A Russian military blogger has been injured and his driver killed after their car was blown up, Russian state media reported, the latest attack on a pro-war figure.
Zakhar Prilepin was hospitalized with a leg injury in the blast in the Nizhny Novgorod region, about 250 miles east of Moscow, TASS said.
A criminal investigation has been opened and a man was arrested following the incident, authorities say,
Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian-appointed military-civilian administration in occupied Zaporizhzhia claimed in a post on Telegram that Prilepin’s daughter was with him at the time of the incident but was not injured.
Prilepin, whose Telegram channel has more than 300,000 subscribers, last September put up a commentary that described Russia’s retreat from Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, as a “catastrophe.”
“Now we can observe the result of the criminal irresponsibility of those who were responsible for this direction,” the post read, before concluding: “The special military operation is long over. There is a war going on.”
Last month another military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky, was killed in an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg.
He been appearing at the cafe as a guest of a pro-war group. Investigators allege that suspect Daria Trepova, acting at the behest of Ukraine, brought a “statuette filled with explosives” to the venue and handed it to Tatarsky.
In August last year, Darya Dugina, the daughter of influential, ultra-nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin was killed by a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow.
Nationalist writers are a key part of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, strongly supporting the war in Ukraine but given unusual freedom to criticize its conduct.
Unlike Russian state media, many of the most influential military bloggers have not shied away from criticizing Moscow for its battlefield defeats including the withdrawal from Kherson in November or, most recently, the stalling of the drawn-out fight for Bakhmut.
Many of the bloggers also have deep sources within the state’s armed forces, the Wagner group or among pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, giving them unparalleled access to information.