An explosion at a Russian cafe kills a prominent military blogger and wounds 30 others

Some reports suggested that a bomb was concealed within a sculpture of the blogger, resulting in the tragic demise of a prominent military blogger and fervent advocate of the conflict in Ukraine. The explosion occurred at a café in Russia’s second most populous city on Sunday.

Russia’s Ministry of Health stated that approximately 30 individuals sustained injuries in the explosion. As per Russian officials, Vladlen Tatarsky lost his life while presiding over a conversation at the café situated on the shores of the Neva River in the renowned center of St. Petersburg.

Russian military bloggers and media said that Tatarsky was attending a public meeting with members of a group that organized the event, where a woman presented him with a box containing a bust of a patriotic Russian figure, apparently blowing it up when he acknowledged that security precautions had been taken but insufficient measures were in place.

During the Tatarsky discussion, Nastya identified herself as the woman who said remarks and asked questions. These remarks were recorded on video and are now being discussed.

Tatarsky received the sculpture from Nastya after she snatched it at the entrance. Nastya and Tatarsky bantered and chuckled. The guards had suspicions that the sculpture might be an explosive, so they requested her to leave it at the entrance. Alisa Smotrova, the observer, recounted Nastya mentioning that she had crafted a sculpture of the blogger.

Smotrova recounted individuals fleeing in fear, some injured by broken glass and drenched in blood. Allegedly, he placed the sculpture on a table close by, and the blast ensued.

Darya Tryopova, a woman from St. Petersburg, was reported by Russia’s Interfax news agency to have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the bombing. It was mentioned that she had previously been apprehended for participating in anti-war protests.

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The coffee shop, following the blast, exhibited tables and chairs damaged and tainted with blood, while the floor was scattered with fragments of glass, as depicted in a video shared on Russian messaging application channels.

Prior to the occurrence, investigators have not eliminated the chance that an explosive contraption was inserted in the coffee shop, but according to Russian media, they were considering the sculpture as the potential cause of the explosion.

The top criminal investigation agency in Russia, the Investigative Committee, initiated an investigation into allegations of homicide.

Ukraine refuted any participation

She was driving on the outskirts of Moscow when an explosive device, remotely controlled, blew up in her SUV. She was killed, being compared to the bombing that took place in August last year, which killed TV nationalist commentator Darya Dugina. Immediately, patriotic commentators and military bloggers pointed a finger at Ukraine, but no one publicly claimed responsibility.

Russian authorities accused Ukraine’s military intelligence for the death of Dugina, but Kyiv denied any involvement.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reacted to the latest incident by noting that Ukrainian bloggers have long faced threats from Russian military and other individuals. She also mentioned that these “activities” have won him the hatred of the Kyiv regime and the Tatarsky community.

Alexander Dugin, the father of Dugina, is a political theorist and nationalist philosopher who strongly supports the Russian people’s hero “immortal” and is hailed as a hero in Ukraine, supporting the invasion by Tatarsky.

Dugin stated, “A triumph procession should occur in Kyiv.” “There should be no negotiations with the insurgents except regarding their complete capitulation.”

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Since the fighting in Ukraine began in February 2022, officials in Kyiv have insisted on Russia launching attacks on Ukraine’s right and have greeted events of such nature. Ukrainian authorities have refrained from claiming responsibility for apparent assassinations and various explosions and fires in Russia.

A high-ranking Ukrainian government official described the blast that resulted in Tatarsky’s death as a component of domestic unrest.

Mykhailo Podolyak, the Ukrainian presidential adviser, wrote on Twitter, “Spiders are eating each other in a jar.” The issue of domestic terrorism was a significant concern at the time, discussing whether it would become a political tool for internal fighting.

Fomin Maxim, whose pen name was Tatarsky, had accumulated more than 560,000 followers on his Telegram messaging app channel, as reported regularly from Ukraine.

Born in the heartland of Ukraine’s industrial Donbas, Tatarsky worked as a coal miner before facing financial difficulties and robbing a bank. After joining the separatist rebels in the Russia-backed separatist rebellion that engulfed the Donbas in Ukraine after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, he fled from custody and then turned to blogging.

Tatarsky was recognized for his forceful declarations and fervent pro-war language.

After the Kremlin’s annexation of four regions in Ukraine last year, Tatarsky, an illegal video posted by him, vowed that we will need to defeat everybody, kill everybody, rob everybody – it’s the way we all like it, God be with you.

Bloggers in the flow of information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have increasingly played an influential and prominent role. While they have criticized tactical decisions and military strategy by Russia at times, they have almost universally championed the goals of the campaign.

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Suppressing dissenters and restricting public’s ability to obtain information, the Russian government has silenced opposing viewpoints against the war by closing down media organizations simultaneously.

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