I am talking about the assassination of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky.
An explosion that rocked the ‘Street Bar’ café in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sunday has claimed at least one life and left 19 people injured, authorities reported. Vladlen Tatarsky (real name Maksim Fomin), a military correspondent and blogger, was killed in the incident, according to emergency services. Tatarsky joined the Donbass militias back in 2014 in the wake of the Maidan coup in Kiev. He has since become known in Russia as a blogger and a correspondent reporting on the situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Tatarsky has also authored several books.
Before lamenting "bad optics" and jumping to the conclusions, including knee jerk reaction--how predictable--and calls for "flattening Kiev", how about letting FSB deal with it first. Secondly, and most important, before anyone starts comparing late Daria Dugina to this "blogger", they better get acquainted with his biography, including why he ended up in prison for robbery. But for people in the West who sympathize with early LDNR militias it must be understood that apart from heroism and dedication, corruption, money laundering and other unsightly things have been blooming in LDNR too. With the start of SMO, a huge number of military "correspondents" and bloggers, many of them originally from new Russia's oblasts, started to dominate "narratives", especially through TG channels.
What many forget that among those "patriots", many, including Tatarsky, have been involved in large money collection operations "for the front", and that once Russia started to tighten the noose around those "operations" the "feeding base" for this type of "activists" shrank dramatically. I omit here the fact that most of those "bloggers" and "voenkors" have zero military education and many are what Saker called them a "sixth column", and many are straight defeatists or, like low lives Sladkov or Podolyaka, are completely off the rails. Tatarsky fits perfectly this very same group, which has some serious issues between them in terms of monetary issues--competition. So, keep this fact in mind and, please, stop idealizing LDNR, where even today the remnants of the "old guard" are being removed due to their corruption and inability to get incorporated into Russia's administrative structures--a "heritage" of Ukraine. There is a reason why I do not read TG channels and bloggers, unless people ask to react, except for official TGs (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs), or get information from people whom I know as extremely reliable, honest and professional.
Now to by far more important things. Per this:
Washington should respect decisions made by the Russian authorities in accordance with the nation’s own laws and international obligations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday. The two discussed the arrest of Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich, who was charged with espionage in Russia earlier this week. Gershkovich was “caught red handed” trying to obtain state secrets under the guise of journalism, Lavrov told Blinken in a phone call, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow also informed the US Embassy about his arrest “through an established procedure,” the statement added. Russia considers it unacceptable that Washington officials and the US media are trying to hype this case and portray it as political, the foreign minister said.
It is really difficult to say that one is a "journalist", when one is caught with special equipment, in Russia they believe it is of NSA, not of CIA, origin, especially when depositing this equipment into hidden place not far from serious military plant. This is now between FSB and appropriate intel organizations in the US. Blinken can demand whatever he wants, but he was politely told by Lavrov to go pound sand. Now, "mighty" British military finally says what I have been saying all along since the start of SMO--for the West it is a reputational disaster. While British Army lieutenant-colonel Crawford describes Challenger tanks as something out of the 23 century and having anti-gravity drive, invisibility cloak and blasters--you would expect this kind of BS from British officer--he admits:
We should also be aware that the Russians will be very keen to destroy or capture one or more of the western tanks being operated by the UkrAF.Imagine the propaganda coup of a captured, intact Challenger 2 being paraded in Red Square in Moscow! It doesn’t bear thinking about. But let us not denigrate the UK’s contribution to Ukraine’s armoured fighting vehicle inventory too much. Challenger 2 is a capable and powerful weapon system which will make a difference.
Somebody should remind this colonel that he is an amateur in tank warfare compared to even tank company commander from LDNR units, not to speak of the battalion or brigade level of Russian tank force operating T-90M, and that the survival rate of ANY western tank in 404 is near zero. Moreover, he should really review catastrophic reputational losses of NATO weapon systems when used in REAL war. And yes, I can sense hedging here, because Russians will get those Leopards and Challengers and they will parade them for the whole world to see. Meanwhile this lieutenant-colonel should apply for Russia's Frunze Combined Arms Warfare Academy (War College), if he passes basic entrance exams on officer level, maybe they will give him a review of real modern tank warfare.
As Larry pointed out:
If you are looking for proof why the British military is a third rate organization that could not last a week on the battlefields of Ukraine, look no further than Colonel Richard Kemp, a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. According to Wiki, “Colonel Richard Justin Kemp is a retired British Army officer who served from 1977 to 2006. Kemp was an infantry battalion commanding officer. Among his assignments were the command of Operation Fingal in Afghanistan from July to November 2003.“His latest piece of shoddy punditry is representative of his previous efforts — banality filled with distortions and delusions. He also is a practitioner of psychological projection — i.e., attributing to Russia the shortcomings of his own nation.