Daria Trepova charged with terrorism and told she faces life in jail

‘Statue assassin’ Daria Trepova is charged with terrorism and told she faces life in jail over blast that killed Russian blogger – as Wagner boss visits bombed out St Petersburg café

  • Daria Trepova, 26, has been charged with terrorism deliberately causing death
  • Anti-war activist handed Vladlen Tatarsky a statuette with bomb inside at a café
  • Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin owned the café and visited it earlier today  

A Russian woman who was arrested on suspicion of assassinating one of Vladimir Putin’s propagandists in a bomb attack has been told she faces life in jail after being charged today.

Daria Trepova, 26, was charged with terrorism offences after passing a bomb hidden in a statuette to hard-line war reporter Vladlen Tatarsky at a St Petersburg café on Sunday.

Tatarsky, 40, a staunch supporter of Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, had been speaking at a political event at the Street Food No 1 café when the bomb exploded next to him, killing the propagandist and injuring 32 others in what the Kremlin claimed was a ‘terrorist attack’. 

Head of the Wagner private army Yevgeny Prigozhin visited the bombed café – which he owns – earlier today, where he was filmed speaking to a group of people. He had handed the café over to a patriotic group for meetings.

Video footage released today captured the moment that Trepova was handcuffed by police and flown to Moscow under armed guard for further interrogation.

Daria Trepova (pictured at court), 26, has been charged with terrorism over the blast that killed Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarsky

Separate footage showed the handcuffed bomb suspect being escorted through Moscow airport

Trepova was pictured being escorted to the Basmanny district court in Moscow for her hearing today

She was later pictured being escorted into the Basmanny district court for a hearing in the Russian capital. 

It comes after Trepova was filmed with her hands chained to a radiator while being interrogated by Russian investigators yesterday.

Speaking for the first time since the bomb, she admitted to carrying the statue laden with explosives but pleaded her innocence by claiming she was ‘set up’ and did not known what was in the bust.

READ MORE: Who was Vladlen Tatarsky and who is his charged ‘statue assassin’ Daria Trepova? 

According to Russian media reports, police tracked Trepova down using surveillance cameras, though she reportedly cut her long blonde hair short to change her look and rented a different apartment in an apparent attempt to escape. 

In the interrogation video, Trepova said she understood why she has been detained. When asked why, she said: ‘For… I’d put it this way, for being at the assassination site of Vladlen Tatarsky.’

‘I brought the statuette there that exploded,’ Trepova said. When asked who gave her the statuette, she replied that she would say ‘later’. 

But Russia’s top counterterrorism agency claimed – without providing evidence – that Trepova had carried out the attack with the help of ‘Ukrainian special services’ and activists who are linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

It came after a chilling video appeared to show Trepova, a St Petersburg resident who has previously been detained for taking part in anti-war rallies, walking into the café carrying a box containing what may have been statuette containing 450g of TNT – just minutes before it exploded. 

Head of the Wagner private army Yevgeny Prigozhin visited the bombed café – which he owns – earlier today

‘Statue assassin’ Trepova (pictured) has been told she faces life in jail after being charged today

A video is believed to show Daria Trepova, 26, walking to the café carrying a box containing what may have been the statuette said to contain 450g of TNT 

Investigators have charged Trepova (left) with terrorism over the bomb that killed Tatarsky (right)

The Russian Interior Ministry put Trepova on Russia’s wanted list on suspicion of murdering Tatarsky after she fled from the scene – but she was arrested within hours of the warrant being released. 

She now faces the prospect of life behind bars after being charged. 

Trepova’s partner, Dmitry Rylov – also in his 20s and a member of the so-called Russian Liberation Army – has  insisted that she had been ‘set up’ too.

Wagner chief Prigozhin has previously declared that he does not believe Ukrainian forces were behind the attack.

‘It is indeed similar to the murder of Darya Dugina [daughter of a Putin ideologue who was killed aged 29 last year in a car explosion],’ he said. ‘I would not blame the Kyiv regime for it.

An image shows Daria Trepova when she was put on Russia’s wanted list as published by the Interior Ministry. She has since been arrested and charged

Tatarsky was killed in a blast at the Street Food No. 1 cafe, located in the St Petersburg city centre, on Sunday

‘I think it was a group of [Ukrainian] Right-wing radicals who did it, which is unlikely to be linked to the government.’

It comes after the millionaire Wagner leader claimed that Russia had taken control of Bakhmut – an eastern city which Moscow had spent months trying to capture.

He spoke on camera, holding aloft a Russian flag which was inscribed with Tatarsky’s name on it in a tribute. 

Russian investigators also said they had identified a second female suspect, Maria Yaran, 40, as being involved in the blast. She is reportedly in hospital in St Petersburg following the bombing.

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