Russian Military Blogger Dies in Cafe Explosion

Woman reportedly handed a box to Vladlen Tatarsky, a Ukraine invasion supporter, that blew up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2023 2:45 PM CDT
Russian Military Blogger Dies in Cafe Explosion
Emergency workers gather Sunday at the site of an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia.   (AP Photo)

An explosion tore through a cafe in Russia's second-largest city Sunday, killing a prominent military blogger who had supported the fighting in Ukraine. Russia's Interior Ministry said more than a dozen people were wounded. Russian news reports said blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was killed and 16 people were hurt in the explosion at the Street Food Bar No. 1 cafe in St. Petersburg. The reports did not mention any claim of responsibility or provide details beyond saying that a cafe visitor carried an "explosive device." The Interior Ministry said everyone at the cafe at the time of the blast was being "checked for involvement," the AP reports.

Russia media and military bloggers said that Tatarsky was meeting with the public and that a woman presented him with a box containing a statuette that apparently exploded. A patriotic Russian group that organized the event said it had taken security precautions but added that "regrettably, they proved insufficient." Since the fighting in Ukraine began in February 2022, various fires and explosions have occurred in Russia without any clear connection to the conflict. Tatarsky was the pen name for Maxim Fomin, who had accumulated more than 560,000 followers on his Telegram messaging app channel. He was known for his blustery pronouncements and pro-war rhetoric. After Russia's annexation of four regions of Ukraine last year, Tatarsky posted a video in which he vowed: "That’s it. We'll defeat everybody, kill everybody, rob everybody we need to. It will all be the way we like it. God be with you."

(More Russia stories.)

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