Pro-war Russian military blogger killed in St. Petersburg cafe blast, reportedly by statue of himself

An explosion Sunday at a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, killed a prominent ultranationalist Russian military blogger as he was giving a public talk about his experience covering Russia's Ukraine invasion. The blogger, Maksim Fomin — an ardent proponent of the war better know as Vladlen Tatarsky — had accepted a bust of himself minutes before the explosion, witnesses told reporters and in videos posted online.

At least 25 people were wounded in the explosion at Street Food Bar #1 Cafe, Russian official saids. A woman identifying herself as a sculptor named Nastya handed Tatarsky a small statue in his likeness shortly before the explosion, according to video posted on social media and witness accounts. One witness, Alisa Smotrova, said Nastya told Tatarsky that guards had told her to leave the bust at the door because of bomb fears, they had laughed about that, and Nastya then went to the door and brought the bust back to present to him.

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