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Intense battles are taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on June 8, amid reports that Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive to regain territory is now underway.

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Moscow blames Ukraine for killing propagandist Tatarsky, Zelensky says it's Russia's matter

by Dinara Khalilova April 3, 2023 4:55 PM 2 min read
A photo of Russian propagandist and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky posted on his personal Telegram account, which has over 560,000 followers. (Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee accused the Ukrainian special services of plotting an explosion that killed high-profile Russian propagandist and "war correspondent" Vladlen Tatarsky, Russian state-controlled media outlet RIA Novosti reported on April 3.

According to the committee, "the terrorist attack" involved "agents" cooperating with the Anti-Corruption Foundation established by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

One of them allegedly was Daria Trepova, detained by Russian authorities on suspicion of executing the explosion by handing over a trophy that later blew up to Tatarsky.

The director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, denied his organization's involvement in the April 2 explosion in St. Petersburg that killed the Kremlin propagandist.

"They have been trying to accuse us of terrorism for a long time," Zhdanov said, adding that everything indicates the explosion was organized by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

"They have been doing this since 2014: They poison and kill each other happily, they divide the markets. It's just that not all cases are public," he added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky also commented on Tatarsky's murder at a press conference during his April 3 visit to Chernihiv Oblast, according to Ukrinform news outlet.

"I'm not thinking about what's happening in St. Petersburg or Moscow. Russia should be thinking about that. I'm thinking about our country."

The explosion that killed Tatarsky occurred on April 2 in a cafe that reportedly once belonged to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the notorious Russian private military organization Wagner Group.

A video posted to Telegram showed a 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.

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.

Military: Wagner Group comparable to armies of Hungary, Slovakia in size
The Wagner Group, Russia’s most high-profile mercenary outfit, is now a fully-fledged army equal in size to Hungary or Slovakia’s military personnel, Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command, told the Ukrainian Channel 24.
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