A St. Petersburg court sentenced Darya Trepova to 27 years in prison for the killing of pro-Kremlin military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky last April, APA reports citing Politico.
Trepova, who faced terrorism, explosives trafficking and document forgery charges, admitted guilt only to the latter. She insisted she was framed, unaware the statuette she gave Tatarsky at a St. Petersburg café had been booby-trapped with a bomb.
“I feel pain and shame that my naivety and gullibility led to such catastrophic consequences,” she said in her final word in court.
The 26-year-old St. Petersburg resident, an assistant at a vintage clothing store and a feminist activist, claimed she acted on instructions from “Gestalt” — a handler in Ukraine. She said she met him through Ukraine-based journalist Roman Popkov. Gestalt allegedly sent her money and orders for months before Tatarsky’s killing.
Tatarsky died on April 2 last year in an explosion at a St. Petersburg café where he was giving a talk to an audience of around 100 people. CCTV footage showed Trepova leaving the café after the blast, looking visibly distressed.
In court, Trepova denied knowing the statue’s lethal purpose, stating she questioned Gestalt about it, fearing a repeat of a 2022 incident when Russian nationalist commentator Darya Dugina was killed in a car blast. “He said no, it was just a wiretap and a microphone,” Trepova said.
Trepova’s partner, Dmitry Rylov, publicly accused Popkov of manipulating Trepova into unknowingly delivering the fatal bomb. “I’m certain that you had a hand in sending Dasha to be sacrificed without her even realizing it,” he wrote. Popkov, while refraining from commenting directly on the allegations about his role in the plot, hinted that the truth behind the “resistance operations” would be revealed later.
Russian investigators have accused Popkov in absentia of “orchestrating the execution of a terrorist act.”
Dmitry Kasintsev, the owner of the apartment where Trepova was found and arrested after Tatarsky’s death, was tried alongside her. The court sentenced him to one year and nine months in prison.