GUESTS at the funeral of the pro-Kremlin blogger who was blown up in a café were made to go through metal detectors as Vladimir Putin stayed away.
Close associates of Vladlen Tatarsky gathered to farewell the fallen bile-monger who was murdered in a devastating explosion last week.
It was reported the Russian propagandist was killed after being handed a TNT bomb squirrelled inside a figurine of himself.
The blast happened amid the Putin ally holding an event at a café in St Petersburg, Russia, where he was giving a talk.
The fireball explosion instantly killed Tatarsky, 40, and left 30 others injured.
However, today, close comrades were invited to pay tribute to the man at a private ceremony.
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Footage showed guests arriving who where met by weapon-bearing state police as they proceeded through metal detectors and rings of steel.
Inside the funeral chapel, Tatarsky's coffin was seen draped in a Russian flag with a sadistic Wagner Group sledgehammer alongside it.
The funeral was flooded with security services as high-ranking officials attended the burial – including bloodthirsty Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Prigozhin was believed to have made a speech at the ceremony, which was later published by his private company Concord via Telegram.
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It read: "Today I want to say thanks to Vladlen Tatarsky on behalf of myself and the fighters of the Wagner PMC.
"Vladlen Tatarsky did a lot so that we could go to victory and destroy the enemy.
"Thank you for this, we will always remember him.
"He is a soldier who stays with us, whose voice will always live and speak only the truth."
According to TASS news agency, rapper Akim Apachev and former Minister of Information of the Donetsk People's Republic Daniil Bezsonov were also in attendance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, was no where to be seen.
As Tatarsky was laid to rest, a lot of controversy still surrounded his assassination.
Police have arrested Darya Tryopova on suspicion of her involvement in the bombing after she allegedly handed Tatarsky the bust of himself.
The suspect, 26, from St Petersburg, is said to have previously been detained for taking part in anti-war rallies.
Footage captured her strolling past the café while clutching a cardboard box shortly before the explosion.
Wearing a long coat, she is seen walking past the building before she returns and enters with her large package.
Tryopova's boyfriend Dmitry Rylov – also in his 20s and a member of the so-called Russian Liberation Army – claimed she had been "set up."
He is also wanted by the secret services and has been detained at anti-war protests with his girlfriend.
Rylov insisted Tryopova must have "completely misunderstood the purpose" of the statue given to Tatarsky.
He said: "I believe that my wife was set up.
"I am in full confidence that she would never be able to do something like that on her own volition.
"Yes, with Daria we really do not support the war in Ukraine, but we believe that such actions are unacceptable.
"I am 100 per cent sure that she would never have agreed to such a thing if she had known."
But Russia released a supposed confession video showing the blonde, with cropped hair, admitting her role in the bomb plot.
When asked to explain why she is being detained, Tryopova says: "I'd put it this way, for being at the assassination side of Vladlen Tatarsky.
"I brought there the statuette that exploded."
She was then pressed to reveal who supplied her with the devastating explosive, to which she replied: "Can I tell you later?"
Tryopova was detained by the FSB and Investigative Committee in St Petersburg after they raided her rented flat close to the scene of the blast on Monday.
Another woman, Maria Yarun, 40, is being hunted by authorities, although some reports say she is in hospital after the blast.
Reports claim that Tatarsky was mingling with members of the public at the event when he was handed a box containing a bust of himself – with a bomb embedded inside.
A woman allegedly told the pro-Putin blogger: "It’s not easy. That's why I've only made your bust so far."
The mysterious woman is said to have called herself an "artist" and "wanted to show the heroes of Putin's special military operation".
The woman is said to have retrieved a box from a coat cupboard, before handing it to the blogger and taking her seat.
He holds it approvingly and places it to the side, video showed.
But just three minutes after the exchange, CCTV captured the moment the 200g explosive device detonated at the "Street Bar" café.
A fireball lights up the venue as a shockwave sends shards of glass blasting into the street.
One witness said: "Suddenly the explosive wave erupted, smoke was everywhere, and people ran."
Footage of the aftermath shows glass shattered all over the street and people attending to bleeding victims outside the façade of the collapsed café.
State media said 19 of the 30 caught in the St Petersburg blast were taken to hospital.
