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Russian war blogger killed by explosion in St Petersburg cafe

Well-known Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was killed by a bomb blast in a St Petersburg cafe on Sunday in what appeared to be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure closely associated with the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s state Investigative Committee said it had opened a murder investigation. St Petersburg’s governor said that 25 people were wounded and 19 of them were being treated in hospital.

It was not immediately known who was behind the killing. The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Sunday he would “not blame the Kyiv regime” for it.

But another leading Russian official pointed the finger at Ukraine, without providing evidence. A Ukrainian presidential adviser said “domestic terrorism” was breaking out in Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry made no accusations of involvement in the attack, but said silence in Western capitals exposed hypocrisy over expressions of concern for journalists.

Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, had more than 560,000 followers on Telegram and was one of the most prominent of the military bloggers who have championed Russia’s war effort in Ukraine while often criticising the army top brass.

“We’ll defeat everyone, we’ll kill everyone, we’ll rob everyone we like it,” he was shown saying in a video last September at a Kremlin ceremony in which President Vladimir Putin claimed four partly occupied regions of Ukraine as Russian territory – a move rejected as illegal by most countries.

TASS news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying the bomb was hidden in a miniature statue that was handed to Tatarsky as he addressed a group of people in the cafe.

Mash, a Telegram channel with links to Russian law enforcement, posted a video that appeared to show Tatarsky, microphone in hand, being presented with a statuette of a helmeted soldier. It said the explosion happened minutes later.

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online news platform - Politics, Sport & Entertainment. Prevail Inegbenose hails from Irrua, Esan Central LGA of Edo State. He studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. Prevail Inegbenose is a veteran journalist with 15 years of active and practical journalism. He has authored so many write-ups, a lot of which had been published in the newspapers, magazines and social media. Hence Prevail Inegbenose is a Journalist, Writer, Researcher, Author, Communication Expert and Consultant, Social Media Influencer, Project Management Expert, Peace Ambassador and Advocate of Good Governance and Better Society. He's a Pastor, in fact the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja Nigeria.

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