Murder of a Russian blogger in Saint Petersburg: what we know

Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have been reignited by the death of Vladlen Tatarsky

Murder of a Russian blogger in Saint Petersburg: what we know

Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have been reignited by the death of Vladlen Tatarsky. Russia accuses Ukraine, with the complicity of supporters of imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, of orchestrating the attack in which this famous blogger, supporter of Russia's offensive, was killed on Sunday, April 2, in Saint PETERSBOURG.

Also, investigators announced the arrest of a young woman, Daria Trepova, a Russian national presented as an activist of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund, banned in Russia since 2021. The police then released a video in which this 26-year-old woman admits to having brought a booby-trapped statuette whose explosion caused the death of blogger Maxime Fomin known under the pseudonym of Vladlen Tatarsky.

The case was called a "planned and organized" "terrorist act" of Ukrainian territory," the investigative committee said, highlighting Daria Trepova's "opposition" to the Kremlin in its "opinions." She refuses to say for the moment where the bomb came from and does not say a word about the organization of Alexeï Navalny.

Asked about the case on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he did not care what was happening in Russia.

Alexeï Navalny, imprisoned for more than two years, is serving a nine-year prison sentence for fraud and is also the subject of prosecution for extremism.

The attack "was planned by the secret service of Ukraine, which recruited agents among those collaborating with the so-called Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund", assured the Anti-Terrorism Committee of Russia, Monday.

The Russian president's spokesman denounced "an act of terrorism".

The day before, an official of the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhailo Podoliak, had denied on Twitter any involvement, believing that it was "internal terrorism" due to rivalries within the Russian regime.

After the accusations against Alexei Navalny's organization, his spokesperson, Kira Iarmych, denounced a set-up by the Kremlin. “Alexei will soon be tried for extremism, he faces 35 years. And the Kremlin thought it would be great for the sequel to be able to add 'terrorism' to it,” she wrote on Twitter.

Russia is cracking down mercilessly on critics of its government, especially those criticizing the military intervention in Ukraine.

The young woman arrested on Monday, according to the state news agency Tass, was known to the courts for having been imprisoned for ten days after demonstrating against the Russian offensive.

On Sunday, the blogger was killed in a café in Saint Petersburg where he was speaking at a conference of an organization called Cyber ​​Z Front, favorable to the operation of Russian forces in Ukraine. According to a latest report, 32 other people were injured, eight of whom are in serious condition. The explosion was of a power equivalent to 200 grams of TNT.

The cafe belonged to the leader of the paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgueni Prigozhin. The latter stressed Monday morning on Telegram that he had entrusted the establishment in question to Cyber ​​Z Front.

The attack is reminiscent of the one in which Daria Douguina, an ardent defender of the offensive against Ukraine and daughter of ultranationalist author Alexander Dougin, died last August. Russia then accused kyiv despite its denials.

Taking the opposite view of the authorities, Evgueni Prigojine seemed to rule out that these assassinations were prepared by the Ukrainian secret services. “I will not accuse the kyiv regime of these acts. I think a group of radicals are in action," he said on his press service's Telegram channel. The previous evening, he had paid tribute to the blogger in a video apparently filmed from the town of Bakhmout, the epicenter of the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The 40-year-old blogger killed on Sunday was from Donbass, an eastern Ukrainian region at the heart of the conflict. Vladlen Tatarsky, who was regularly on the front on the Russian side, had more than half a million subscribers on his Telegram channel.

According to Russian media, he had been imprisoned in Ukraine for a robbery in 2011. In 2014, taking advantage of clashes sparked in eastern Ukraine by separatists led by Moscow, he escaped from prison to join these fighters . In 2019, he left the separatist forces, according to the daily Kommersant, to make a name for himself as a blogger.

Last September, he shocked during a reception at the Kremlin celebrating the unilateral annexation of Ukrainian regions. "We'll defeat everyone, we'll kill everyone, we'll rob everyone we need, everything will be as we like," he said in front of the camera.

Russian President Vladimir Putin posthumously decorated the military blogger on Monday, April 3. The Order of Courage is awarded to Maxime Fomin "for the courage and bravery he has shown in the performance of his professional duties", reads a decree published on the Kremlin website