The number of wounded rises to 32. ISW: “Killing of Russian propagandist possible warning to Wagner”
A woman resident in St. Petersburg is wanted on suspicion of the murder of Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, killed yesterday in a bar in St. Petersburg. Earlier it seemed that the woman had already been arrested, but today the Russian Interior Ministry has placed Darya Trepova on the wanted list in connection with the explosion.
According to the Russian news agency Fontanka, Russian law enforcement agencies conducted searches in the Pushkinsky district of St. Petersburg. “The search ended in an apartment allegedly connected to a girl suspected of involvement in the explosion,” she wrote, adding that a woman, presumably the girl’s mother, was taken from the house.
The Russian media yesterday reported that Tatarsky, whose real name was Maksym Fomin, was killed by a device hidden in a statuette which a woman donated to the blogger shortly before the outbreak. According to the first information provided by the investigators, at least 200 grams of explosives were used. Fomin, followed by over 560,000 people on Telegram, was known for his pro-Putin positions and total support for the invasion of Ukraine and had appeared as a guest of the pro-war group called Cyber Front Z. The Russian authorities have opened a murder investigation.
And in the meantime the number of people injured in the explosion rose to 32. Of these, 10 are in serious condition. The explosion devastated the room, also destroying the windows. According to information reported by Anton Gerashenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the place was allegedly attributable in the past to Yevgheny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenaries.
THE ANALYSIS – According to analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the killing of the blogger can be understood as a warning to the head of the Wagner group Yevgeny Prigozhin. “Fomin’s killing in a Wagner-linked bar in St. Petersburg could reveal further rifts in the Kremlin and his inner circle,” reads a report. Fomin’s assassination – underlines the ISW – could be proof that Vladimir Putin’s tolerance for military bloggers is “generally weakening”, but it could also be the result of the “closeness of Fomin and Prigozhin”. “Fomin’s murder in Prigozhin’s bar is likely part of a larger escalation of internal Russian conflicts involving the Wagner group. Fomin was a critic of the Russian military command and the Russian Defense Ministry.”