Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia on espionage charges
New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz joined ‘Fox & Friends First’ to discuss the detainment of his friend Evan Gershkovich and growing calls on U.S. officials to secure the release of Paul Whelan.
Russia state media is reporting Monday that a female suspect has been taken into custody following an explosion at a café in St. Petersburg, Russia, that killed prominent pro-Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky.
Tatarsky, a major proponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, died Sunday in an explosion that state media says left more than 30 others injured. He was participating in an event at a café in Russia’s second-largest city.
“Russian Investigative Committee officers in cooperation with operatives detained Darya Trepova on suspicion of her being behind the St. Petersburg café blast,” the TASS News Agency said.
“On Sunday evening, law enforcement agents searched Trepova’s flat in St. Petersburg, where her mother and her sister were interrogated,” the TASS report continued. “According to preliminary reports, it was Trepova who handed Tatarsky a statuette stuffed with explosives. She was later wanted by the police.”
PRO-RUSSIAN MILITARY BLOGGER KILLED IN ST. PETERSBURG CAFE EXPLOSION
A well-known Russian military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky, is seen in this undated social media picture obtained by Reuters on April 2, 2023.
TASS reported Monday that more than 200 grams of TNT detonated near the stage of the café, and investigators are still working the scene.
The news agency previously reported that Trepova, a Russian citizen, was detained on Feb. 24 last year for allegedly participating in an unsanctioned anti-war protest, according to Reuters. That day was when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
Eyewitnesses say Tatarsky appeared to know the woman who gave him the figurine, according to Russian outlet RIA.
Tatarsky had traveled to the front lines of Russia’s war in Ukraine multiple times. He also visited the Kremlin in 2022 and filmed himself speaking about Russia’s right to conquest.
“We will defeat everyone, we will kill everyone, we will rob everyone as necessary. Just as we like it,” he said at the time, according to the BBC.
BLINKEN DEMANDS RUSSIA RELEASE DETAINED WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER IN RARE CALL WITH KREMLIN COUNTERPART
A police officer walks by the site of an explosion at the “Street Bar” café in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday, April 3, that killed well-known military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky a day earlier. (AP/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Tatarsky gained popularity on the Telegram social media platform, where he had some 500,000 followers.
The group Cyber Front Z had rented out the café and later released a statement on the blast from its own Telegram account, the BBC reported.
“There was a terrorist attack. We took certain security measures but unfortunately they were not enough,” the group wrote. “Condolences to everyone who knew the excellent war correspondent and our friend Vladlen Tatarsky.”
A Russian investigator works at the site of the explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AP)
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Reuters reported that Russian media claimed Trepova was found at a St. Petersburg apartment of a friend of her husband’s and was planning an escape to Uzbekistan before her capture.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also was quoted by TASS on Monday as calling the St. Petersburg blast a “terrorist act” and that Putin was “immediately informed” about it.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.