Aleksandr Dugin: Russian ultranationalist philosopher close to Putin: Who is he?
Aleksandr Dugin a well known Russian ultranationalist philosopher has reportedly said the Russian army's retreat from Kyiv is a "temporary situation".
Dugin claimed Russia's retreat from Kyiv was "purely tactical" in order to regroup its forces under its newly-appointed commander Alexandr Dvornikov.
Russia had announced earlier it was concentrating its forces in eastern Ukraine in the Donbas region amid heavy resistance by Ukrainian forces in capital Kyiv. However, Russia threatened to escalate attacks on Kyiv if Ukraine hit Russian soil.
Who is Aleksandr Dugin?
Aleksandr Dugin is widely believed to be "Putin's brain" due to his reported influence on the Russian leader. He has taught in Russia's universities and often appears on local television. Reports say the extreme Russian nationalist leader has influenced Kremlin's policies over the years.
Dugin is reportedly the founder of Russia's anti-European Eurasian movement. He had reportedly urged Putin to intervene in eastern Ukraine in 2014 as Russia annexed Crimea.
US sanctions on Dugin
The US had imposed sanctions on the Russian ideologue in 2015 including other Ukrainian separatists during Barack Obama's presidency after the Crimean conflict in 2014.
According to the US treasury department, "Dugin was a leader of the Eurasian Youth Union which actively recruited individuals with military and combat experience to fight on behalf of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic."
The US says the Russian ultra-nationalist runs a website known as Geopolitica which reportedly spreads "disinformation and propaganda" against the West.
The US treasury department said Geopolitica had published an article just days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine accusing the US and NATO of "provoking war" with Russia. The US said the article was meant to "further terrorise the American people in all sorts of malicious ways".
Dugin’s daughter, Darya Aleksandrovna Dugina has also been sanctioned by the US. Darya is the editor of United World International. The US treasury department said she had sought contributors to write on anti-Ukraine articles for her website.