Russian military blogger killed in St Petersburg cafe
Moscow, Apr 3 (EFE).- A well-known Russian military blogger was killed in a blast at a St. Petersburg cafe where 32 people were also injured, Russian state media reported on Monday.
Vladlen Tatarsky, an influential supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was killed on Sunday evening after an explosion rocked a cafe that is owned by Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
According to the Russian health ministry, 10 people are in a serious condition, and 16 individuals, including a 14-year-old girl, are in a state of moderate severity.
Darya Yevgenyevna Trepova, a St. Petersburg resident born in 1997, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of murdering the pro-Kremlin “war correspondent,” Interfax reported.
Russian state media claim Trepova handed a box containing a bust of Tatarsky to the blogger in the Streetfood-Bar No 1 on Universitetskaya Embankment in downtown St. Petersburg.
The box allegedly contained at least 200 grams of TNT, according to Interfax.
Prigozhin, restaurant entrepreneur and head of the Wagner group of mercenaries fighting in Ukraine, confirmed the blast on his Telegram account.
Prigozhin had offered the cafe as a venue over the weekend to the Cyber Front Z patriotic movement — which calls itself a “people’s movement” working to defend Russia — for an event where Tatarsky was the keynote speaker.
The Cyber Front Z army is a Kremlin-backed troll farm being used to boost Russian propaganda on mainstream social media, according to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, was a well-known war reporter who gained fame during Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Born in the Donetsk region of Ukraine where he joined Russian separatist forces in 2014 when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, the blogger enjoyed over 560,000 subscribers on his Telegram channel.
Tatarsky reported from the front lines in Ukraine and gained notoriety after posting a video recorded inside the Kremlin last September when Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions.
In it, he said: “We will beat everyone, we will kill everyone, we will rob everyone as necessary. Just the way we like it.”
“Vladlen Tatarsky’s professional activities aroused hatred in the Kyiv regime. He was dangerous for it,” Kremlin spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.
Zakharova went on to condemn Western governments for “the absence of any reaction” to Tatarsky’s murder.
“Kyiv’s reaction is astonishing when the recipients of Western grants are demonstrating unabashed enthusiasm about what has happened,” Zakharova was quoted as saying by Taas news agency.
Sunday’s attack is reminiscent of the killing of Russian journalist Darya Dugin, the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, the leader of the ultra-nationalist Neo-Eurasianism Movement and a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Dugin was killed in a car bomb in August 2022 on the outskirts of Moscow.
The Russian authorities accused Ukraine’s secret services of orchestrating the attack, allegations Kyiv has vehemently denied.EFE