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4 Apr, 2023 13:17

New details emerge from questioning of Tatarsky murder suspect – media

Darya Trepova claims she was set up, according to the Fontanka news outlet
New details emerge from questioning of Tatarsky murder suspect – media

The main suspect in the murder of prominent Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, Darya Trepova, has confessed details of her involvement in the bomb attack, according to the Fontanka news outlet. 

Tatarsky was killed in an explosion on Sunday at a café in St. Petersburg, after Trepova handed him a statuette that contained an improvised explosive device (IED). The bombing, which also wounded 40 people, has been classified as a terrorist attack.

According to Fontanka, Trepova claimed to investigators that she had made friends with an activist online and was offered the chance of an editorial position in Kiev at an unnamed media channel. However, before she could be hired, she was told that she had to undergo an internship to “prove that she knows how to deal with Russian propaganda.”

Her first task was to go to the Listva bookstore in St. Petersburg and strike up a friendship with Tatarsky, who was holding an event there. Afterwards, she was reportedly told via Telegram that she had to travel to Moscow. A taxi driver in the capital, who was likely unaware of what he was doing, then gave Trepova a package that contained a golden figurine. 

Upon receiving the package, Trepova was instructed to return to St. Petersburg to meet with Tatarsky at the Street Bar 1 café, where he was holding another event for his followers. She was allegedly told to give the figurine to Tatarsky as a gift, and “come up with something about the heroes of the Wagner PMC,” according to Fontanka.

“Then, we will act,” Trepova was reportedly told by her handlers, who said they had booked her a flight to Uzbekistan, from where she would be transported to Kiev. Trepova reported her every move to her contact, sending messages such as “I’m arriving at the café,” “I’m about to present the figurine to Tatarsky,” and “I’ve handed it over.”

The suspect reportedly insisted that she did not know the figurine contained a bomb, and has repeatedly claimed that she was set up. Fontanka claims that those arguments appear plausible as Trepova did not leave the building after handing over the statuette, and did not hesitate to sit next to it when Tatarsky invited her to join him on stage not long before it detonated.

Fontanka reports that experts are now examining the blast site to confirm that the bomb was activated via SIM card, which would have made it possible to detonate it from anywhere in the world.