(Reuters) – Well-known Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was killed in a blast in a cafe in St Petersburg on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported, quoting sources as saying it was caused by an explosive device.
Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, had more than 560,000 followers on Telegram and was one of the most prominent of the influential military bloggers who have provided an often critical running commentary on Russia’s war in Ukraine.
He was among hundreds of attendees at a lavish Kremlin ceremony last September to proclaim Russia’s annexation of four partly occupied regions of Ukraine, a move that most countries at the U.N. condemned as illegal.
According to a St Petersburg website, the explosion occurred at a cafe once owned by Yevgeny Prgozhin. He is the founder of the Wagner private military that is fighting for Russia’s interests in Ukraine.
According to RIA news agency, six more people were also injured by the blast. It was not clear who was behind the blast.
Tatarsky could have been deliberately assassinated if he was a figure connected to the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s Federal Security Service accused Ukraine’s secret services last August of killing Darya Dugina, the daughter of an ultra-nationalist, in a car bomb attack near Moscow that President Vladimir Putin called “evil”. Ukraine denied any involvement.
(Reporting from Reuters; Writing and Editing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing By Frances Kerry
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