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Suspect in killing of Russian war blogger charged with terrorism

2023-04-04T16:23:18Z

Darya Trepova, suspected of bringing explosives to the cafe where war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky (real name Maxim Fomin) was killed in an explosion the day before, is escorted inside the building of Russian Investigative Committee, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in this still image taken from video released on April 3, 2023. Investigative Committee of Russia/Handout via REUTERS

Russian investigators on Tuesday charged Darya Trepova, a 26-year-old resident of St Petersburg, with terrorist offences over the killing of pro-war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in a bomb blast in St Petersburg, and remanded her in pre-trial detention.

Tatarsky, a cheerleader for Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine whose real name was Maxim Fomin, was killed on Sunday in a cafe where he was due to talk.

The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it had charged Trepova with committing “a terrorist act by an organised group that caused intentional death”. The charges carry a maximum jail term of 20 years.

It said she had acted under instructions from people working on behalf of Ukraine.

Russia’s health ministry said 40 other people had been injured in the blast, and 25 were still in hospital on Tuesday morning.

Trepova was transferred from St Petersburg to Moscow, where the Basmanny district court on Tuesday remanded her in custody until June 2, Russian news agencies reported.

Footage of the St Petersburg event had Tatarsky showing the figurine off to his audience before it exploded.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee on Monday accused Ukrainian intelligence of organising the killing with help from supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny – a possible reference to the fact that Trepova once registered for an anti-Kremlin tactical voting scheme promoted by Navalny’s movement. An aide to the Ukrainian president said the attack was the result of internal conflict in Russia.

Court documents indicated that Trepova had been detained at a protest on Feb. 24 last year, the day Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine.

Trepova’s husband told the independent investigative outlet The Insider on Monday that he believed she had been framed and had not known the statuette contained explosives.

Tatarsky had himself fought in Ukraine for separatist forces, and also served time in Ukraine for bank robbery.

Last year, in a video shot at a ceremony in the Kremlin to mark Russia’s unilateral annexation of four Ukrainian regions, he said Russia should “kill everyone” and “rob everyone” in Ukraine.


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