July 14, 2024

A suspect in the killing of pro-war Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarsky has been charged with terrorism, Russian officials say.

Darya Trepova was taken to a Moscow court on Tuesday after her arrest the previous day in St Petersburg.

The court ruled she should remain in custody until 2 June.

Tatarsky was killed on Sunday in a blast in a cafe in St Petersburg where he was due to give a talk. More than 30 people were injured.

In a video released by the authorities on Monday – most likely recorded under duress – Ms Trepova was heard admitting she brought a statuette to the cafe that later blew up.

But the 26-year-old did not say she knew there would be an explosion, nor did she admit any further role.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which looks into major crime, said she had been charged under the criminal code with “a terrorist act carried out by an organised group causing intentional death” and the “illegal possession of explosive devices by an organised group”.

It recommended to the court that she be remanded in custody.

“The request by the investigators for Darya Trepova to be kept in confinement has been granted, and the accused will be detained until 2 June,” Russian media quoted Judge Valentina Levasheva as saying after the court session, which was held behind closed doors.

The committee added that it had evidence the attack was organised by Ukrainian security services with the help of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

But Kyiv presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak described the blast as part of a Russian “internal political fight”.

Tatarsky (real name Maxim Fomin), aged 40, had been attending a patriotic meeting with supporters in the cafe as a guest speaker late on Sunday afternoon.

A video circulating on social media showed a young woman in a brown coat apparently entering the cafe with a cardboard box.

Images showed the box being placed on a table in the cafe before the woman sat down. Another video showed a statue being handed to Tatarsky.

Vladlen Tatarsky - pic from his Telegram channelIMAGE SOURCE,VLADLEN TATARSKY/TELEGRAM
Image caption,

Vladlen Tatarsky posted reports on the Telegram messaging service

Tatarsky was a well-known blogger with more than half a million followers, and had a criminal past.

Born in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, he said he joined Russian-backed separatists when they released him from jail, where he was serving time for armed robbery.

He was part of a pro-Kremlin military blogger community that has taken on a relatively high-profile role since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Tatarsky is among those who have gone so far as to criticise the Russian authorities, slamming the military and even President Vladimir Putin for setbacks on the battlefield.

But on Monday, he was awarded the posthumous Order of Courage by Mr Putin.

 

Credit: bbc.com

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