Vladlen Tatarsky, an infamous military blogger and supporter of Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, was killed in a bombing at a café in St. Petersburg, Russia. At least 30 others were injured in the blast, Russia’s Health Ministry reported.
Tatarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, is from Makiivka, a city in eastern Ukraine that was previously under control by the Soviet Union. He is now a military blogger advocating for the war on Ukraine. Tatarsky, the man who last year posted a video vowing: “That’s it. We’ll defeat everybody, kill everybody, rob everybody we need to. It will all be the way we like it. God be with you,” has now been killed in what authorities are speculating to be a targeted attack.
A witness to the explosion, Alisa Smotrova, said that a woman who identified herself as Nastya had brought a bust of the blogger as a gift to him. Reportedly, the guards asked Nastya to leave it at the door, suspecting it could be a bomb, which she and Tatarsky laughed about. She then went to the door, grabbed the bust, and showed it to Tatarsky.
Footage captured on a cell phone has been released showing Tatarsky examining the bust, which was a statuette of a miner. Tatarsky was formerly a miner in his Ukrainian hometown, which is known for coal mining and heavy industry. “What a beautiful guy,” Tatarsky said while checking out the bust before joking, “I’m much prettier.” Just a few moments later, Tatarsky was killed instantly by the explosives hidden inside the statute.
On Russian TV, Dmitry Kiselyov, a pro-Kremlin commentator, called the bombing “an act of terror,” adding that the “style and target obviously points to the Ukro-Navis.” Another Russian military blogger, who is grieving the loss of one of their own, called for strikes on “decision-making centers in Kyiv.” The Ukrainian government made a statement denying any responsibility for the bombing.