Tatarsky made his name by publishing videos analysing Russia's offensive in Ukraine


  • Pro-Kremlin military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was seen calling the suspect to sit beside him
  • Suspect Daria Trepova was seen covering her face with her hands in one angle of the video
  • The bomb-laden gift exploded when Tatarsky tried to put it back in the box

A video showed the moment a small statue embedded with a bomb exploded inside a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, killing a prominent pro-war Russian military blogger who supports Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the footage shared by Russian news site 112, accused assassin Daria Trepova was seen initially trying to leave the room after giving a box containing a small bust to military propagandist Maxim Fomim, better known as Vladlen Tatarsky.

However, Tatarsky called Trepova to come and sit beside him.

"Nastya, Nastya, come sit here," Tatarsky said, using the pseudonym she allegedly went by, the New York Post reported.

Tatarsky was seen touching and admiring the statue. "Oh, what a handsome guy! Is that me?" he joked.

One angle of the video showed Trepova covering her face with her hands moments before the explosion.

Tatarsky was putting the bust back inside the box while being asked a question when it exploded, footage showed.

After the explosion, Trepova was seen outside the cafe while other Russians were bent over in pain and covered in blood.

The explosion that killed Tatarsky also injured 30 others.

Trepova was immediately arrested and detained following the incident.

Russian investigators later released a video in which Trepova confessed that she brought the statue into the cafe.

Russia called the incident a terrorist attack and blamed it on Ukraine and the organization of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

"The terrorist attack was planned by Ukrainian security services with the help of agents working with the so-called Anti-Corruption Foundation," Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, referring to Navalny's organization.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairperson of the Russian Security Council, accused the opposition of "waging a war" against ordinary Russian citizens.

Medvedev said terrorists should be "exterminated like rabid dogs."

Ukraine's presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak denied his country's involvement in the incident, saying that the "question of when domestic terrorism would become an instrument of internal political fight was a matter of time."

Kira Yarmysh, a spokesperson for Navalny's foundation, also rejected Russia's accusation, but they are already expecting that the jailed opposition leader would also be charged with terrorism.

Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who heads the Wagner paramilitary group, said he used to own the cafe, known as "Street Food Bar No. 1."

Prigozhin claimed that he turned it over to the ultra-nationalist group Cyber Front Z to conduct seminars there. The group organized the event in which an explosion killed Tatarsky.

Tatarsky came from the Russian-controlled Donetsk region in Ukraine and took part in armed conflict in the region in 2014.

Tatarsky gained prominence as a blogger by publishing videos analyzing the situation on the Ukrainian battlefield and offering advice to Russian troops.

Russian police investigators inspect the damaged cafe in  Saint Petersburg following the deadly blast