Last Updated on April 2, 2023
Russian journalist Vladlen Tatarsky was killed today in a St. Petersburg cafe after opening what he thought was a packaged gift, which was hand-delivered to him by a young woman and turned out to be an improvised explosive device. Tatarsky, who has reported from the front lines in contested regions of Ukraine, was at the cafe as part of a public gathering in support of the Russian war effort and was slated to address the crowd as a guest speaker.
Vladlen Tatarsky, a Russian journalist with more than half a million followers on his Telegram channel, was killed in an explosion at a St. Petersburg cafe, where he was set to speak to a crowd of Russian patriots about the ongoing war effort in Ukraine and his time spent on the front lines and elsewhere, covering the conflict.
According to eyewitnesses to the explosive attack, a young woman with blonde hair hand-delivered a package, disguised as a gift and containing a small statue, to Tatarsky. The package though was a bomb, and the explosion that followed its opening ended Tatarsky’s life, and injured sixteen other people.
“At 6:13 PM on April 2, 2023, the police received information about a blast in Universitetsjaya Embankment 25. As a result, one person was killed. It was war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky. Sixteen people were wounded,” Russia’s Interior Ministry revealed in a statement announcing the bomb attack.
Security footage taken from the cafe shows a young woman, who is suspected to be the attack culprit, carrying a box. Russian authorities are circulating the image in an effort to hunt her down.
⚡️Picture shows a photo of the suspect in the explosion in St. Petersburg with the very box that she gave the military journalist Vladlen Tatarsky. pic.twitter.com/EbHCpJIX3g
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) April 2, 2023
The bomb killing of Tatarsky is the second such assassination carried out on Russian soil and attributed to Ukrainian cells. As National File has previously reported, Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian nationalist philosopher and close Putin ally Aleksander Dugin, was killed in a targeted car bombing earlier in the war, on way back home from a community festival.
In addition to Russian reporters like Tatarsky, Ukraine has taken a hardline position against any journalists it deems to be too “pro-Russia,” including Westerners, like NBC News correspondent Keir Simmons. Simmons was added to Ukraine’s kill list after reporting on the pro-Russia geopolitical views of Crimeans.
The killing of Tatarsky comes on the heels of Russia’s announcement that law enforcement had arrested a Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich, on charges of espionage, after he was caught trying to obtain classified Russian military secrets from government officials, under the guise of press interviews.