist media commentator, hung on a black wall behind her casket as sombre music played.

Her father, Dugin, 60, who has for years advocated the creation of a new Russian empire that would absorb the territory of countries such as Ukraine, told mourners his daughter had died for Russia.

"If her tragic death has touched someone, she would have asked them to defend sacred (Russian) Orthodoxy, the people and the Fatherland," said Dugin, dressed in black and visibly distressed.

"She died for Russia, in the motherland and on the frontline which is not in Ukraine but here."

CALL FOR UNITY

Konstantin Malofeyev, a close family friend and a wealthy ultra-nationalist business tycoon, set the tone for many of the tributes that followed from Russian politicians, hailing the murdered woman as a martyr whose death made it all the more important for Russia to prevail against Ukraine.

"The people fighting against us do not understand that the Russian people is not just made up of those who are alive now. But is made up of those who lived before us and will live afterwards. And we will become stronger with the blood of our martyrs.

"And thanks to the untimely end of our dear beloved Dasha (Darya) we will definitely be victorious in this war," he said.

Russia accuses the United States and its allies of using Ukraine to wage a proxy war against it, including by supplying Kyiv with weapons and intelligence. The West says it is helping Ukraine to defend itself against an imperial-style land grab by Moscow.

The parliamentary leaders of the three main pro-Kremlin parties spoke at the service, hailing Dugina as a patriot and promising that those who had ordered and carried out her murder would get their just deserts.

Leonid Slutsky, leader of the nationalist LDPR party, predicted that streets and squares would be named after Dugina before issuing a call for unity.

"One country, one president, one victory," Slutsky told mourners.

A message of condolence was also read out from a Russian-backed leader in eastern Ukraine, and Sergei Mironov, who leads the Just Russia party in parliament, called for the destruction of what he called "the regime" in Kyiv.

"Victory will be the best monument to Dasha," said Mironov.

Reporting by Reuters Editing by Andrew Osborn, Mark Trevelyan and Alison Williams

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