Leading Russian military correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky (real name Maksim Fomin), has been reportedly killed in an explosion in Saint Petersburg on Sunday.
RIA Novosti has claimed, citing a security source, that the blogger died in an attack on the city’s ‘Street Bar’ café, which also left more than a dozen injured.
The venue belongs to “Wagner” PMC founder Evgeny Prigozhin, according to local news outlet Fontanka. Moscow daily Kommersant says this was confirmed by his Concord catering company in 2020.
Tatarsky joined the Donbass militias back in 2014 in the wake of the Maidan coup in Kiev. He has since become known in Russia as a blogger and a correspondent reporting on the situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Tatarsky has also authored several books.
According to Readovka news outlet, the man was hosting a live event for supporters of his work when an explosion ripped through the building, blowing the café’s glass front into the street.
Emergency services have reported that an improvised explosive device was detonated near the stage in the cafe.
The incident is reminiscent of another attack on a promiment Russia media figure, who supported the military operation in Ukraine. In August 2022, Darya Dugina was assassinated in a car blast.
She was the daughter of philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who Western media have described as an ideologue of Russian nationalism. According to some reports, he might have been the real target of the attack. Russian security services later claimed that Ukrainian agents were behind the killing.