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Who Is Daria Trepova? Russia Claims Ukraine Is Responsible For The ‘St. Petersburg Cafe Blast’

Daria Trepova is making headlines for all the brutal reasons. The 26-year-old anti-war protestor has been detained by Russia for her involvement in a cafe blast that occurred in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The blast resulted in the killing of famed military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky.

While her husband, Dmitry Rylov feels that she’s being set up, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced her arrest and she was added to a wanted list following the brutal explosion. Here’s all you need to know about Daria Trepova.

Who Is Daria Trepova?

Termed a “Female Assasin” by the Russian authorities, Daria Trepova is a suspect in the recent blast that occurred in St. Petersburg cafe on Sunday. The 26-year-old anti-war protestor was detained by the Russian authorities, who have formally charged her with terrorism offenses for the killing of famed military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky.

The suspect is being transferred from St. Petersburg to Moscow and appeared at the Basmanny district court on Tuesday (April 4). She was listed on the wanted list by the country’s interior ministry and her arrest was later announced by the Investigative Committee of Russia shortly after that.

While there is not much information available on her personal life, her husband, Dmitry Rylov is convinced that his wife has been set up by the Russian authorities. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the blast as investigators claim to have evidence that the attack was a pre-meditated move by the war-torn country.

Trepova, 26, was charged under the criminal code pertaining to a “terrorist act committed by an organized group that resulted in the deliberate infliction of death on a person” and the “illegal carrying of explosive devices committed by an organized group,” per a court statement.

Is Unkraine Involved In The Blast?

Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, was killed following the blast in St. Petersburg. He was a famous war blogger and an ardent supporter of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. He had more than 560,000 followers on Telegram.

The Russian investigators allege that Daria Trepova acted at the behest of Ukraine, carried a “statuette filled with explosives” and handed it over to Vladlen Tatarsky. As the statuette exploded, it resulted in killing him and injuring more than 30 other people. Trepova will remain in detention past June 2.

The whole basis of these claims stands on a video which shows Daria’s prior interaction with Tatarsky. In the video, a box can be seen being placed on a table in the cafe before the suspect sat down.

Russia’s state media TASS reported that “preliminarily, it was Trepova who handed Tatarsky a figurine with explosives” at the cafe. On the other hand, a brief excerpt of her interrogation says otherwise.

In this excerpt, Trepova appears under duress as she sighs repeatedly. For instance, when asked during her interrogation if she knew why she was detained, the suspect replied: “I would say for being at the scene of Vladlen Tatarsky’s murder… I brought the statuette there which blew up.”

Asked who gave it to her she responded: “Can I tell you later please?” She was also asked about what she did at the cafe. Trepova replied that she brought the figurine, but declined to answer who gave it to her.

The Russian authorities have released this video but it is unclear if she was speaking under duress. Coming back to the question, of whether Ukraine is involved in this attack or not, Trepova was arrested in the early days of Russia’s war in Ukraine whilst she protested. This raises a lot of questions.

Human rights advocates and international observers have revealed that Russian police routinely “use torture and ill-treatment to extract confessions, and Russia’s security service uses coercion and entrapment to recruit informants among Russia’s opposition groups”. What do you think about this case?

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


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