Ren-TV / Vkontake
- Video shows Russian military blogger receiving statue that Russia says exploded, killing him.
- Police arrested the woman who they alleged gifted the statue.
- The Russian Interior Ministry released a video interrogating the woman about the incident.
A video circulating on social media shows the moment Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky received a statue that the Kremlin says exploded, killing him and injuring dozens of others, at a St. Petersburg cafe on Sunday.
The video, posted by Ren-TV/Bkontake and shared by BBC, shows Tatarsky taking the statue out of a cardboard box, holding it, and putting it back down next to him.
According to CNN, a witness corroborated the event.
“The host at the stage took the figurine from the box and showcased it. Vladlen held it for a bit,” the witness said of the moments before the cafe explosion. “They put it back, and shortly after the explosion happened… I was running, and my ears were blocked. There were many people with blood on them.”
The Investigative Committee of Russia alleges the statue contained an explosive device equal to 200 grams of TNT, Russian state media outlet TASS reported.
—Leonid ХВ Ragozin (@leonidragozin) April 2, 2023
The Investigative Committee of Russia also alleges that a woman named Darya Trepova delivered the figurine to the cafe.
CNN reported, citing Ria Novosti, that one witness said: “This woman sat at our table. I saw her from the back as she was turned away. When she gifted him the figurine, she went to sit in a different place by the window and forgot her phone at our table.”
Trepova, 26, was arrested on Monday. The Investigative Committee of Russia told TASS and other reporters that Trepova was a member of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, an organization founded by Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
Shortly after the arrest, the Russian Interior Ministry released a video interrogating Trepova. The video shows Trepova admitting she handed over the statue, BBC reported. The BBC reported that Trepova may have been recorded under duress.
“I would say for being at the scene of Vladlen Tatarsky’s murder,” she said when asked if she knew why she was arrested, the BBC reported. “I brought the statuette there which blew up.”
When interrogated about who gave her the statue, Trepova asked if she could talk about it at a later time.