A Russian woman arrested on suspicion of assassinating a Vladimir Putin advocate in a bomb attack has been told she will face life in prison after being charged today.
Daria Trepova, 26, was charged with terrorism offenses after passing a bomb hidden in a statuette of hardline war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky into a St Petersburg cafe on Sunday.
Tatarsky, 40, a staunch supporter of Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, was speaking at a political event at Street Food No 1 cafe when the bomb exploded next to him, killing the preacher and wounding 32 others in what the Kremlin claimed was a “terror attack”.
The head of Wagner’s private army, Yevgeny Prigozhin, visited the bombed-out café – which he owned – earlier today, where he was photographed talking to a group of people. He’s handed the coffee shop over to a national group for meetings.
Video footage released today captured the moment Trepova was handcuffed by police and flown to Moscow under armed escort for further questioning.
Separate footage showed the suspect being handcuffed as he was being escorted through Moscow airport
Trepova was photographed being taken to the Basmanny District Court in Moscow for today’s hearing
The head of Wagner’s private army, Yevgeny Prigozhin, visited the bombed-out cafe – which he owned – earlier today.
She was later taken while being taken to the Basmanny District Court for a hearing in the Russian capital.
This comes after Trepova was photographed with her hands chained to a radiator while being interrogated by Russian investigators yesterday.
Speaking for the first time since the bomb hit, she admitted to carrying the explosives-laden statue but pleaded her innocence by claiming that she had been “raised”.
According to Russian media reports, Trepova was tracked down by police using surveillance cameras, even though she had cut her long blonde hair to change her appearance and rented a different apartment in an apparent attempt to escape.
In the interrogation video, Trepova said she understood why she was being held. When asked why, she said: “For … I would describe it as such, for being at the site of the assassination of Vladlen Tatarsky.”
“I brought the statuette that exploded there,” Trepova said. When asked who gave her the statuette, she replied that she would say “later”.
But Russia’s top anti-terrorism agency claimed – without providing evidence – that Trepova carried out the attack with the help of “Ukrainian special services” and operatives linked to imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
It came after a chilling video emerged showing Trepova, a St Petersburg resident who was previously detained for taking part in anti-war rallies, walking to a café carrying a box containing what may be a statuette containing 450 grams of TNT. – Just minutes ago it exploded.
The ‘statue killer’ Trepova (pictured) is said to face life in prison after being charged today
A video is believed to show Daria Trepova, 26, walking to a cafe carrying a box containing what may be the statuette said to contain 450 grams of TNT.
Investigators charged Trepova (left) with terrorism over the bomb that killed Tatarsky (right)
The Russian Interior Ministry put Trepova on Russia’s most wanted list on suspicion of killing Tatarsky after she fled the scene – but she was arrested within hours of her release.
She now faces the prospect of living behind bars after being charged.
Trepova’s partner, Dmitry Rylov – also in his 20s and a member of the so-called Russian Liberation Army – insisted they were also “established”.
Wagner’s chief Prigozhin had earlier announced that he did not believe Ukrainian forces were behind the attack.
“It is indeed similar to the murder of Daria Duzhina (daughter of a Putin theoretician who was killed in a car explosion last year at the age of 29),” he said. I will not blame the Kiev regime for this.
A picture shows Daria Trepova when she was put on Russia’s most wanted list as released by the Interior Ministry. She has since been arrested and charged
Tatarsky was killed in an explosion at Street Food Cafe No. 1, located in downtown St Petersburg, on Sunday.
I believe it was a group of (Ukrainian) right-wing extremists who did it, which is very unlikely to have any connection with the government.
This comes after the millionaire leader Wagner claimed that Russia took control of the eastern city of Bakhmut, which Moscow spent months trying to seize.
He spoke on camera, holding a Russian flag with the name Tatarsky inscribed in his honour.
Russian investigators also said they had identified a second female suspect, Maria Yaran, 40, involved in the blast. She was reportedly in a hospital in St. Petersburg after the bombing.