Pro-Russian propagandist killed in blast in St. Petersburg

A well-known pro-Russian soldier turned propagandist by the name of Vladlen Tatarsky died in an explosion that occurred at a cafe in St. Petersburg on Sunday, according to the Russian government, which also left at least 25 other people hurt. Tatarsky was seen on camera looking at a miner monument on his phone before the explosion. Tatarsky himself was a former miner who came from a Ukrainian village well known for its heavy industries and coal mining. Tatarsky exclaimed, “Such a gorgeous guy,” as he gazed at the monument, before joking, “I’m much prettier!”

The statue’s secret explosives went off after the woman gave it to Tatarsky, killing him instantly. The survivors of the incident reported that Tatarsky received the statue just five minutes before to the explosion. Darya Trepova, 26, a native of St. Petersburg, was said to be a suspect in the attack, according to Russian media. Trepova had already been detained in February 2022 for taking part in antiwar protests.

Maxim Fomin, whose real name was Vladlen Tatarsky, was born in Marinka, an eastern Ukrainian city that had previously been ruled by the Soviet Union. He managed to escape prison in 2014 when Russian-backed forces overran the area while he was serving a term for a bank robbery conviction. Tatarsky subsequently enlisted in the armed forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a puppet government in Eastern Ukraine set up by Moscow. Subsequently, he rose to prominence as a military blogger, amassing roughly 560,000 Telegram subscribers. Tatarsky, despite his focus on blogging, was frequently spotted in Ukraine while carrying a weapon, donning full battle gear, and carrying a Russian military ID.

Tatarsky became well-known outside of Russia for his extreme viewpoints, which included calling Ukrainians “brain-damaged Russians,” calling for greater strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, and praising the massacre of Ukrainian people in Bucha. In October of the previous year, Tatarsky was heard declaring, “We will conquer and kill anyone, and pillage everyone we need to,” in response to a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin.


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