According to Russian officials, the woman apprehended in connection with the death of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky is a 26-year-old who has previously been held for taking part in anti-war demonstrations.
The main official criminal investigation agency in Russia, the Investigative Committee, claims to have detained Daria Trepova in connection with the killing of the 40-year-old pro-war blogger who was killed in a bombing at a cafe in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
One of the most well-known military bloggers in Russia, Tatarsky—whose real name was Maxim Fomin—had supplied a continuous commentary on the country’s invasion of Ukraine. On Telegram, he had more than 560,000 subscribers.
Following the explosion on Sunday, the Russian interior ministry added Trepova to its wanted list on Monday. She is alleged to have been held at a St. Petersburg property.
Trepova is an “active supporter” of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, also known as ACF or FBK, according to Russian counterterrorism officials.
Alexei Navalny, the leader of the opposition, formed the non-profit organization that has looked into corruption among senior Russian authorities.
Navalny is presently incarcerated in Russia for alleged fraud and contempt of court charges after being poisoned with the novichok nerve toxin in 2020, an attack for which he blamed Vladimir Putin.
The organization has previously been designated a “foreign agent” and outlawed in Russia, yet it still operates there.
Russian counterterrorism officials have classified the incident as a terror assault, alleging that Ukrainian special services plotted it and that “collaborators” from the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation were engaged.
While opposing the war in Ukraine, Trepova’s husband, Dmitry Rylov, remarked that his wife “would never kill” in an interview with the Russian news outlet SVTV News.
“I think my wife was set up. She would certainly not have been able to accomplish that on her alone, “said he.
Along with Daria, Rylov, a member of the extreme opposition Libertarian Party of Russia (LPR), declared that such activities are unacceptable even though they do not support the war in Ukraine.
“I am positive that if she had known, she would never have consented to this.”
Bomb Was Hidden in a Gift For a Blogger
In the historic center of St. Petersburg, Tatarsky was leading a conversation when he was killed in a bomb at a cafe on the banks of the Neva River.
The explosive that killed Tatarsky, according to investigators, was concealed in a bust of the blogger who had recently received it as a present from the suspect.
Before the explosion, CCTV appears to show Trepova carrying a box into the cafe that Russian officials allege contains the bust.
In comments captured on film, a witness claimed that Nastya, who claimed to be at the event, asked Tatarsky questions and engaged in conversation.
Tatarsky and Nastya laughed and joked. Following that, she went to the door, retrieved the bust, and gave it to Tatarsky.
According to reports, the explosion happened after he placed the bust on a nearby table.
According to certain media accounts, Trepova might not have known that the bust was used to convey the explosive device and that it was hidden inside.
The bomb also left some 30 individuals injured, with 10 of them reportedly in severe condition, according to the authorities.
Comparisons to Darya Dugina’s Death
If Tatarsky was intentionally targeted, it would mark the second murder on Russian soil of a person connected to the conflict in Ukraine.
The Toyota Land Cruiser Darya Dugina was traveling in was destroyed when an alleged explosive device detonated on it in August of last year, killing the daughter of a supporter of President Putin.
The incident was instantly attributed to Ukraine by military bloggers and nationalistic pundits, who also likened the bombing to Ms. Dugina’s murder in August of last year despite no one having formally claimed responsibility.
Russian domestic terrorism was cited as the cause of the explosion by Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser for Ukraine.