(Moscow) The young Russian who planted a booby-trap statuette that killed a famous military blogger supporting the attack in Ukraine on Sunday was charged on Tuesday with participating in “a terrorist act” as an organized group, investigators said.
Daria Trepova, 26, was also charged with illegal possession of explosives, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement. According to these articles of the Penal Code, she risks life imprisonment.
“Trepova, acting on instructions from people operating from Ukraine, brought a statuette filled with explosives to a cafe in central St. Petersburg (northwest) and gave it […] to Maxim Fomin,” said indicated this source.
The suspect, who admitted having brought the statuette but did not mention a link with Ukraine, was transferred during the day to a Moscow court which must decide on her placement in preventive detention, noted a photographer from the AFP.
On Sunday, blogger Maxim Fomin, known under the pseudonym of Vladlen Tatarsky, was killed in this cafe where he was speaking at a conference of an organization called “Cyber Z Front” favorable to the offensive in Ukraine. The cafe is owned by the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigojine.
Mr. Prigojine met with militants of this group in the devastated cafe, at the very place where the bomb exploded, according to images released Tuesday by his press service.
“Despite the death of Vladlen Tatarsky […] the Cyber Z Front must have a new impetus, a new breath, and become a real civic organization,” he said.
The day before, the Russian authorities accused Ukraine and the organization of the imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny of having fomented this attack, accusations denied by Kyiv.
The suspect, Daria Trepova, appeared in images published by Russian media where she is seen questioning the statuette, then staying in the room before the explosion, then strolling in front of the cafe entrance after the attack.
“These monsters not only want the defeat of Russia and the death of our motherland, but punish their own compatriots,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Telegram on Tuesday in a message aimed at the liberal Russian opposition.
He refers to the fact that Maxime Fomin was born in Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine.