On Sunday, a bomb explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, injured 16 people and killed Maksim Fomin, a 40-year-old prominent military blogger known by his pen name of Vladlen Tatarsky.
Born in Makiivka in eastern Ukraine, Tatarsky had a 10,000-subscribers blog in which he published reports on the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia citizens.
After the special Russian military operation started in Ukraine in February 2022, his popularity rose. He began to appear frequently on Russian state television and was even invited once to a special ceremony at the Kremlin.
On Sunday, Tatarsky was meeting with some of his subscribers at the Street Food Bar No. 1 cafe when a woman presented him with a box containing a statuette that exploded.
Western hypocrisy knows no bounds.
The British foreign secretary is lobbying for the release of a US journalist accused of spying in Russia.
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton)
March 31, 2023
“Tatarsky was in the hottest spots of the special military operation. He always came out alive. Unfortunately, the war found him in a Petersburg cafe,” said Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the pseudonym “War Gonzo.”
The Russian Interior Ministry has not yet clarified the motives of the explosion, which it described as a high-profile murder. On Monday, 26-year-old citizen Darya Trepova was arrested as a suspect in the attack.
In August 2022, Russian journalist and pro-government activist Darya Dugina also died in a car bomb attack near Moscow. Authorities, however, could not establish a connection between this attack and the killing of Tatarsky.