St Petersburg in flames as warehouse goes up in smoke sparking explosion in Russian city

A major fire has broken out in the north-west of St Petersburg in Russia just days after the city was rocked by an explosion that killed a pro-Kremlin Ukraine war blogger.

News site VK reported the large blaze gripped an industrial complex packed with “cylinders” today (Tuesday). It’s not known what is made in the area but there have been previous explosions and fires on Russian soil connected to manufacturing for the war with Ukraine.

The regional Ministry of Emergency Situations said the fire started around midday when authorities were alerted. A statement released said: “There is a burning in the warehouse building measuring 50m across the entire area.”

So far no casualties have been reported, the department said. However, a large plume of smoke could be seen in photographs billowing across the city.

On Sunday evening Vladlen Tatarsky a vocal supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine, died in an explosion at a St Petersburg cafe. More than 40 people were wounded in the bombing in Russia’s second city.

Russian security services released a video of a woman named Darya Trepova, 26, being interogated over the incident.

Tatarsky, 40, an ardent supporter of the war in Ukraine who filed daily reports on the fighting from the front lines, was killed on Sunday as he led a discussion at the riverside cafe in the historic heart of St. Petersburg.

Russian authorities described the bombing as an act of terrorism and blamed Ukrainian intelligence agencies for orchestrating the attack.

Police arrested Trepova, who was seen on video moments before the blast presenting Tatarsky with a statuette that is believed to have contained explosives.

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The bombing, which injured 40 other people, 25 of whom have been hospitalised, was the latest attack inside Russia on a high-profile pro-war figure.

Last year, a nationalist TV commentator was assassinated when a bomb exploded in her SUV outside Moscow.

Tatarsky was the pen name of Maxim Fomin, who had accumulated more than 560,000 followers on his Telegram messaging app channel.

Tatarsky, who joined separatists in eastern Ukraine after a Moscow-backed insurgency erupted there in 2014, fought on the front lines for years before turning to blogging.

Military bloggers have become increasingly visible, supporting the war but occasionally exposing flaws in Russian military strategy while the Kremlin has shut independent media outlets and muzzled any criticism of the war.

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