Pro-Kremlin novelist injured in car explosion in Russia

Tallinn, Estonia — Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing law enforcement and emergency officials, that a prominent pro-Kremlin novelist’s car exploded in Russia on Saturday, leaving him I injured and killed his driver.

The incident involved the car of Zakhar Prilepin, a famous nationalist writer and staunch supporter of what the Kremlin called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, which took place in the area. area of ​​Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 km to the east. of Moscow.

This is the third explosion involving prominent pro-Kremlin figures since the start of the war in Ukraine.

In August 2022, a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as “Putin’s brain”. Authorities accused Ukraine of being behind the explosion.

Last month, an explosion in a coffee shop in St. Petersburg killed a famous military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky. Officials again blamed Ukraine’s intelligence services.

The governor of the Niznhy Novgorod region, Gleb Nikitin, said Prilepin had a minor fracture and was receiving medical help.

Russia’s RBC news agency reported, citing unnamed sources, that Prilepin returned to Moscow on Saturday from the partially occupied Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions and stopped in the Nizhny Novogorod region for a meal.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said a suspect had been arrested. Russian news reports identified him as a native of Ukraine, who had previously been convicted of robbery.

Prilepin became a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014, after Putin illegally annexed Crimea. He has been involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists. Last year, he was sanctioned by the European Union for backing Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.

In 2020, he founded a political party, For Truth, which Russian media reported was backed by the Kremlin. A year later, Prilepin’s party merged with the nationalist A Just Russia party with parliamentary seats.

Co-chair of the newly formed party, Prilepin won a seat in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, in the 2021 elections, but abandoned it.

Party leader Sergei Mironov called Saturday’s incident “an act of terrorism” and blamed Ukraine. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova echoed Mironov’s views in a post on the messaging app Telegram, adding that the responsibility also rests with the US and NATO.

“Washington and NATO have nurtured another cell of international terrorism – the Kyiv regime,” Zakharova wrote. “The direct responsibility lies with the US and UK. We are praying for Zakhar.”

Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, former President Dmitry Medvedev blamed “Nazi extremists” in a telegram he sent to Prilepin.

Ukrainian officials have not commented directly on the allegations. However, Ukraine’s presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, in a tweet on Saturday, appeared to point the finger at the Kremlin, saying that “to prolong the agony of the Putin clan and maintain ‘complete control ‘ illusion, the Russian repressive apparatus picked up speed and caught up with everyone, including supporters of the Ukraine war.


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