The Estonia Angle Is Important
On sober consideration, I conclude that the likeliest explanation for the Dugin hit is some sort of organized crime. The various Western three letter agencies had no plausible motive, and their track record of successful operations inside Russia is nearly nonexistent. I have heard it suggested that this was a false flag attack by Putin in order to have a pretext to escalate the war. I reject this also because claims of "false flag" are invariably put forward by the tinfoil hat brigade. I will add, though, that this claim has two virtues. It at least posits a rational motive and because it makes a testable prediction it is falsifiable.
BIsmarck once said "I could not have invented Boulanger but he happened very conveniently for me." Putin will milk the Dugin killing for propaganda value, but I doubt very much that he or his various Western and Ukrainian enemies actually did it. Organized crime is a real problem in Russia, and seems to me the likeliest explanation for this killing.
Mark, thank you for your always interesting posts. A couple of my own thoughts to add to it:
a) As you have pointed out elsewhere, Dugin is something of a crank with a talent for self-promotion. Dugina, on the other hand, is reputed to be a member of the Moscow establishment with ties to European politics. This suggests she was the target, perhaps in an effort to bring the war to the Moscow establishment.
b) If the Moscow establishment is being targeted, that is a dramatic escalation, and Moscow has a very obvious potential response, ie to respond in kind. Although questions remain about some alleged Russian assassinations abroad, others (eg Litvinenko in 2006) do seem to be Russia's work. In fact, that response is so obvious it must have been considered by the (presumably) intelligence agency which carried out the attack. And if Moscow starts targeting Western elites in Western countries, an escalation of direct Western involvement in the war seems inevitable.
c) So, if b is correct, cui bono? Ukraine obviously does. Zelenskyy has complained repeatedly about limited Western involvement in the war, and Ukraine has recently been escalating its tactics, eg attacks on Crimea. The EU also benefits: as you and Tom Luongo have pointed out, the EU needs this conflict to retain its power base, and perhaps to survive. The difficulty with the EU is that it does not have intelligence services of its own, but it could have either quietly suggested the attack to Ukraine as a means to force greater Western involvement, or worked through a member state's security service. Estonia's would appear to have some involvement, and other East European states might welcome a chance to punch Russia. The US and UK also could benefit from Russian attacks on their own soil as a means to gain political support for troops on the ground in Ukraine. However, despite a history of false flag attacks aimed at gaining political support for war, the US and UK have no history of inviting attacks on their own establishment, and have many other escalation options. So that looks less likely.
d) There is also the possibility the attack was a Russian false flag operation. In favor of this, the FSB is believed to have tight control over Moscow, Russia has a history of false flag attacks (including alleged terrorist attacks within Russia), and Dugina reputedly was disliked by the Russian state. Against this, an attack on a member of the Moscow establishment would be a huge risk for Putin, who desperately needs their support, and the war is already well supported within Russia (although there may not be as much support for escalating the war). It will be interesting to see if Russia responds to the attack by carrying out assassinations of foreign elites - if they do, a Russian false flag looks very unlikely. But if they don't, a Russian false flag looks a lot more plausible.
e) The facts are at this point too unclear to draw strong conclusions, but Russia's reaction is likely to clarify what's really happening.
I’m torn by this reporting. On the one hand, Russians With Attitude have proven themselves an excellent source on what’s actually going on in Russian and Ukraine. On the other, I always am given pause when law enforcement or intelligence types provide a narrative as detailed as what the FSB provides about the Dugin assassination so soon after the event. Maybe if it were presented as l, “this is an operating theory based on vehicles seen in the vicinity of the attack that we know crossed international borders,” rather than, “this is the bomber, what she was driving, how she entered and left the country, slam dunk.” What’s Slavic for James Clapper?
I wasn't in Moscow that day, and I can prove it. But seriously, folks...
This smacks of rounding up the usual suspects. To quote Mundt from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, "There is a conspiracy, and I will be told to find the conspirators. I shall find them among Fiedler's friends." I have a hard time understanding why anyone cared enough about an obscure Russian weirdo to put him on a hit list. These people ran in some fairly dodgy circles. From what I understand of Dugin, this might have qualified as a public service homicide had they got him, but it isn't clear to me why whatever passes for Ukrainian intelligence would have wasted him as opposed to say, another Russian General.
The Guardian reports that some anti-Putin group may have done it, but I don't take that one at face value either.
The UK likely is behind most if not all of the sabotage in Crimea and Russia. This will end badly for the UK, but the British government has been acting against the interests of the British people for 30 years.
Didn't Ukraine's SBU Chief suicide himself on Saturday? Could there be a relation to these events? All seems fuzzy & difficult to sort by me from so far away.
Locally, Fauci has announced his retirement. Finally. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/statement-anthony-s-fauci-md
Sadly, I've just learned my cousin's dear wife has been struggling w/saddle pulmonary embolism, but getting better. She is a nurse, so suspect she felt pressured to get jabbed. Perhaps that's why my cousin left his job as a tv weatherman when he refused to be jabbed? They are far away too, so not many details as yet.
Lots of things happen in Estonia.
Estonia warns of risks in wake of money laundering scandal
By John O’Donnell
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Banks in Estonia have not yet plugged all the gaps in their money laundering controls, the Baltic state’s regulator told Reuters, pledging to maintain a clampdown in the country at the center of one of Europe’s biggest financial scandals.
Estonia’s efforts to tighten money laundering controls at its banks follows a scandal at Danske Bank which has been ejected from the country after coming under investigation for 200 billion euros ($228 billion) of suspicious transactions that flowed through its Estonian branch.
This is crazy-making. For some reason, the UK thinks it is still something other than a few sh*tty little islands off the coast of Europe. Now that its vast empire consists of 93,600 miles, you would think they might cease and desist trying goad the world into a major war--if only out of the embarrassment of calling attention to their flaccid, suicidal culture.