'Statue assassin' who killed Putin blogger with 'TNT-laden bust' seen smiling while 'on the run' after café bomb blast | The Sun
SHOCKING footage shows a woman who allegedly killed a Kremlin blogger with a booby-trapped statue smiling hours before she was arrested.
Vladlen Tatarsky, 40, was killed by a bust of himself that detonated in a Russian cafe on Sunday during an appearance in St Petersburg.
He was reportedly handed the deadly gold-coloured figurine by alleged anti-Putin bomber Darya Tryopova, 26, who was arrested today.
Russia released a supposed confession video showing the blonde, with cropped hair, admitting her role in the bomb plot.
Now, footage released by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation shows the moment Trepova entered an apartment building with a large suitcase and shoulder bag.
She can be seen smiling as a man opens a door for her, before the video cuts to show her arrest by Russian police.
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Cops said she travelled around the city by taxi for four hours before arriving at the apartment block, Russian media reports.
Local newspaper Izvestia claims that Trepova bought a ticket from Pulkovo airport – but never arrived for her flight.
On Monday, Russia released a supposed confession video showing the blonde, with cropped hair, admitting her role in the bomb plot.
When asked to explain why she is being detained, Tryopova says: "I'd put it this way, for being at the assassination side of Vladlen Tatarsky.
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"I brought there the statuette that exploded."
She was then pressed to reveal who supplied her with the devastating explosive, to which she replied: "Can I tell you later?"
Tryopova is alleged to have posed as an admirer while attending the creative event, while carrying the explosive in a cardboard box.
CCTV footage captured the suspect strolling past the cafe clutching the package, before entering the venue owned by mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the brutal Wagner Group.
In a cruel twist of fate, eyewitnesses claim Tatarsky effectively signed his own death warrant by welcoming Tryopova and her lethal gift.
Security at the cafe had questioned the blonde upon her arrival and told her to leave the box at the door after they asked: "What if it's a bomb?"
Tryopova is alleged to have described herself as an "artist" and explained she "wanted to show the heroes of Putin's special military operation".
It is claimed that she struck up a conversation with the popular blogger before retrieving the package from a coat cupboard.
One attendee claimed the suspect had used the fake name Nastya to get close to Tatarsky before handing him the TNT-laced statue.
Video captured the moment she handed the box to Tatarsky, who held it approvingly before placing it down.
Alisa Smotrova said the pro-Kremlin pundit had insisted on seeing the bust, despite concerns from security.
Discussing the encounter she claims to have witnessed, she told KP.ru that Tatarsky had asked his alleged killer's name during the seminar.
Alisa explained: "She said: ‘Nastya. I want to give you a sculpture because I study at the sculpture department at the Academy of Art.
"He said: ‘Well, fetch it.’ She said: ‘They told me at the entrance, 'What if it's a bomb? So I left it there’.
“Well, everyone here laughed. She said: ‘Well, shall I bring it?’ He said: ‘Yes, bring it’.
“She came, brought this box and went to the stage. She gave it to him."
The bystander claimed that Tryopova then became reluctant to engage with him and sit closer after he invited her to.
Alisa continued: "She says: ‘Oh, I'm so shy’. He said: ‘Sit closer’.
"She sat closer to the window, and said: ‘Well, I'm here on the chair’.
"They took out the sculpture, it's a golden head in a helmet. Well, I don't even know if it looks like Tatarsky.
"He put it down there without a second thought and then continued asking questions [to his seminar audience].
"And suddenly an explosion and smoke… We were sitting in the second part of the hall. Everyone ran.
"Those nearby, of course, were already covered in blood and ran away. The windows exploded too. We ran to the exit."
Just three minutes after the exchange, Tatarsky was dead after the statue that contained up to 450 grams of TNT erupted.
Police told RBC media that “the explosion was at a height of 60 centimetres from the floor.”
Its capacity was 300 to 450 grams of TNT and it went off "to the right of Tatarsky."
Tryopova is said to have fled the scene and was reportedly booked on a flight from Pulkovo Airport to Turkey hours later – but never showed up for it.
A fireball explosion tore through the cafe, injuring 30 and sending shards of glass blasting into the street.
Footage of the aftermath people attending to bleeding victims outside the façade of the collapsed café.
State media said 19 of the 30 caught in the St Petersburg blast were taken to hospital. Eight people remain in a serious condition.
Tryopova was busted at a rented flat close to the scene on Monday by the FSB and Investigative Committee, according to local media.
As she was led away in handcuffs from the residential complex, she reportedly said: "I was set up. I was just being used."
The first picture of Tryopova after her arrest showed her with cropped blond hair, suggesting she had cut it to disguise herself.
Cops are still hunting her alleged Ukraine-born accomplice Maria Yarun, 40, although some reports say she is in hospital after the blast.
Officials are now said to be scouring through Tryopova's conversations in a private web chat, according to Telegram channel VCK-OGPU.
The messages reportedly suggested she had come to St Petersburg from Moscow late last week and intended to fly abroad – to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, via Istanbul.
The former shop worker had breakfast with her friend on Sunday and sent her a message following the explosion.
Tryopova wrote: "I could have died there, I'd rather have died there, I was set up."
She is then alleged to have changed the settings on her messenger account for the first time in seven years.
Tryopova's boyfriend Dmitry Rylov – also in his 20s and a member of the so-called Russian Liberation Army – insists she has been "set up."
He is also wanted by the secret services and has been detained at anti-war protests with his girlfriend.
Rylov insisted Tryopova must have "completely misunderstood the purpose" of the statue given to Tatarsky.
He said: "I believe that my wife was set up.
"I am in full confidence that she would never be able to do something like that on her own volition.
"Yes, with Daria we really do not support the war in Ukraine, but we believe that such actions are unacceptable.
"I am 100 percent sure that she would never have agreed to such a thing if she had known."
Tatarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, is one of Russia's foremost military bloggers and has over 560,000 followers on Telegram.
He provided a critical running commentary on Russia's war in Ukraine and had once been a fighter in the battles in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
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Along with other Putin pundits, he criticised the Russian army for failing to fight even more brutally and ruthlessly against Ukraine.
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