Darya Trepova: What we know about the accused in the murder of Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarsky

Darya Trepova’s arrest for the murder of Russian pro-war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky has raised questions about her background and politics.

According to Russian media, Ms Trepova, 26, handed Tatarsky a statuette containing the explosives that killed him. She later admits to this in a video released by the Russian Interior Ministry.

Her statement, however, was most likely obtained under duress, and she does not say whether she was aware of the explosives.

According to Russian officials, the murder was planned by Ukrainian security services with the assistance of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (RBK), which is led by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and is supported by Ms Trepova.

Friends and family, however, say that while she was an anti-war activist – she was reportedly detained at a protest at the start of the war – her views were not radical and she was not capable of murder.

Dmitry Rylov, her husband, believes she was duped.

So, what information do we have on Darya Trepova?

An acquaintance told the BBC that she went to school in Pushkin, near St. Petersburg, and that she “didn’t seem to have any political views at the time.”

According to other sources, she later enrolled at St Petersburg State University, though it is unclear which faculty she attended, and she is not believed to have completed her course.

According to another friend, she worked for a long time at a vintage clothing shop in town before leaving a month ago to relocate to Moscow.

It’s unknown how long she’s been married to Mr Rylov.

Friends of Ms Trepova said in an interview for the Agentstvo telegram channel that their marriage was a “joke” and that they were really just friends.

However, according to some reports, the pair were both arrested at an anti-war rally on February 24, last year, at the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

Ms Trepova was detained for ten days, allegedly for refusing to comply with police requests to disperse the crowd.

Russia has released a video of a detained cafe bomb suspect.
Mr Rylov is said to be a member of the Libertarian Party, a small fringe opposition group that participated in the protests. He had emigrated, according to the party.

It also told the Telegram channel SOTA that Ms Trepova had no ties to the party and condemned Tatarsky’s murder.

According to some reports, Mr Rylov is also wanted in connection with the murder.

He told SVTV News that she could not have committed murder willingly. “I think my wife was duped,” he said.

“Yes, neither of us supports the war in Ukraine, but we believe that such acts are illegal.”

“I’m certain she would never have agreed to anything like this if she had known.”

According to reports, Russian investigators have not ruled out the possibility that Ms Trepova was unaware of what was in the statuette.

An RBK source also stated that the young woman had been in contact with Tatarsky, the victim of the cafe blast, and had attended previous events in which he was involved.



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