Prominent Russian military blogger killed in cafe blast: Reports

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Well-known Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky is seen in this undated social media picture obtained by Reuters [Telegram @Vladlentatarskybooks/via Reuters]

Explosion in a St Petersburg cafe kills Vladlen Tatarsky, an influential blogger with 560,000 Telegram followers, Russian news agencies say.

Well-known Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky has been killed in a blast in a cafe in St Petersburg, according to Russian news agencies, quoting sources as saying it was caused by an explosive device.

Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, had more than 560,000 followers on Telegram and was one of the most prominent of the influential military bloggers who have provided an often critical running commentary on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He was among hundreds of attendees at a lavish Kremlin ceremony last September to proclaim Russia’s annexation of four partly occupied regions of Ukraine, a move that most countries at the United Nations condemned as illegal.

A St Petersburg website said the explosion took place at a cafe that had at one time belonged to Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group of mercenaries fighting for Russia in Ukraine.

Investigators work at the site of an explosion in a cafe in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Investigators work at the site of the blast in St Petersburg, Russia [Anton Vaganov/Reuters]

RIA news agency said six other people were injured in the blast. There was no indication of who was responsible.

Interfax news agency quoted the interior ministry as saying: “One person was killed in the incident. He was military correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky. Sixteen people were injured.”

If Tatarsky was deliberately targeted, it would be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure associated with the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s Federal Security Service accused Ukraine’s secret services last August of killing Darya Dugina, the daughter of an ultra-nationalist, in a car bomb attack near Moscow that President Vladimir Putin called “evil”. Ukraine denied involvement.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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