#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. St. Petersburg bombing: Daria Trepova in handcuffs, husband wanted. She obeyed Ukrainian journalists, husband is part of the opposition close to Navalny. Prigozhin: Legally Bakhmut is taken


The news that re-posted the most in the social sphere dealing with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was the killing of Vladlen Tatarsky, born Maxim Fomin.

A colleague remembers him like this: ‘”Maxim”, a dim-looking guy who came to the editorial office of Komsomolskaya Pravda several years ago with his film crew introduced himself modestly. Everyone knew Maxim Fomin under the pseudonym Vladlen Tatarsky. He called at the time, asked for a meeting and said, I want to, I say, talk about military journalism. And from the first question, I understood what he really wanted’.

And then he adds; ‘Corrosive, learned, informed: he literally dissected me with his questions, sometimes forcing me to think for several minutes before answering. I remember that we then agreed together that the conflict in the Donbass could not be solved peacefully, neither side will achieve the desired goals through diplomacy and the abscess of the Minsk agreements will explode sooner or later’.

“And Vladlen, in the past – a militiaman of the 2nd army corps, was at the centre of both hostilities and information warfare. With his attention to small details, he would have been an excellent journalist, but it was clear that he was not just an extra, to sort out what was going on around him. He understood and carefully analysed any event to isolate the main thing: what could be useful for victory. He was not a publicist in the common sense of the term. He formulated meanings and ideas that appealed to millions of our fellow citizens. Like Daria Dugina, Max did this in the most accessible way possible, even though he himself was a very erudite person and could easily pour words from past military theorists or quotes from the New Testament into a conversation’.

[…] “He was one of the first enthusiastic enthusiasts who started to introduce quadcopters as a means of reconnaissance and correction. Not everyone then perceived this idea as valid, but they gave in under his pressure. And later they invited him to military units all over the country, where during the meetings Max not only told them how to use UAVs correctly and efficiently, but also explained to the young soldiers why this special military operation started and why we are fighting in the Donbass, Zaporozhye and the Cherson region. He explained in depth, but in simple, understandable language so that everyone could understand: this is not someone else’s war, this is our fight for survival’.

Max Fomin leaves behind a wife and three children. He was given the nickname Mujahid of the Donbass Emirate Walid at-Tatari by the Muslim soldiers at the front.

According to informed assets, the explosion at the St. Petersburg café, described as a terrorist attack by the Russian authorities, occurred at about 5 p.m. on 2 April while an evening dedicated to the military blogger and war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky was in progress. The power of the IED was over 200 grams of TNT, law enforcement officials said. The explosive was planted in a figurine, which was handed over to Tatarsky by one of the evening’s visitors: Daria Trepova. The woman who was first wanted then arrested together with her sister is under arrest. At least 23 victims including a child and four people are in serious condition.

Daria Trepova, a resident of St Petersburg born in 1997, was brought in by investigators. Still wanted is her husband, Dmitry Rylov, a member of the Libertarian Party of Russia. Investigators suspect both of complicity in the murder of the military correspondent at the St. Petersburg café. The woman was in the process of leaving the country when she was arrested, thanks to camera footage. She had bought plane tickets but never arrived at the airport. According to the authorities, the attack to kill Vladlen Tatarsky was planned by the Ukrainian special services with the involvement of people from Navalny’s FBK.

Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families and friends of Vladlen Tatarsky. Putin was informed of what happened shortly after the explosion. The involvement of the Kiev regime in the Kremlin is considered entirely possible. It is in view of such actions that the special operation in Ukraine is taking place.

According to the published information, Trepova was in contact with some ‘Ukrainian journalists’ and ‘received assignments from them’. At the same time, she was planning to travel abroad (probably Uzbekistan). Trepova admitted during interrogation that he had brought a bomb statuette to the scene of Vladlen Tatarsky’s murder.

On Friday afternoon Lukashenko said he had ordered the military to immediately restore the sites where the nuclear warheads were located. Lukashenko said that, if necessary, he would agree with Putin on the introduction of strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. Not only did he call for a ceasefire while addressing the People’s Assembly.

Mikhail Podolyak, on behalf of Ukraine, rejected Lukashenko’s proposal for a ceasefire. Fighting will continue.

The positive mood of the Ukrainians was dampened by General Mark Milley, head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff: ‘Ukraine will not be able to achieve its military objective in the short term: to drive out the Russian troops and return all the territories (…) I don’t think it is possible in the short term this year,’ the general commented.

A new missile and artillery weapons repair facility ‘120 Arsenal’ will be established in Bryansk under a Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation. On 1 April, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held a meeting at the headquarters of the Russian Federation Joint Force Group on the supply of ammunition where he stated: ‘The supply of weapons of destruction to troops is under constant control of the Government and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation; In a meeting at the headquarters of the Russian Federation Joint Force Group, they discussed increasing the supply of troops with ammunition and improving the efficiency of logistics’. Finally, Shoigu announced a multiple increase in the production of precision-guided munitions to support the Russian troop group.

Russia has been the chairman of the UN Security Council since 1 April. According to Dimtrij Peskiov, there will be important activities during the Russian presidency. Putin, again according to Peskov, will hold a large meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation next week where he will accept credentials from foreign ambassadors, according to the Telegram channel Zarubin, where an announcement of events from the Kremlin’s programme was posted.

