A well-known military blogger and outspoken supporter of the war in Ukraine was killed Sunday when an explosion tore through a cafe in the second-largest city in Russia.
According to some sources, the blogger received a bust of himself as a present with a bomb embedded in it.
According to Russian officials, Vladlen Tatarsky was assassinated while facilitating a debate at the cafe on the Neva River’s bank in St. Petersburg’s historic center.
According to the regional governor, Alexander Beglov, 25 individuals were hurt in the explosion, and 19 were hospitalized.
Tatarsky was meeting with members of the public when a woman gave him a box holding a bust of him that supposedly blew up, according to Russian media and military bloggers.
The event’s organizers, a patriotic Russian group, claimed to have taken security measures but recognized that they “were insufficient.”
A witness who spoke on camera claimed that Tatarsky was conversing with a woman who introduced herself as Nastya and asked her questions.
According to Nastya, who was quoted by the witness Alisa Smotrova, the guards instructed her to leave the bust of the blogger at the door because they thought it might be a bomb.
Tatarsky and Nastya laughed and joked. She then proceeded to the door, took the bust, and presented it to Tatarsky.
According to reports, the explosion happened after he placed the bust on a nearby table. Smotrova described people running in a panic, some bleeding and injured from broken glass.
Russian messaging app channels shared a video of the cafe following the blast. Glass fragments covered the floor, and tables and chairs were splintered and splattered with blood.
Despite not ruling out the likelihood that an explosive device was installed in the cafe before the incident, Russian media reported that authorities were looking at the bust as a potential cause of the bomb.
A murder inquiry has been launched by Russia’s Investigative Committee, the state’s highest criminal investigation agency.
Although no one openly took responsibility for the bombing, military bloggers and patriotic commentators instantly blamed Ukraine and made comparisons to the shooting of nationalist TV pundit Darya Dugina last August.
As she was traveling on the outskirts of Moscow, an explosive device hidden in her SUV blew up, killing her.
Russian officials attributed Dugina’s death to Ukrainian military intelligence, while Kyiv denied participation.
Tatarsky was lauded as an “immortal” hero who lost his life defending the Russian people by her father, Aleksandr Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and political theorist who vehemently supported the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have avoided taking credit for many fires, explosions, and apparent assassinations in Russia since the battle in Ukraine started on February 24, 2022. Kyiv officials have embraced such incidents with joy and emphasized Ukraine’s right to undertake assaults in Russia.
An explosion that killed Tatarsky was attributed by a senior member of the Ukrainian government to internal unrest.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential advisor for Ukraine, posted a tweet in English saying, “Spiders are eating one other in a container.”
“It was only a matter of time before domestic terrorism was used as a weapon in internal political conflict.”