Anti-war activist detained for alleged assassination of pro-Putin blogger using hidden explosive device

A Russian anti-war activist, Daria Trepova, has been apprehended by authorities for her alleged involvement in the assassination of pro-Putin blogger Maxim Fomin. Fomin was also known by the pseudonym Vladlen Tatarsky.

The incident, which took place in a St. Petersburg café, was labeled a “terrorist act” by the Russion government.

Tatarsky was speaking at a political discussion at Street Food Bar No. 1 when the explosion occurred, killing him and injuring over 30 people. Surveillance footage showed Trepova entering the café with a large cardboard box believed to contain a sculpture filled with explosives. Shortly after Tatarsky received the explosive-laden bust from Trepova, the bomb detonated.

Tatarsky was a well-known Telegram blogger with 500,000 followers. He supported Putin’s actions in Ukraine and criticized Russia’s military establishment for not being more aggressive in the conflict.

Tatarsky had connections to Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group, a close ally of Putin, and the former owner of the café where the explosion occurred.

Darya Trepova, a Russian citizen with a history of protesting against the war, was arrested in a St. Petersburg apartment. During a videotaped interrogation, she admitted to delivering the explosive-filled sculpture to Tatarsky but expressed regret and claimed she was set up.

Trepova’s husband, Dmitry Rylov, believes his wife was incapable of committing the act independently and would not have agreed to it if she knew the consequences.

The Kremlin is framing Tatarsky’s assassination as a terrorist act, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that evidence links Ukraine to the bombing. Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Committee alleges that Ukraine received assistance from members of the Anti-Corruption Fund, an organization founded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Ukrainian authorities deny responsibility, suggesting that internal forces may be at play.

The attack on Tatarsky marks the second high-profile assassination in Russia in recent months, following the death of journalist Darya Dugina in August. With tensions continuing to escalate, Russia’s political landscape remains volatile.