Monday, June 17, 2024

Russia names mastermind of killing pro-Putin blogger

A Ukrainian man named Yury Denisov was the person who organized the bomb assassination of Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, the Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced.

He came to Russia from Kiev via Latvia in February, provided the explosive device used in the murder, and left Russia in early April right after the crime, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the FSB, Denisov used an intermediary to deliver the bomb to Darya Trepova, the woman who brought it to the St. Petersburg cafe where Tatarsky was holding a talk on April 2. The bomb went off, killing the intended target and injuring dozens of other people. Denisov left Russia the next day, traveling through Armenia and Turkey, the FSB added.

Before the assassination was carried out, Denisov spent some time in the Moscow Region, where he was collecting intelligence on Tatarsky, the statement read. Russia is in the process of putting out an international arrest warrant on the suspect.

The FSB has released several images of the presumed organizer, including of him apparently passing customs control at the Russian border, his Ukrainian driver’s license, and a redacted contract for the purchase of a used car in Moscow.

The investigators have pinned the bombing on “Ukrainian special services and their agents, including fugitive members of the Russian opposition.” The statement specifically named several associates of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny as inspiring Denisov’s accomplice, Trepova, to carry out sabotage in Russia.

They allegedly “repeatedly made statements about the need for sabotage actions in Russia,” the FSB said. It added that Trepova was a supporter of Navalny’s ideas.

Tatarsky, whose real name was Maksim Fomin, was a former Donbass fighter and popular military blogger who advocated a decisive stance regarding the Russian military operation against Ukraine. His talk in St. Petersburg was hosted by a cafe that is connected with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the private military organization Wagner Group. Kiev has denied any responsibility for the bombing.

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