UPDATE 1-Putin ally accuses U.S. of involvement in deadly attacks inside Russia

(Recasts, adds details and context)

MOSCOW, May 19 (Reuters) – A powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the United States coordinated with Ukraine to kill two pro-war nationalists in Russia and to carry out attacks on critical national infrastructure in an effort to undermine stability.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year in what it called “a special military operation,” the Kremlin accused the West of unleashing a proxy war against it.

Darya Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, was killed in a car bomb in August; pro-war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, was killed in a bomb last month; and nationalist writer, Zakhar Prilepin, was wounded in a car bomb earlier this month.

Russia also accused Ukraine of attacking the Crimean Bridge last October and accused the West of being behind blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev was cited by the state TASS news agency as saying all the attacks “were planned and carried out with the coordination of the U.S. special services.”

“The terrorist attacks committed in Russia are accompanied by an information campaign prepared in advance in Washington and London, designed to destabilise the socio-political situation, and to undermine the constitutional foundations and sovereignty of Russia,” TASS quoted Patrushev as saying.

The United States and its allies, who cast the invasion as an imperial-style land grab that cannot be allowed to succeed, say they want Ukraine to defeat Russia.

Although they have repeatedly said they do not want a direct military conflict with Russia, Moscow says the West is already fighting against Russia, which believes it has big power diplomatic support from China.

The United States and Britain have denied Russian claims they were involved in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. Ukraine has never claimed responsibility for the attack on the Crimean Bridge, one of Putin’s showcase infrastructure projects

As a former Soviet spy who has known Putin since the 1970s, Patrushev – who has accused the “Anglo-Saxons” of sabotaging Nord Stream in what he has called a terrorist attack – is seen by diplomats as one of the major influences on Putin.

Patrushev’s views and pronouncements give an insight into thinking at the Kremlin’s top levels, according to Western diplomats.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorised the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Dugina, the New York Times reported in October. (Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge/Andrew Osborn)

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