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New details emerge from interrogation of Tatarsky’s suspected killer – media

Darya Trepova claims she was set up, according to Fontanka news outlet

The main suspect in the murder of prominent Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, Darya Trepova, has confessed to investigators details of her involvement in the incident, according to the news outlet Fontanka. 

Tatarsky was killed in an explosion on Sunday at a cafe in St. Petersburg, after Trepova handed him a gift, a statuette, that contained an improvised explosive device (IED). The bombing, which also wounded 40 people, has been classified as a terrorist attack.

According to Fontanka, Trepova claims that it all started when she made friends with a certain activist online and was offered to move to Kiev to take up an editorial position at an unnamed media channel. Before she could be hired, however, she was told that she had to undergo an internship to “prove that she knows how to deal with Russian propaganda.”

Her first task was to go to the Listva bookstore in St. Petersburg and strike up a friendship with Tatarsky, who was holding an event there. Afterwards, she was reportedly told via Telegram that she had to travel to Moscow. There, a taxi driver, who was likely unaware of what he was doing, gave Trepova a package that contained a golden figurine. 

Upon receiving the package, Trepova was instructed to go back to St. Petersburg to meet with Tatarsky at the Street Bar 1 café, where he was holding another event for his followers. She was allegedly told to give the figurine to Tatarsky as a gift, and “come up with something about the heroes of the Wagner PMC,” according to Fontanka.

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A destroyed cafe  in St. Petersburg, where an explosion took the life of war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky (Maxim Fomin)
Murder of Vladlen Tatarsky: What we know so far

“Then, we will act,” Trepova was reportedly told by her handlers, who said they had booked her a flight to Uzbekistan, where she would be transported to Kiev. Trepova reported her every move to her contact, sending messages such as “I’m arriving at the cafe,” “I’m about to present the figurine to Tatarsky,” and “I’ve handed it over.”

Trepova reportedly insists that she did not know the figurine contained a bomb and has repeatedly claimed that she was set up. Fontanka says her arguments seem plausible since she did not leave the building after handing over the statuette, and did not hesitate to sit next to it when Tatarsky invited her to join him on stage not long before it detonated.

Fontanka reports that explosives experts are now examining the blast site to confirm that the bomb was activated via SIM card, which would have made it possible to detonate it from anywhere in the world.

April 04, 2023 at 06:47PM

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