Popular Journalist Dead In Targeted Assassination

On Tuesday, the woman suspected of being involved in the bombing that killed Russian military blogger Vladlen Tartarsky was remanded into custody for two months by a Moscow court pending an investigation into the incident, the Associated Press reported.

Tartarsky, 40, was a vehement supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine, filing regular reports on the fighting. On Sunday, as he was leading a discussion at a café in St. Petersburg, Tartarsky was killed when a bomb believed to be hidden inside a small statue exploded. Forty others were injured, including 25 who had to be hospitalized for their wounds.

Russian authorities accused Ukrainian special services of planning the bombing, which they called an act of terrorism.

Police arrested St. Petersburg resident Darya Trepova, 26, who, just moments before the explosion, was captured on video presenting the blogger with the small statue.

Russia’s Interior Ministry released a video in which Trepova admitted to a police officer that she brought the statue to the café. When asked who supplied her with the statue, Trepova said she would explain later. Russian state media later reported that Trepova told investigators that someone asked her to deliver the statue and she did not know there were explosives inside of it. 

According to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee, the bombing attack was “planned by Ukrainian special services.” The committee described Trepova as an “active supporter” of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In 2022, Trepova was arrested for taking part in an anti-war rally and spent ten days in jail.

While Ukraine did not directly respond to the accusation, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he doesn’t give any thought to events in Russia while his top advisor described the bombing as an example of Russia’s internal turmoil. 

Tartarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, joined Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014 where he fought on the front lines for years before he turned to blogging. As a pro-Russian military blogger, Tartarsky accumulated over 560,000 followers on Telegram.