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High-profile Russian propagandist killed in explosion in St Petersburg cafe

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 2, 2023 8:13 PM 2 min read
A photo posted on Russian Telegram channels of the outside of a cafe in St Petersburg where propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky was killed in an explosion on April 2, 2023. (Telegram)
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An explosion in a cafe in central St. Petersburg killed Russian propagandist and war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky and injured 25 other people on April 2, Russian media reported.

Russia's Interior Ministry confirmed Tatarsky's death, stating that the causes of the explosion are under investigation.

The cafe reportedly once belonged to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of notorious Russian private military organization the Wagner Group, which continues to play a key role in Russia's war against Ukraine.

A video posted to Telegram showed a large detonation going off on the first floor of a large building in St. Petersburg, where Tatarsky was reportedly hosting an event for followers of his coverage of the war.

According to unconfirmed reports on Telegram channels, the explosive was concealed in a trophy that Tatarsky was given at the event.

Russian outlet Fontanka reported that according to people in attendance, the explosion happened five minutes after a female visitor handed Tatarsky the trophy, thought to contain several hundred grams of explosive material.

A screenshot of a video circulated on Russian social media reportedly showing propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky receiving the trophy allegedly containing the explosives that killed him at an event in St Petersburg on April 2, 2023. (Telegram)

Tatarsky, who was born Maksim Fomin in the now-occupied parts of Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine, was one of the most well-known "independent" propaganda correspondents, consistently agitating for the further conquering of Ukrainian territory.

A photo of Russian propagandist and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky posted on his personal Telegram account, which has over 560,000 followers. (Telegram)

The military blogger's Telegram channel, where he posted news, analysis, video and photo material from the front lines has over half a million followers.

Tatarsky reportedly served time in prison in Ukraine since 2011 but managed to join the Russian armed forces during the beginning of Russia's war in 2014.

Russia’s key attack force, Wagner Group, embroiled in conflict with regular army
The battle for Bakhmut has revealed a decade-long covert conflict in Russia’s Armed Forces. On one side, there is the regular Russian military. On the other side, Wagner Group, Russia’s most high-profile mercenary outfit. Wagner was founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a confidante of Russian President V…
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