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Murder of propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky “planned by Ukrainian special services,” says Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee

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Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) has claimed that the murder of propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky had been planned by Ukrainian special services “with the involvement of agents cooperating with [Alexei Navalny's] Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF),” according to a report by state-owned agency TASS.

The NAC also claimed that the main suspect, Daria Trepova, is “an active supporter of the ACF.”

ACF director Ivan Zhdanov commented on the NAC’s accusations:

“It was quickly clear from the leaked reports that they were going to dump [the killing] on the ACF. So this is a rather idiotic situation. Denying that we did it is idiotic. Naturally, we don't do things like that. But if we don’t deny it – what if someone thinks that we did?
Everything that's going on suggests that in reality it was the FSB that simply eliminated this propagandist themselves. They've been at it since 2014: poisoning and killing each other for fun, dividing markets. It's just that not all cases are public. And today it is very convenient for them to attribute [the killing] to the ACF. They need not only an external absolute enemy in the form of Ukraine, but also an internal one in the form of Navalny's team.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee earlier reported that Trepova had been detained in an apartment in St. Petersburg's Vyborg district, according to Russia's Investigative Committee.

According to the Telegram channel Shot, Trepova said she was “framed” and “used” while being detained.

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, was 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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