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Darya Trepova sentenced to 27 years in prison after killing a pro-war blogger in April last year

Darya Trepova, a Russian woman who last April killed Vladlen Tatarsky, a pro-war blogger, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison. 

In Russian history, this is one of the worst sentences ever given to a woman.

A bomb in a statuette, that Trepova gave Tatarsky, exploded moments right before he was about to give a speech in St Petersburg, killing him and injuring dozens of people.

The attack on Tatarsky (actual name: Maxim Fomin) happened on April 2, 2023. Trepova has been accused of "a terrorist act carried out by an organised group causing intentional death" along with "illegal possession of explosive devices by an organised group".

The 26-year-old Trepova rejected all the accusations, claiming that the statuette was actually a listening device. Later she said she was set up and that she had followed a Ukrainian contact's instructions.

Ukrainian officials have not confirmed nor denied the accusations made by Russian investigators that their country was responsible for the attack.

However, Trepova testified in court that she was doing as instructed by a man in Ukraine going by the name Gestalt (which means "shape" in German). It is unknown who he is.

She claimed that Roman Popkov, a journalist stationed in Ukraine, helped her get in touch with him. She had been hoping to go to Ukraine to work as a journalist, but she is against the war. 

Trepova claimed that she met Tatarsky as an art student named Anastasia Kriulina and attended his lectures in order to earn his trust while receiving training from Gestalt.

She said that in March Gestalt gave her the statuette, assuring her that it featured a wiretap and a tracker. She claimed to have voiced worries that it might be a bomb.

"I feel great pain and shame that my gullibility and my naivety led to such catastrophic consequences.” According to Reuters, Trepova stated in court this week, "I didn't want to hurt anyone." 

"I feel special pain and shame that a terrorist act was carried out by my own hands."

Tatarsky was a well-known blogger with a history of criminal activity, followed by over half a million people.

He claimed to have joined the separatists supported by Russia after being freed from prison, where he was serving a sentence for armed robbery. He was born in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

He was a member of a military bloggers group that supported the Kremlin, which has gained some notoriety since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022.

Tatarsky was one of the few who dared to criticise the Russian government, denouncing the military and even President Vladimir Putin for their defeats in combat.

However, Vladimir Putin gave him the Order of Courage afterwards.

Trepova was sentenced shortly after another controversial pro-war individual, Igot Girkin, the former head of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, was sentenced to four years in prison for "calls to carry out extremist activities".


Edited by Tatyana Kekic


Image - Digi24


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