(GoRealNewsNow.com) – A pro-war Russian military blogger and media correspondent who had recently been criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin has been assassinated in a targeted explosion in a venue owned by Valery Prigozhin, the leader of Putin’s private army, the Wagner Group.
The assassination has reverberated around the globe and has many nations on edge.
The explosion that killed 40-year-old “war correspondent” Vladlen Tatarsky occurred Sunday in a café in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, called “Street Food Bar No. 1.”
Tatarsky has not been a widely-known media figure but was influential among war bloggers and frequently engaged in ultra-nationalist and anti-Ukrainian propaganda, including calls for the death of Ukrainians, The New York Post reported.
At the time of the explosion, he was giving a talk on his reporting from the frontlines in the full-scale invasion that Russian leader Vladimir Putin started against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The war technically started in 2014 when Putin seized the Crimean Peninsula and started an insurgency in the eastern region of Donbas.
The blast that rocked the Street Food Bar café in St. Petersburg on Sunday injured over two dozen people, but Tatarsky – whose real name is Maxim Fomin – was the only one who lost his life.
According to St. Petersburg’s governor, Alexander Beglov, 19 people were hospitalized out of 25 wounded in the explosion.
Russian media and other military bloggers revealed that a woman gave Tatarsky a statuette in a box that exploded during the talk.
The ultranationalist Russian group which organized the event – Cyber Front Z – announced that the military correspondent’s killing was a “targeted” attack, which succeeded despite the precautions taken to protect the event’s participants and audience.
“There was a terrorist attack. We took certain security measures, but unfortunately, they were not enough,” Cyber Front Z wrote on Telegram, as cited by the BBC.
“Condolences to everyone who knew the excellent war correspondent and our friend Vladlen Tatarsky,” it added.
Tatarsky’s own Telegram account has over 560,000 followers. His reports from Ukraine were “known for his blustery, pro-war rhetoric.”
The Russian authorities announced the launch of a murder investigation over the pro-war blogger’s killing and began investigating the event’s attendees.
Tatarsky was born in Makiivka, a town on the front line Ukraine’s Donbas region, but considered himself Russian.
He was the leader of a group of bloggers supporting Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but had recently been critical of how Putin was conducting the war.
“We need to end this state sooner or later. This needs to be our policy,” Tatarsky said on Saturday in his latest video, as he called for the destruction of Ukraine.