Eight people remain in a serious condition.
Investigators were seen sifting through the debris of the decimated café in hopes of finding clues to piece together the shock incident.
Tryopova is said to have fled the scene and was reportedly booked on a flight from Pulkovo Airport hours later – but never showed up for it.
Her flat was raided by cops and local media said her mother was arrested, while officials scour over her conversations in private web chat.
The former shop worker had breakfast with her friend on Sunday and sent her a message following the explosion.
Tryopova wrote: "I could have died there, I'd rather have died there, I was set up."
She is then alleged to have changed the settings on her messenger account for the first time in seven years.
Mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the brutal Wagner Group, was rumoured to be expected at the event, held at his café.
He said of the blast: "I have indeed passed the cafe to a patriotic movement called Cyber Front Z.
"They were doing various seminars there."
He compared Tatarsky's death to that of Darya Dugin, the daughter of Putin's "spiritual mastermind" Alexander Dugin, who was killed in a deadly car bomb last year.
'IT COULD BE A BOMB'
Police told RBC media that “the explosion was at a height of 60 centimetres from the floor.”
Its capacity was 300 to 450 grams of TNT and it went off "to the right of Tatarsky."
One report said that security in the cafe had stopped Trepova from bringing the statuette into the meeting because it was feared to be an explosive.
A witness alleged: "The girl who brought the figurine was sitting a little further away from me, and when she started talking about all this, she said that they didn’t let her in at the entrance.
"She said they had said ‘there could be a bomb’. She said exactly that.
"She literally asked [Tatarsky] for permission: ‘Allow me to bring it in anyway?’
"And Vladlen says: ‘Bring in it….we will check if there is something inside.’ Those were his words."
Dozens of military, police and firefighters attended the scene.
Russian investigators are reportedly seeking to understand if the woman who handed the figurine to Tatarsky knew it contained explosives, a Russian news site with links to law enforcement said.
The figurine was made of gypsum which made it difficult for security at the event to detect the explosives.
Some Russian outlets immediately blamed Ukraine for the blast, but it is unclear for now if this was the case.
Kremlin mouthpiece and political scientist Sergei Markov said: “Almost 100 per cent this terrorist attack was organised in Kyiv…Like the terrorist attack against Darya Dugina.”
The purpose was "to intimidate everyone who supports the armed liberation of Ukraine from the neo-Nazi terrorist regime”.
He fumed: “Zelensky is personally responsible for this attack, being the public leader of the terrorist regime.”
Pro-Putin speaker of the Russian senate, Valentina Matviyenko, said: "Vladlen wrote the truth, he wrote simply, brightly.
"As a result he became a target for our enemies, who are afraid of the strength of our spirit, our people's will.
"And Vladlen not only fought in the militia, collected help for our soldiers, but, most importantly, he formed the people's understanding of the special operation.
"And I'm sure he did a lot for our future victory."
Head of the RT propaganda machine Margarita Simonyan said: "Well, what? Will we forget? Forgive?"
Several hours before the explosion, Tatarsky had praised advertising hoardings in Moscow seeking recruits for Wagner fighters.
“It's nice to see such outdoor advertising,” he said.
Tatarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, is one of Russia's foremost military bloggers and has over 560,000 followers on Telegram.
He provided a critical running commentary on Russia's war in Ukraine and had once been a fighter in the battles in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Along with other Putin pundits, he criticised the Russian army for failing to fight even more brutally and ruthlessly against Ukraine.
In September, the pro-Kremlin pundit attended a lavish ceremony to celebrate the government's illegal attempts to annex four partly occupied regions in Ukraine.
He recorded a public video at the event saying: "We will defeat everyone, we will kill everyone, we will rob everyone. Everything will be as we like".
Earlier in October a video shows him declaring: “What are Ukrainians? I suddenly understood it. A Ukrainian is a Russian who got mentally sick….
“A Ukrainian is a Russian spiritual transvestite who is trying to squeeze into another skin."
If Tatarsky was deliberately targeted, it would be the second assassination on Russian soil of a figure associated with the war in Ukraine.
Russia's Federal Security Service accused Ukraine's secret services last August of killing Darya Dugina, with President Vladimir Putin describing it as "evil."
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