Adam Borowski

Darya Dugina and Z-Cultists

I was talking to a Ukrainian woman living in Israel who told me she’s sometimes mistaken for a Russian. At other times, she comes across people who tell her Ukraine is like Russia. She’s mad and sad about this. Perfectly understandable. As a Pole, I know how it feels to be told my country is a fictional construct governed by foreign powers.

Writing articles for an excellent Ukrainian newspaper – The Kyiv Post – has made me much more attuned to the tragedies and complexities of the Ukraine war. While we are allies now, Poles also share a dark past with Ukrainians.

In this war, as you’re acutely aware, Russia is represented by the letter Z. What this Z stands for is anyone’s guess. Some say it’s a half-swastika. I don’t know but I doubt Russians had prosperity and good luck on their minds.

I call it the Z-Cult and there’s no place on Earth where you won’t find Z-Cultists.

Z-Cultists sound better than Z-patriots to me, as it is, indeed, a cult, not just a group of people who love Russia. I dislike armchair profiling but given the extraordinary times we’re in, I’d like to profile one of Putin’s puppets whose death was widely publicized last year – namely Daria Dugina. She is a perfect example of a Z-Cultist. By profiling her, we understand the Z-Cult mindset better.

She’s a total stranger to me and I’m no CIA analyst, so my profile is obviously based on the limited information publically available.

Dugina called herself a philosopher. Alright. She was an academic with a background in philosophy. She might have thought of herself as a journalist, but her actions and statements clearly show she was just a propagandist for Putin’s regime.

Did she believe what she was selling about the multipolar world, the Russian empire from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and Ukronazis?

Let’s see.

Apparently, Dugina called herself Platonova. This could mean three things. One, she was signaling that she admired Plato and was his disciple. Many women change their last name when they marry. Was she symbolically submitting to Plato’s authority? Two, she wanted to distance herself from her father. Maybe she wasn’t proud of him, as she claimed, but she was in fact ashamed of him. To call her father’s beliefs strange is an understatement of the year. Three, she was establishing her own identity in academia by signaling her school of thought. Her hero, if you will, was Plato. After all, her father is a fervent believer in heroism.

I wonder if Plato would’ve been pleased that a Russian genocide supporter saw herself as his disciple. Dugina likely thought of herself as smart, maybe even a genius. She was a smooth talker, sure, but repeating, even eloquently, the work of others isn’t a  sign of genius, but of being a good repeater and nothing more.

So, did Dugina believe her own lies? Here’s how I see it.


She was a total believer. Just like jihadis, she was brainwashed from birth and never had a chance to develop her own personality. She was damaged beyond repair. Her mind was essentially a copy of her father’s mind. She was her father’s puppet, his daddy’s girl, who would have done anything to please him. She was there to gain more followers for Aleksandr Dugin and that’s it. His love for her was conditional and she knew it. She was always around him, as though she was afraid to lose him. Attachment issues, maybe? Given the strange, medieval, statements Dugina made (carrying her father’s banner with pride), maybe she also lived in the land of heroes and battles. A deeply deranged mindset. Maybe she wasn’t just saying these things to appeal to her father’s ego, but she had been so brainwashed, it was the only way she saw the world (the first word she had been taught, according to her father, was Russia).


Platonova knew exactly what she was doing. She was selling propaganda and she loved it. Psychopaths love fooling others. When they do it, they often smile. They can’t help it. That smirk will also be there when they watch something terrible happen to others. Not always, they are aware it’s frowned upon, but they will smirk at some point. I remember Olga Skabeeva’s smirk right after she talked about a Russian missile hitting a target in Ukraine. Oh, how she loved it! I don’t know if she’s a psychopath but that evil grin after watching the aftermath of the Russian missile strike in Ukraine would strongly suggest so.

Psychopaths have no guilt, no shame and they love bloodshed, money and power. Smart psychopaths will wear whatever social mask they need to wear to get what they want. Once they get it, they get a new mask. Psychopaths don’t really have their own personality. Under the mask, you’ll find a black hole. Not every psychopath is brave. Many are cowards, using others as puppets to do their bidding.


Dugina, excuse me, Platonova, didn’t believe a word of what she was selling, but she had no choice since she lived in a cultic, misogynistic, society. Playing a rabid propagandist was her survival strategy. Regimes are fiercely patriarchal. The enemy is to be feminized, collectively and individually. To the totalitarian mind, there’s nothing worse than being a woman. No wonder the men who were raped in Chechnya by the Russian invaders were given female names. This is the kind of Russkiy Mir (Russian world) society that Platonova lived in. She allegedly said that she was proud of being sanctioned by the U.S. Working for ultranationalists, that’s the only acceptable statement she could’ve made without being targeted by the regime.


She was playing the oldest game in the world: pretend to be a staunch believer, hoodwink your followers and get your money. She needed a job that paid the bills. Simple as that. Except, in her case, it was encouraging the committing of genocide for money. No words can convey my disgust.


