Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, known for his pro-war views, is hospitalized after his car exploded in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, in what appears to be an assassination attempt, Russian news agency RBC reported on May 6.
Prilepin, who co-chairs the Russian political party “A Just Russia,” received leg injuries, and the injury is serious, RBC reported, citing a source close to the Russian Interior Ministry. It added that Prilepin was still conscious after his Audi Q7 car exploded near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow, and he was taken to the nearest hospital. A Telegram channel said it occurred in the village of Pionerskoye.
Photos and videos shared on the internet show a light-colored car flipped around and destroyed.
The explosive device could have been attached under the hood of a car when Prilepin stopped at a cafe to eat on his way to Moscow, according to RBC. A source told RBC that Prilepin was in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine's Donbas recently and then spent a week in Nizhny Novgorod, where he lives with his family.
In late January, Prilepin's press service said that he signed a contract with the Russian National Guard and went to fight in Russia's war against Ukraine.
Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that Prilepin's press service said following the explosion that the writer is "alright," and what happened in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast has not been established yet.
Some media reports alleged that the driver was killed.
Russia's Investigative Committee said investigators and criminologists drove to the scene to investigate what happened. The regional governor said law enforcement officers are now investigating the causes of the incident.
The Crimean Tatar partisan movement Atesh said it was behind the attack.
“The surprise worked. Zakhar is in the hospital," Atesh said on its Telegram channel.
No one has confirmed or denied Atesh's claim of responsibility yet.
There have been multiple attempts to assassinate pro-war Russians and Russia's proxies in occupied territories of Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Some of them were successful. Many believe that partisan movements or Ukraine's Security Service could be behind such operations. Ukraine hasn't claimed responsibility for any of them.
Back in April, an explosion in a cafe in central St. Petersburg killed Russian propagandist and war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky on April 2.