| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Car bomb wounds pro-war Russian writer and kills his driver

Zakhar Prilepin, a renowned Russian nationalist writer, was injured in a vehicle explosion that killed his driver on Saturday, an act that Russia promptly blamed on Ukraine and the West.

The Russian Investigative Committee claimed the writer’s Audi Q7 was blown up in a village in the Nizny Novgorod area, approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow, in what it called a terrorist attack. It said that Prilepin had been transported to the hospital.

The committee released a photograph showing the white vehicle lying overturned on a track next to a wood, with a deep crater beside it and fragments of metal strewn nearby.

An interior ministry spokeswoman said a suspect had been arrested. State news agency TASS quoted security sources as saying they had found an apartment in the Moscow region where they believed the bomb could have been assembled.

Prilepin, a novelist who is an outspoken champion of Russia’s war in Ukraine and has boasted of taking part in military combat there, was the third prominent pro-war figure to be targeted by a bomb since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February 2022.

Russia has blamed Ukraine for the deaths of journalist Darya Dugina and war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in the two previous attacks, and Kyiv has denied involvement. There was no immediate word from Ukraine on the latest incident.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram: “The fact has come true: Washington and NATO fed another international terrorist cell – the Kyiv regime.”

She said it was the “direct responsibility of the U.S. and Britain”, but provided no evidence to support the accusation.

Officials at the White House, Pentagon and State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. No comment was immediately available from Britain’s Foreign Office.

  • Reuters