Maybe she was tired of all the lies she was selling and had manipulated one of her fanatic friends to kill her for Mother Russia? That would’ve been quite something…

Some say she was just an innocent civilian who didn’t deserve such a horrible death. Okay. I remember Dugina taking a selfie (her blonde hair – a subtle Nazi link?) at Azovstal. Oh, what a hero she was, surrounded by armed Russian soldiers. She even insulted Ukrainian soldiers for surrendering, that they were almost like Russians, but Russians would’ve chosen death. What an, pardon my French, entitled bitch.

Her mutipolar world was likely just an excuse for Russia to enslave, exploit and exterminate entire nations.

I wonder if she would’ve been so heroic had Ukrainians been there? Of course not. She would’ve been running like a little girl and screaming for Russia’s help. Would she, and others like her, be taking similar selfies in Warsaw, if Ukraine had indeed fallen in three days and Russians would have made their way to Poland? Something tells me Dugina would have loved taking a selfie in front of a mass grave somewhere near Warsaw, maybe even with me in it. So no, she wasn’t a civilian on the side of the light, whether she believed it, or not, and others like her aren’t civilians, either. Stop propagandizing, people, and look at the facts.

Oh, I know. I’ll be accused of propagandizing and projecting. The problem is, this back-and-forth leads to endless and pointless name-calling where two, or more, people point fingers at one another while nothing of substance gets discussed. Maybe that’s the idea?

Maybe her actions didn’t match what she was really thinking. It doesn’t matter. She chose a path of promoting genocide and, by doing so, lost the status of a civilian. She became a puppet of Putin’s regime. As she found out the hard way – when you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned.

It’s up to God to decide what to do with Dugina and other Russian ‘’journalists.’’ One thing is certain. Their propagandist mind games won’t fool Him.

To conclude, Dugina was a nobody, a minor minion of Putin’s regime who died a gruesome death and that gave publicity to her father’s ideas. I’m sure that intelligence agencies around the world are profiling and studying the people that truly matter – Putin and his circle of closest associates.

The ones who can order a nuclear strike. And I don’t understand why so many people seem to think Russia won’t use nuclear weapons. One of several arguments against Russia using nukes is that… China (President Xi Jinping) has told Putin not to use nukes under any circumstances. Wait a second. Has anyone actually heard Chairman Xi say it? No. Exactly. Besides, last I checked, Russia isn’t a puppet state of China (yet).

All these Russia-surely-won’t-use-nuclear-weapons arguments are magical thinking nonsense. Russia will do what it has always done: promote and defend its misguided imperial pride by any means necessary, including by using tactical nukes. When it comes to Russia, expect everything. Simple as that. Propagandist,  I mean journalist, Solovyov often says we’ll go to heaven and they’ll just croak. They meaning anyone who isn’t in love with russkiy mir (the Russian world).

Something tells me Prigozhin was more accurate when he said we’ll all go to hell but we’ll be the best in hell. I doubt you’re going to heaven after almost constantly calling for genocide and nuclear strikes, Mr. Solovyov. Assuming it exists, a really terrible purgatory fire cleansing is likely the best you can hope for, but even that judgment would make God incredibly merciful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Russia defeated and turned into a US-Chinese puppet state with Moscow divided into occupation zones like Berlin after WW2, except – with Russia – we’d need a hundred years of puppetization for their mentality to truly change.

No more Victory Parades, let’s have cheerleaders and can-can instead. Maybe God is feeling cheeky and will make it happen?

The Creator won’t intervene, of course. It’s up to us to deal with the proverbial demons around us.

The fate of the world largely depends on hacking Putin’s mind, if he’s even still alive (he is rumored to have doubles). Love it or hate it, this is the world we live in.

I certainly hope CIA profilers, or whatever they are called, don’t sit in a room playing video games. I can only imagine the CIA Director barging in on them and asking about the recent public appearance of Putin – if it’s him, or a double. The two employees don’t know what to say, Bill Burns fires them both Trump-style and calls either Mossad, MI6 or Budanov for help.

I’m sure it’s just a cartoonish distortion of what’s actually going on. Just a comic relief.

On a serious note, rumors are swirling around of a Burns-Putin pact. As a Pole, I’m leery of secret alliances. If you know anything about the Polish history, then you know about the German Nazi-Soviet Russia pact partitioning Poland in September 1939. A lot of Jewish people suffered as well. The anniversary of those terrible times is around the corner.

For obvious reasons, I don’t know if Burns-Putin pact is real. Only time will tell. But if it is, then Ukraine, and likely Poland (in spite of NATO membership) have been sacrificed on an altar of going back to business as usual with Russia. Pecunia non olet. It’s no secret that Poland is still seen as a cordon sanitaire of sorts, a buffer zone, by the US and certainly by Russia. In other words – the part of the world which can be sacrificed for imperial interests.

Seeing Poland and Ukraine wiped off the map would make deranged Dugin’s dream come true. Time will tell what kind of cloak-and-dagger-behind-the-scenes games are going on.

About the Author
Adam Borowski is a technical Polish-English translator with a background in international relations and a keen interest in understanding how regime propaganda brainwashes people so effectively. He's working on a novel the plot of which is set across multiple realities. In the novel, he explores the themes of God, identity, regimes, parallel universes, genocide and brainwashing. His Kyiv Post articles covering a wide range of issues can be found at
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