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Prominent Russian pro-war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky killed in St. Peterburg cafe blast, investigation underway

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Russian law enforcement is investigating a recent explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, which resulted in the death of prominent pro-war blogger Maxim Fomin, better known as Vladlen Tatarsky.

News agency Interfax reported that 26-year-old Russian student and activist Daria Trepova is the main suspect in the killing, according to a source in law enforcement agencies.

Update: Daria Trepova has been detained in a rental apartment in St. Petersburg's Vyborg district, according to a report from Fontanka citing Russia's Investigative Committee.

An apartment in Pushkin, a town south of St. Petersburg, was searched this morning as part of the investigation. According to sources cited by local newspaper Fontanka, the suspect had not been detained. Law enforcement officers were seen walking the girl's mother out of the home’s doorway and taking her to a local police station. The woman's status is not currently clear.

“Fontanka's sources have no information that the girl [Daria Trepova] has been detained,” the publication noted.

Media outlet Mash confirmed the report:

“At the moment, no one has been procedurally detained in the case of the explosion on the Universitetskaya Embankment and the murder of Vladlen Tatarsky. The suspect, Daria Trepova, is wanted [by police]. Tonight, law enforcers went through the addresses associated with the girl. Several people from her entourage were brought in for questioning.”

Multiple media outlets later reported that Russia’s Interior Ministry had put Trepova on its wanted list. The girl is wanted for a criminal offense, according to the police database:

On April 2, a cafe on St Petersburg’s Universitetskaya Embankment, the site of a “creative evening” hosted by pro-Kremlin blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, was rocked by an explosion. The “war correspondent” was killed as a result of the blast. According to media reports, a woman had brought the explosive device to the meeting, with the explosive hidden in a statuette that had been given to Tatarsky as a gift. According to Fontanka, the cafe used to belong to Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, with the venue being used to host the Cyber Z Front discussion club on weekends.

32 people were injured and 25 were hospitalized as a result of the explosion. Six people are in serious condition, while the state of 18 people, including a teenager, has been evaluated as moderate to mild. Media outlet Mash reported that Sergei Chaulin, coordinator of the “Immortal Regiment” movement in Tallinn, who was deported from Estonia in February this year, was injured in the explosion.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, commented on the explosion:

“It begins in RF... Spiders are eating each other in a jar. Question of when domestic terrorism would become an instrument of internal political fight was a matter of time, as breakthrough of ripe abscess. Irreversible processes and Troubles 2.0. await RF. While we will watch,” Podolyak wrote.

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