Bomb Mastermind Named
Russian domestic security agency points fingers at Ukrainian special services for cafe bomb that killed military journalist
A Ukrainian man named Yury Denisov was the person who organized the bomb assassination of Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, the Federal Security Service (FSB) has said.
He came to Russia from Kiev via Latvia in February, provided the explosive device used in the murder, and left Russia in early April right after the crime, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Aleksandr Bortnikov © Sputnik / Gavriil Grigorov
According to the FSB, Denisov used an intermediary to deliver the bomb to Darya Trepova, the woman who brought it to the St. Petersburg cafe where Tatarsky was holding a talk on April 2. The bomb went off, killing the intended target and injuring dozens of other people. Denisov left Russia the next day, traveling through Armenia and Turkey, the FSB said.
Before the assassination was carried out, Denisov spent some time in the Moscow Region, where he was collecting intelligence on Tatarsky, the statement added. Russia is in the process of putting out an international arrest warrant on the suspect.
The FSB has released several images of the presumed organiser, including of him apparently passing customs control at the Russian border, his Ukrainian driver’s license, and a redacted contract for the purchase of a used car in Moscow.
The investigators have pinned the bombing on “Ukrainian special services and their agents, including fugitive members of the Russian opposition.” The statement specifically named several associates of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny as inspiring Denisov’s accomplice, Trepova, to carry out sabotage in Russia.
They allegedly “repeatedly made statements about the need for sabotage actions in Russia,” the FSB said. It added that Trepova was a supporter of Navalny’s ideas.
Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), speaking on Tuesday at a session of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK), over which he presides, Bortnikov claimed, according to the NAK statement, that amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, “Ukraine and their Western sponsors’ special services have launched an aggressive brainwashing and recruitment [campaign] on our citizens.”
Darya Trepova pictured in court on April 4, 2023. © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
One of the main tasks of Kiev and their Western backers is to target “especially the younger generation to involve them in sabotage, terrorist and extremist activities,” he added.
Since February 2022, when Moscow launched its operation against Ukraine, Russia has prevented 118 terrorist crimes being prepared by young people and minors, Bortnikov said.
The FSB director also pointed to “a serious threat” stemming from attempts by some students, who are influenced by various “destructive subcultures,” to lay the groundwork for attacks on Russian schools and other educational institutions. “Some of [these subcultures] are coordinated from Ukrainian territory,” he added, according to the statement.
With this in mind, NAK members have discussed measures aimed to prevent terrorist activities. Such steps include awareness-building campaigns in educational institutions, with an emphasis on “countering terrorism and neo-Nazi ideology among the youth” in former Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia last autumn.
In late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the West had “never hesitated to use both radicals and extremists for their own interests.” “They always use against us whatever is at hand,” he said at the time.