Vladlen Tatarskya well-known Russian military blogger, died this Sunday in an explosion in a cafe in St. Petersburg where he participated in a public meeting. According to the investigation, it was an attack that also injured 25 people.
A source from the security services quoted by the TASS agency said that the explosion was caused by “an improvised bomb inside a statue that was given to Tatarksky as a gift.”
Mash, a Telegram channel linked to Russian security forces, now posted a video in which you can see the exact moment in which the “gift-bomb” is delivered to him minutes before the explosion. The footage shows Tatarsky, microphone in hand, receiving a statuette of a helmeted soldier.
The authorities also indicated that the explosion, which occurred at “Street Food Bar No. 1”, in the center of the city, was equivalent to the deflagration of 200 grams of dynamite.
The victim, whose real name was Maxim Fominhad more than half a million followers on Telegram and was supportive of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.
A group called Cyber Front Z, who refers to himself as “Russian Information Troops,” said they had rented the cafe for the evening. “There was a terrorist attack. We took certain security measures but unfortunately it was not enough,” the group said on Telegram.
Eyewitnesses affirm that “a woman” had supposedly taken out a package with a “statue” inside intended for the blogger. She gave it to him … and suddenly there was an explosion, ”Alissa Smotrova, a woman who happened to be in the cafeteria, recalled to local media. There was blood and pieces of glass…”.
However, in the images a man is seen handing him the statuette. Investigators believe the woman gave the gift to a Tatarsky associate who displayed the gift minutes before the explosion.
Another source claimed that Tatarsky “knew” the suspect of delivering the package, and that they had crossed paths in other “events”, without giving further details.
Tatarsky He was one of the most prominent of the influential military bloggers and was one of hundreds of attendees at the lavish ceremony held in the Kremlin last September to proclaim Russia’s annexation of four partially occupied regions of Ukraine, a move that most of countries condemned in the UN for considering it illegal.
According to a St. Petersburg website, the explosion took place in a coffee shop that once belonged to Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Groupwho fights for Russia in Ukraine with mercenaries.
In fact, the Cyber Front Z is associated with Prigozhin and, according to the Institute for Strategic Study (ISD), it is a troll factory that is being used to promote Russian propaganda on social media.
Tatarsky, 40, is originally from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, which Russia annexed and where most of its troops are currently based.
A well-known Russian military blogger was killed in an explosion in a St. Petersburg cafe