Kim Yo-jong, the DPRK leader’s sister, believes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is risking his country in a conflict with Russia, Reuters reported, citing KCNA. He added that Zelensky is ‘putting his country at risk and desires to possess nuclear weapons under the influence of his political ambitions’. The sister of the head of the people’s republic also expressed the opinion that Zelensky is wrong in thinking that ‘the US nuclear umbrella can save Ukraine from Russia’.

Speaking on behalf of Ukraine on 2 April was the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Danilov, who proposed a plan for Crimea: ‘The Crimean bridge will be completely dismantled to ensure complete freedom of navigation under the reparations programme; citizens of the Russian Federation who arrived illegally in Crimea after February 2014 must leave it immediately within the time limit set by law; Sevastopol should be renamed. The Rada will determine a new name, possibly Akhtiar. Contracts approved after February 2014, including real estate, are cancelled. Ownership of property remains with Ukrainian citizens; civil servants working for the Russian Federation, by court decision, will be dismissed’.

This statement matches the statements of the GUR of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, which hinted at an imminent attack on Crimea. In the department’s official report, a photograph of a Ukrainian soldier holding a machine gun emerges from the sea, with the caption: ‘Crimea. Jalta. 2023″. The National Security and Defence Council drew up a 12-step plan for the so-called ‘unemployment’ of Crimea.

The Moscow court suspended the work of the Anglo-American school for three months for serious violations, the court’s press service told RIA Novosti. At the school, founded in 1949 and focused on teaching the children of diplomats, teachers were found, including foreigners who had no documents confirming their qualifications.

There was fighting on the front line throughout the weekend. The Russian army killed another French ‘volunteer’ in Ukraine, reports Le Monde with reference to the French Foreign Ministry.

The Russian paratroopers of the ‘Dnepr’ group in the direction of Kherson began the transfer of equipment for the summer period of operation. They must do this in a short time under combat conditions.

On three April in Melitopol, on Bohdan Khmelnitsky Street, the car of the head of the Akimovka village administration, Maxim Zubarev, exploded. According to initial reports, he was very seriously injured.

In Bachmut, the Armed Forces of Ukraine went from maintaining the administrative centre of Bachmut to maintaining the western districts. This is a familiar story, the same thing happened with Soledar. As long as the Ukrainians maintain at least a few houses in the western part of the city, they will say they are in control of the city, although most of it, including the administration, has come under the control of the Wagner PMC.

On three April from his telegram channels Yevgeny Prigozhin wrote: ‘2 April 2023, 23:00. We hoisted the Russian flag with the inscription “Good memory to Vladlen Tatarsky” and the “Wagner” PMC flag over the Bakhmut municipal administration. Legally Bakhmut is taken. The enemy is concentrated in the western areas’.

And now a look at the front line at 13:00 on 3 April.

In northern Bachmut, the assault detachments of the PMC “Wagner” continue to advance in the Selishche area south of the city. During the fighting, they completely took the territory of School No. 24. In addition, Russian units approached the railway station.

In the central districts of the city, the ‘Wagnerites’ have taken the residential areas along Boris Gorbatov Street and are also in control of the Bachmut municipal council building. Fighting is now going on at school No. 11 and the clinic. On the southern outskirts of the city, the assault teams have expanded their control zone around the Avangard stadium, moving along Bachmutskaya Street.

At the moment, the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to garrison the western outskirts of Bachmut. There are no signs of withdrawal of the Ukrainian formations: on the contrary, 80 personnel were transferred from the Sumy region to Bachmut to reinforce positions in the village. In addition, units of the 5th assault brigade, created on the basis of the 5th assault regiment, arrived at the section of the Chasov Yar – Khromovo road. The forces of the 5th Brigade had previously only been noted in the Toretsk sector. This confirms the plans of the Ukrainian command to continue the defence of Bachmut.

Ukrainian formations shelled border villages in the Kursk region: there were no casualties in Iskra and Dronovka, seven people were wounded in Nikolaevo-Daryino.

In the Belgorod region, Ukrainians attacked a farm and residential buildings in the village of Novopetrovka, civilians were not injured.

Starobil’s’k direction: There are no changes on this sector of the front: the sides are engaged in artillery clashes along the line of contact, positional battles continue in the Serebryansky forest and near the Zhuravka ravine.

Soledar Direction: In Orekhovo-Vasilevka, the situation has not changed significantly: neither side has stable control over the settlement.

Donetsk Direction: The situation remains constantly tense in the Avdiivka sector: Russian units continue their systematic offensive from Kamenka and Krasnogorovka, inflicting fire damage on enemy fortified areas. Ukrainian formations again randomly shelled the Donetsk agglomeration: Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Yelenovka are also under attack. More than ten houses were damaged in Gorlovka, one man was injured. According to the local authorities, three 110 kV transmission lines were damaged following the attack on the CHPP in Kurakhovskaya, which led to emergency blackouts in the Pokrovsky district.

Zaporozhizhia direction: The Ukrainian armed forces fired artillery missiles at residential buildings and infrastructure structures in Melitopol: at least six civilians were injured of varying severity. The Russians over the weekend planted mines on the border counting part of the region under Kiev’s control.

Southern Front: Kherson direction: artillery clashes continue along the entire line of contact: Russian troops hit the sites of the largest Ukrainian military presence in Kherson, Berislav and Dudchany. In turn, Ukrainian formations fired on the left bank of the Kherson region, including civilian objects in Novaya Kakhovka, Tavriysk and Aleshki.

Graziella Giangiulio

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