Pro-Putin propagandist blown up in cafe explosion after being 'given model of himself packed with TNT'

3 April 2023, 07:56 | Updated: 3 April 2023, 08:50

Tatarsky being handed the statue that is thought to have been packed with explosives
Tatarsky being handed the statue that is thought to have been packed with explosives. Picture: Social Media/Getty

By Asher McShane

A pro-Russia propagandist died yesterday after he was blown up in an ‘assassination’ after being handed a statuette of himself believed to have been packed with 200g of TNT.

Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, was killed on Sunday in St Petersburg in a bomb blast that left 30 other people injured.

Tatarsky was given the statuette by an unnamed woman, not long before the blast at a political event being held at the Street Food Bar No 1 cafe in St Petersburg.

Vladlen Tatarsky was killed instantly in the explosion
Vladlen Tatarsky was killed instantly in the explosion. Picture: Social Media

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Russia has accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of plotting it himself.

Read more: Killing of Russian military blogger at St Petersburg cafe investigated as 'high-profile' murder

Read more: British men detained by Taliban regime 'in contact' with families amid UK Government talks

The blogger was killed and 30 other people were injured
The blogger was killed and 30 other people were injured. Picture: Getty

Around 100 people were at the event. Thirty were hurt in the blast with four in critical condition.

Video footage posted on Russian messaging app channels showed the aftermath of the explosion with tables and chairs broken and spattered with blood and shards of glass and debris strewn across the floor.

The blogger was handed an effigy of himself minutes before the blast
The blogger was handed an effigy of himself minutes before the blast. Picture: Social Media

Tatarsky was killed just minutes after being handed the statue - a gold-coloured effigy of himself.

A murder investigation has been opened but analysts suspect it was an attack carried out by the Ukrainian secret service.

Russian media said investigators are looking at the bust as the possible source of the blast but have not ruled out the possibility that an explosive device was planted in the cafe.

A woman has been arrested. No-one has claimed responsibility for the blast
A woman has been arrested. No-one has claimed responsibility for the blast. Picture: Getty

Tatarsky was an outspoken Kremlin supporter and blogger.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that a woman named Darya Tryopova, from St Petersburg, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing.

Russian authorities work on site in aftermath of St Petersburg blast

Russia's Tass news agency said Tatarsky, using various pseudonyms, had been filing text and video reports from Ukraine as well as from the Kremlin.

CCTV captured the moment the 200g explosive device detonated at the "Street Bar" café, with a fireball lighting up the venue - and a shockwave sending shards of glass blasting into the street.

Tatarsky's death appears to be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure closely associated with the war in Ukraine
Tatarsky's death appears to be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure closely associated with the war in Ukraine. Picture: Getty

Tatarsky was one of Russia's foremost military bloggers with over 560,000 followers on Telegram.

Tatarsky's death appears to be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure closely 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. Ukraine denied any involvement.

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