Russian authorities Tuesday charged a woman with the assassination of pro-Kremlin blogger Vladlen Tatarsky. Tatarsky died on Monday in a St. Petersburg cafe explosion that has since been linked by Russian officials to Ukraine and jailed critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny.
The Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee alleged the attack was “planned by Ukrainian special services,” and claimed that the suspect, 26-year old Daria Trepova, is an active supporter of Navalny. Meanwhile, Ukraine has denied involvement in the attack. Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak stated that it was only “a matter of time” before “domestic terrorism” was used in Russia. He likened the attack to “spiders eating each other in a jar.”
Tatarsky allegedly went to the cafe on Monday to meet with his supporters. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the notorious Russia-linked paramilitary Wagner Group, owned the cafe. Video shows a young woman, alleged to be Trepova, presenting Tatarsky with a bust of his likeness. The statuette subsequently exploded, killing Tatarsky and injuring 30 others.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs released a video of Trepova in custody, in which she confesses to bringing the statuette, although it is unclear whether Trepova was under duress.
Tatarsky, who boasted over 560,000 followers on the social media site Telegram, was a prominent supporter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At a ceremony held by Putin at the Kremlin last year, Tatarsky recorded a video in which he claimed that “we will defeat everyone, we will kill everyone, we will rob everyone as necessary. Just as we like it.”