Prominent Russian Military Journalist Killed in St. Petersburg Blast

At least 19 others were wounded by a bomb detonated inside a cafe

A prominent Russian military blogger and war correspondent was killed in an explosion in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

According to Russian media, Maksim Fomin, who went by the name Vladlen Tatarsky, was hosting an event at a cafe when an explosion killed him and wounded at least 19 others.

Tatarsky was known for his extensive coverage of the conflict in Ukraine on Telegram. He previously fought for the Donbas militias of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics following the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych. He later left military service and became a war correspondent.

According to Russian law enforcement, Tatarsky was the intended target of the attack. “The makeshift explosive device that went off in a St. Petersburg cafe was stuffed with striking elements. The target was war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky,” a spokesman for Russian law enforcement agencies said.

The spokesman said the explosive was about the size of a soap bar and was hidden in a figurine that was presented to Tatarsky in the cafe.

The incident marks the second high-profile assassination inside Russia since the invasion was launched last year. In August 2022, Darya Dugina, the daughter of the prominent Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, was killed in a car bombing outside Moscow.

The New York Times later reported that the US believes the Ukrainian government was behind Dugina’s killing, although Kyiv officially denies involvement.

While Ukraine’s government is a natural suspect in the Tatarsky killing, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, suggested the assassination was the result of domestic strife inside Russia.

“It begins … Spiders are eating each other in a jar. Question of when domestic terrorism would become an instrument of internal political fight was a matter of time,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.