The Azov Regiment denied its involvement in the Moscow assassination of Daira Dugina after Russian propaganda accused the regiment of being behind the attack.
Daria Dugina, the daughter of Russian imperialist Alexander Dugin, was killed after the car she was driving near Moscow exploded on Aug. 20. Dugin has been credited with coining the term "Russian world" and has been one of the most prominent ideologues of Russian neo-imperialism, calling on the government to invade neighboring countries and kill those who oppose the Kremlin.
In an unprecedently swift statement, Russian authorities said they solved the case within 48 hours. Russia's Interfax news agency quoted the FSB, writing that a woman they call "Natalia Vovk" is behind the attack. According to the FSB, the woman is a Ukrainian citizen, who came to Russia with her underaged daughter and left the country after the alleged assassination.
After the FSB published its statement, Russian propaganda began linking "Natalia Vovk" to Natalia Shaban, who they allege is linked to Ukraine's Azov Regiment.
The Azov Regiment and the National Guard issued a statement saying that a woman with neither of the two names is linked to Ukraine's soldiers. The Ukrainian government also denied involvement in the attack. According to the regiment, the accusations spread by Russia are preparations for a staged “tribunal over (captured members of) the Azov,” by which Russia is planning on proving to its citizens the necessity "of such a trial."
In May, over 2,000 Ukrainian combatants surrendered after defending the Azovstal plant following a months-long battle for Mariupol. Many of them belong to the Azov Regiment, which played an important role in the Battle of Mariupol.
Russia has officially designated Azov as a terrorist group and Russian officials have publicly vowed to execute the Azov combatants.
On July 28, more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in what is believed to be a Russian attack on a prisoner camp in Russian-occupied Donbas.