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A Russian court has sentenced a woman to jail for causing an explosion that resulted in the death of a blogger who supported war.
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A Russian court has sentenced a woman to jail for causing an explosion that resulted in the death of a blogger who supported war.

On Thursday, a woman in Russia was given a 27-year prison sentence for causing a cafe explosion that resulted in the death of a well-known blogger who had been given a bust of himself that was rigged with explosives.

A former leader of separatist rebels in Ukraine was convicted of extremism and sentenced to four years in a separate proceeding by a Moscow court. The individual had previously referred to President Vladimir Putin as a coward.

Darya Trepova, a 26-year-old, was found guilty by a St. Petersburg court for committing a terrorist attack, illegally transporting explosive devices, and falsifying documents in the explosion that occurred on April 2 at a cafe. The blast resulted in the death of Vladlen Tatarsky and caused injuries to 52 others.

Tatarsky, aged 40, strongly supported the Kremlin’s military intervention in Ukraine and frequently submitted updates from the battlefront.

On video footage, Trepova can be observed giving Tatarsky the bust right before the explosion at the cafe by the river in the central area of Russia’s second largest city, where he was leading a conversation.

She maintained that she was unaware of the bomb being in the bust. The bombing has been attributed to Ukrainian intelligence agencies by Russian authorities. Officials in Kyiv have not directly addressed the allegation.

The court found Trepova’s associate Dmitry Kasintsev guilty of hiding a serious crime by giving her shelter after the explosion. He was sentenced to 21 months in jail.

In 2014, after the removal of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, a rebellion erupted in the country’s Donetsk region. Igor Girkin, also known as Strelkov, was the leader of the separatist fighters backed by Russia. He has been sentenced to four years in prison by the Moscow court.

He served briefly as the defense minister for the self-proclaimed separatist government, but resigned in August 2014 following the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane over Donetsk by rebel forces. The incident resulted in the death of all 298 people on board. He was found guilty of murder in the Netherlands, where the flight originated, for his involvement.

After going back to Russia, he became a nationalist speaker and advocate. He backed the decision to start a war in Ukraine, but strongly condemned the government for their incompetence and lack of determination in executing the battle.

Girkin referred to Putin as a “nobody” and a “cowardly mediocre” individual. He was taken into custody in July for charges of extremism and has been detained ever since.

His conviction reflects the high sensitivity of Russian authorities to criticism and opposition. After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, that sensitivity intensified sharply, with the passage of laws criminalizing statements and news reports that allegedly discredit the Russian military.

According to Russian news agencies, two demonstrators who were demanding the release of Girkin were arrested by law enforcement officers outside the courthouse.

Girkin’s sentence was considerable less harsh than those handed to some figures who have denounced the war, notably the 25-year sentence imposed on opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza.

The Mediazona website, which covers topics related to human rights and justice, reported that Treopva’s sentence is the longest given to a woman in modern Russia.

Maxim Fomin, known under the alias Tatarsky, regularly reported from Ukraine and had gained over 560,000 followers on his Telegram channel.

Tatarsky, who was born in the eastern region of Ukraine, was previously employed as a coal miner but later became an entrepreneur in the furniture industry. Facing financial troubles, he resorted to robbing a bank and ultimately served time in prison. In 2014, amidst a separatist uprising supported by Russia, he escaped from custody and joined separatist fighters on the front lines. Eventually, he turned to blogging as his new pursuit.

Tatarsky was renowned for his boisterous declarations and strong support for war.