Russian pro-military blogger killed in cafe blast

Originally published at: Russian pro-military blogger killed in cafe blast | Boing Boing


In video released by authorities - most likely recorded under duress - Darya Trepova is heard admitting she handed over a statuette that later blew up.
But in the footage released, she does not say she knew there would be an explosion, nor admit any further role.


But Tatarsky was himself aligned with Wagner.

In a statement, Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee claimed the attack was “planned by the special services of Ukraine with the involvement of agents from those who had cooperated with the so-called Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund [Foundation]”.

But Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner paramilitary group, said in an audio message he would “not blame the Kyiv regime” for it. “I think it is the work of a group of radicals not linked to a government,” he said in a statement. Prigozhin added that the cafe where the incident occurred previously belonged to him.


If the too-obvious answer is that Ukrainian agents were responsible, a gambler would put his money on Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mercenary chief who has carved a powerful position for himself propping up Russia’s dismal invasion and constantly criticizes its military brass.

My money is on the military faction, sending a message to the warlord faction (Prigozhin/Kadyrov) with which this scumbag was aligned. The GRU likes assassination by bomb and occasionally has to remind everyone that criticism of their conduct of the war can only go so far.

As with Dugin’s daughter, everyone then publicly blames Ukrainian agents and/or local radicals, but they all know who’s really responsible.


Some old school Spy vs Spy shit right there. It will be interesting if this was a Russian faction or Ukrainian that did this.


It’s difficult to see that Ukrainian spy agencies would gain much from blowing up this guy. A covert assassination op on hostile territory is difficult and risky, even against an unprotected target like a blogger. If your operatives get grabbed, you could lose your whole network, as well as handing the enemy a propaganda victory. And what did killing Fomin actually achieve? It didn’t change the military picture in any way, and it created a useful martyr for the Russians. The same is true of the attack that killed Dariya Dugina; even if they’d hit her father – assumed to be the real target – the strategic gains would have been pretty much non-existent.

Perhaps there are other factors at work, but I’d think that Ukrainian agents would have better things to do with their time. Killing randos cheering for the war, even very visible ones, probably serves Moscow better than Kyiv.

And then there’s this, via the BBC:

Russian officials say the murder was planned and organised from the territory of Ukraine, and that the suspect is a supporter of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), headed by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

The Russians now have not just a martyr but a way to tie together a foreign enemy, the anti-war movement, and the domestic political opposition. How very very … convenient.


What they would gain is the general unease and worry of the Russian populace. The war is hundreds of miles away and for the most part not directly affecting them. A targeted explosion killing a propagandist at home has an effect on morale and how much the general populace can stomach the war. It makes the leadership look weak that they can’t protect people at home.

Even if you aren’t directly involved with the military or the war and just trying to live your life, you might get caught in an explosion at a cafe or supermarket. Having a target means they can infiltrate and target specific people, not just random soft targets, making other potential targets worry as well.

Basically it’s a morale buster.

That said - I have no idea if it was Ukraine or an internal faction. Given this guy was just a blogger, you would think if it was the Russians they would just do the old “throw him out of a window” trick, or shoot him in an alley, vs something so flashy. But maybe they did it to send a warning to those factions.


The woman who apparently handed over the figurine has long hair, and Tatarsky calls her Nastya. The woman who was arrested has short hair and is called Darya Trepova.


Maybe it was a rival blogger? Those people will do anything for clicks.


Most importantly, he was a classic soft target – someone who was a visible face of the war and yet lacked the protection of a government official or army personnel. The event at which he was speaking was publicised and the woman accused of bringing the bomb to the event was even reported to have joked with him about whether or not she was carrying an explosive device hidden inside a bust of a soldier. Soon after, it detonated.


If “Nastya” is the woman in the black coat, I’d say that she definitely didn’t know the statue was going to go bang, because she lets Tatarsky direct her to sit down right where she’ll be injured or killed by the blast when it does go off.


He was not Russian, he was Ukrainian from the Donbas region.

He was born in Donetsk but was granted Russian citizenship as a reward for going turncoat against Ukraine and joining the sham “republic” created by Putin. At the time of his well-earned death he was a Russian national as far as both countries were concerned.


Well, according to the shirtless wonder, all Ukrainians are Russian and therefore all Russians are Ukrainian! /s


The bank robber, escaped convict and war criminal found a regime that valued his “character” – at least before one of his fellow citizens blowed him up (blowed him up real good).




Vladlen Tatarsky: “We’ll defeat everyone, we’ll kill everyone, we’ll rob everyone we need to. All will be as we like it”

Yuri Kots on state TV today: “Vladlen’s utterances were what they fear most - the spiritual element of our nation, the civilisational element of our people”


We got a similarity score of 96.3% when we ran these images through Amazon Rekognition. Another piece of software, concluded there was a “high probability” they were the same person.

There is also a distinct mark in the middle of the woman’s forehead visible in both images - and this mark is visible in other images of Ms Trepova.


Amid all the oddities of the reporting it does feel a bit like those two women that “pranked” Kim Jong-Nam.