News27-year sentence for woman behind explosive assassination of pro-Kremlin blogger in Russia

27‑year sentence for woman behind explosive assassination of pro‑Kremlin blogger in Russia

RUSSIA, BELGOROD - JANUARY 24: Security measures are taken after Il-76 plane with 65 Ukrainian military prisoners on board crashed, as the entrances and exits are kept under control in the Belgorod, Russia on January 24, 2024. (Photo by Emil Leegunov/Anadolu via Getty Images)
RUSSIA, BELGOROD - JANUARY 24: Security measures are taken after Il-76 plane with 65 Ukrainian military prisoners on board crashed, as the entrances and exits are kept under control in the Belgorod, Russia on January 24, 2024. (Photo by Emil Leegunov/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu
8:46 PM EST, January 25, 2024

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Previously, the prosecution had demanded a 28-year sentence. The combined punishment was for three crimes: an act of terror culminating in death, illegal possession of explosive materials, and document forgery. Triepova used documents under an alias and admitted guilt only in this regard.

Tatarsky (real name: Maxim Fomin) was killed when a figurine gifted to him by Triepova during a book signing in St. Petersburg in April 2023 exploded. During her arrest and throughout the trial, Triepova insisted that she was asked by others to give the figurine, claiming she was unaware of the explosive charge inside.

Triepova denies guilt

In her concluding statement, 26-year-old Triepova frequently asked forgiveness from those injured in the blast, but she did not admit guilt.

She argued that the investigation skewed in favor of evidence against her, ignoring other possibilities. She requested a fresh investigation, asserting that she could not have wished Tatarsky dead or risked others' lives. She revealed that she was against the war in Ukraine and had intentions to leave Russia for that country.

Instructions from "Gestalt"

According to Triepova's testimonies, she was contacted online by journalist Roman Popkov in the fall of 2022. Popkov, who previously left Russia for Ukraine, offered her a role in a journalistic project and helped with her move to Kyiv. This was on the condition that she completed specific tasks for him. He additionally directed her to a man called "Gestalt", who assigned tasks to Triepova and paid her for them.

Following the instructions, Triepova was to establish a rapport with Tatarsky and gain his trust. In April 2023, "Gestalt" instructed Triepova to attend Tatarsky's book signing at a café in St. Petersburg, where she would present him with a gift - a small plaster bust resembling him. The figurine exploded while in Tatarsky's hands, killing him instantly and injuring dozens.

Was Triepova manipulated?

Following Tatarsky's death, Popkov discredited Triepova's testimonies and denied responsibility for the attack. Triepova's friends and acquaintances described her in court as someone who might have been manipulated due to her naivety. Despite her doubts and concerns about where the collaboration with Popkov and "Gestalt" was headed, Triepova's testimonies suggested that she believed she could trust them.

Triepova's lawyer, Daniil Bierman, plans to appeal the verdict.

Source: PAP

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