Zakhar Prilepin, who was injured in a car explosion in Russia killed his driver, being the third prominent pro-war figure to be the target of a bomb since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
State news agency TASS, citing officials, said the 47-year-old novelist was hospitalized with injuries to both legs on Saturday, but remained conscious and “all right”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine and the Western countries that supported it, especially the United States, of the writer’s attack. However, a senior official in Kiev accused Moscow of orchestrating the incident.
Prilepin, the author of several novels inspired by war experiences and life in the Russian provinces, was praised by literary critics in the West before he took up pen and gun in the service of the Palace. Kremlin in Ukraine.
Born in 1975 in the Ryazan region, Prilepin was sent to fight in Russia’s war against Chechen separatists in the 1990s.
After returning to civilian life, he recounted the horrors of war in his debut novel “Pathologists,” which describes the actions of a special forces unit, including drunkenness and killing.
He went on to write five more novels and is also the author of many poems, essays, and articles. His works have been translated into Western Europe, and he is the recipient of numerous state awards.
As Prilepin tried to make a name for himself in the literary world in Europe in the 2000s, he became an opposition activist, criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and campaigning for the Russian poor against corrupt tycoon.
Things changed with Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Since then, Prilepin has embraced Putin’s policies and continues to fight alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, revealing in 2017 that he had formed his own battalion.
“I think a writer has the right to be in any position,” Prilepin said at a press conference in Moscow after the revelation.
“He can stand with a flag that speaks of world peace or he can take up arms.”
In a 2019 YouTube interview, he bragged that his unit had “killed people in large numbers”.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Prilepin, who has about 300,000 subscribers each of his Telegram and YouTube channels, became an ardent supporter of the military campaign.
“I have no guilt about what is happening. It happened, now we have to see through it,” he said in November.
Prilepin has also been active in politics as a co-chair of the party “A Just Russia – For Truth”.
Last year, he played a prominent role in founding GRAD, a group of parliamentarians that sought to identify cultural figures with “anti-Russian” views and persuade state and business to stop funding the country. Surname.
The abbreviation of GRAD stands for “Group Investigating Anti-Russian Activities in the Cultural Field”. Grad is also the Russian word for “hail”, and the name of a missile system.
Prilepin has been sanctioned by Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the European Union for supporting the war in Ukraine.
The writer and politician compared himself to two giants of Russian literature — Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Lermontov — who both fought in the army before turning to writing.
According to Prilepin, Tolstoy and Lermontov would have joined the Russian army in Ukraine if they were still alive today.
Interviewed by AFP news agency in Paris in 2018, he said he fought for “empathy” and made no secret of his desire for Russia to take over more Ukraine.
“Our goal is to conquer and control territory,” he said.
“Murder is not an end in itself and we will be held accountable in hell.”