Thursday, May 30, 2024

Russian police detain woman over bombing that murdered pro-Putin war blogger

A woman suspected of killing prominent military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky has been arrested, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Monday. Russia says the attack was masterminded by Ukraine's special services.

Tatarsky (real name Maksim Fomin) was hosting a live event with fans at a café in the city’s historical center, when a bomb went off, killing him and injuring over 30 people. He was extensively covering the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict on his Telegram channel. He also wrote several books on the subject.

Multiple witnesses told Russian media that a young woman, who was one of the guests at Tatarsky’s event, gave him a figurine as a gift shortly before the explosion.

According to the Fontanka news website, Darya Trepova was detained in a St. Petersburg apartment that belonged to a friend of her husband. The outlet added she had a plane ticket for a flight to Uzbekistan.

Trepova reportedly exchanged text messages with Tatarsky and attended other events at which he participated. One of her friends told the Russian media that Trepova had planned to leave the country and travel to Ukraine.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said on Monday the blast in St. Petersburg was orchestrated by Ukraine. It described the murder as “a terrorist attack.”

According to the NAK, Kiev used “individuals who collaborated with [Alexey] Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation [FBK]” to carry out the attack. Officials described Trepova as an “active supporter” of the FBK.

In August 2022, journalist Darya Dugina, who backed Russia’s offensive against Ukraine and covered the conflict, was killed when a car she was driving exploded. Moscow accused Ukraine of orchestrating the attack, although Kiev denied any involvement. Dugina was the daughter of writer and philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who has been described by the Western media as an influential ideologue of Russian nationalism.

Following the death of Tatarsky, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russian journalists face constant death threats from “the Kiev regime and its abettors”.

Tatarsky was a “danger” and “provoked the hatred of the Kiev regime” with his professional activities, Zakharova claimed.

She expressed condolences to the family of the man, who, like many other Russian war reporters, worked courageously to inform the world about what was really happening on the ground in Ukraine.

Russian reporters are “persecuted, literally branded with special labels on digital platforms owned by American internet monopolies and are subjected to a witch hunt in the Western media,” Zakharova continued, adding that international rights groups and organizations “silently ignore” this.

None of the killings of Russian reporters are ever met with compassion in the West, while voices in Kiev often describe them as a “success,” the spokeswoman claimed.

“The lack of reaction in the White House, on Downing Street and in the Elysee Palace… speaks for itself,” she stated.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin was immediately informed about the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, and the active phase of the investigation into the attack is under way.

Asked whether Russia is now facing a wave of terrorism, Peskov said that what Russia is facing is the Kiev regime.

“This is a regime that supports terrorist actions, which is responsible for the murder of Daria Dugina. A regime which quite possibly is behind Fomin’s murder, and behind the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, which is responsible for the murder of people for many years, since 2014,” he added.

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