Russian authorities on Monday blamed Ukrainian intelligence for the cafe bombing that killed Russian military blogger and war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky in St. Petersburg.
Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee claimed the attack was “plotted by Ukrainian special services” and also involved members of a foundation started by Alexey Navalny, a jailed Russian opposition figure.
According to The Associated Press, Ukrainian officials have not responded directly to the accusation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday brushed questions about the bombing, saying he didn’t think about what happens inside Russia.
“I don’t think about what is happening in St. Petersburg or Moscow. Russia should think about this. I am thinking about our country,” Zelensky said.
Russian officials say Tatarsky was killed by an explosive that was placed inside a figurine that was handed to him by Darya Trepov, a 26-year-old Russian woman who has been detained on suspicion of being involved in the murder. According to Russian media, Trepov admitted to handing Tatarsky the figurine but said she didn’t know it was explosive, and she hasn’t said who gave her the figure.
Tatarsky’s killing was 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.