Putin's assassination next 'logical' step amid claims Russian faction behind Dugina murder

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The assassination of Vladimir Putin and members of his inner circle would be a “logical” move by Kyiv, according to a former Ukrainian army officer. His comments come in the wake of US claims that the murder of Dariya Dugina was commissioned by a faction within Ukraine’s government. Ms Dugina was killed on August 20th by a car bomb near Russia’s capital Moscow.

She was the daughter of the prominent ultra-nationalist and anti-Western philosopher Alexander Dugin, and was employed as a political commentator for her father’s International Eurasian Movement.

Ms Dugina fully backed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and parroted Kremlin narratives that the country had been usurped by neo-Nazis and therefore the war was justified.

Her killing raises the question of whether assassinations targeting the Kremlin leadership and even the Russian President himself are a legitimate tactic for Kyiv to pursue, despite misgivings from Washington.

Viktor Kovalenko, a former army officer who fought against Russia and its proxy militias in eastern Ukraine in 2014, believes going after Putin and his cronies would appear on the surface to be a “logical” next step.

He told the Express: “Most likely official Kyiv looks into it (assassinating Putin).

“It is logical. But I think Ukraine’s security structures don’t have such capabilities and opportunities yet.

“And the right time and conditions are still yet to come.”

Mr Kovalenko, who also used to be a journalist, believes that a Russian faction within the government, which has close ties to political fugitives from Moscow, is actively pushing for assassinations and was behind Dugina’s death.

However, he fears that pursuing such a strategy comes with huge risks and could make the liberation of Ukraine more “complicated”.

He explained: “There are individuals around Ukraine’s President Zelensky that identify themselves as Russians, lobby everything Russian in Ukraine, have support among Russian escapees, and even previously had ties with Alexander Dugin.

“I won’t say the names, but they have an influence in Zelensky’s office.

“As it seems, Kyiv allows them to have such influence because it expects that they may help to undermine Putin’s regime from within.

READ MORE: Putin’s use of Iranian drones show Russia’s ‘capability gaps’

Last week, John Bolton told CBS news that Putin was a legitimate military target and that he would be signing his own suicide note if he authorised the deployment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The former National Security Advisor to Donald Trump told Catherine Herridge that Russia’s leadership needed to know the consequences of any such action – and these would include their elimination.

He said: “I think we should make it clear publicly so that not just Putin, but all the top Russian leadership, all the citizens of Russia know that if Putin authorises the use of a nuclear weapon, he’s signing his own suicide note.

“He’s the the centre of command and control of the Russian military. National Command authority is what we call it. He’s a legitimate military target.

“And I think while [there are] plenty of other things we can do as well, that he needs to know that he’s on our target list at that point.”



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