Bomb kills Russian war blogger in St Petersburg cafe - GulfToday

Bomb kills Russian war blogger in St Petersburg cafe


A well-known Russian military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky, is seen in this undated social media picture. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Well-known Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was killed by a bomb blast in a St Petersburg cafe on Sunday in what appeared to be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure closely associated with the war in Ukraine.

Russian officials said Vladlen Tatarsky was killed as he was leading a discussion at the cafe on the bank of the Neva River in the historic heart of St. Petersburg. Some 30 people were wounded in the blast, Russia's Health Ministry reported.


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Russia's state Investigative Committee said it had opened a murder investigation. St Petersburg's governor said that 32 people were wounded.

Russian media and military bloggers said Tatarsky was meeting with members of the public when a woman presented him with a box containing a bust of him that apparently blew up. A patriotic Russian group that organised the event said it had taken security precautions but acknowledged that those measures "proved insufficient.”

Russian investigators work at the side of an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday. AP

It was not immediately known who was behind the killing. The head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Sunday he would "not blame the Kyiv regime" for it.

But another leading Russian official pointed the finger at Ukraine, without providing evidence. A Ukrainian presidential adviser said "domestic terrorism" was breaking out in Russia.

Russia's Foreign Ministry made no accusations of involvement in the attack, but said silence in Western capitals exposed hypocrisy over expressions of concern for journalists.

The witness, Alisa Smotrova, quoted Nastya as saying she had made a bust of the blogger but that guards asked her to leave it at the door, suspecting it could be a bomb. Nastya and Tatarsky joked and laughed. She then went to the door, grabbed the bust and presented it to Tatarsky.

He reportedly put the bust on a nearby table, and the explosion followed. Smotrova described people running in panic, some hurt by shattered glass and covered in blood.

Russian police investigators inspect a damaged cafe in a blast in Saint Petersburg on Sunday. AFP

Russia's Interfax news agency reported that a St. Petersburg woman, Darya Tryopova, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing. It said that she had been previously detained for taking part in anti-war rallies.

A video posted on Russian messaging app channels showed the cafe after the explosion. Tables and chairs were broken and stained by blood, and shards of glass littered the floor.

Russian media said investigators were looking at the bust as the possible source of the blast but have not ruled out the possibility that an explosive device was planted in the cafe before the event.



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