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Russian Cafe Bombing Suspect Apologizes, Says Still Denied Access to Lawyers

Daria Trepova Kirill Zikov / Moskva News Agency

The suspect in the Russian cafe bombing that killed a prominent pro-war blogger said she did not know that she was carrying explosives and that she is being denied access to lawyers one month after her arrest on terrorism charges.

Daria Trepova, 26, was detained after a bomb planted inside a gilded bust she allegedly presented to blogger Vladlen Tatarsky exploded during an event at a St. Petersburg cafe. The blast killed Tatarsky and injured 40 others.

In her first interview since being arrested on April 3, Trepova told the independent media outlet Rotonda that she was “extremely sorry for what happened” and that she would try to organize a fundraiser for the survivors' recovery.

“I keep thinking how it happened that I didn’t notice the sword in my hands. Why I easily believed there was nothing dangerous in the parcel I was asked to pass on. The most unbearable thing is that a man was killed and dozens maimed by my hands.” 

“By all appearances, I survived purely by accident,” Trepova said.

Trepova detailed the conditions of her pre-trial detention at Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison, saying she was held in solitary confinement for the first 10 days and has only received two letters in the past month.

“They barely let in any [legal] defenders at Lefortovo. Investigators saw me three or four times, but I have yet to meet my lawyer,” she told Rotonda.

In the lead-up to Tatarsky’s assassination, Trepova said a journalist friend had offered her a job as a war correspondent in Ukraine around the time she had quit her job at a vintage clothing store in January.

Trepova did not identify the journalist or say whether she had accepted the offer. 

Russian authorities claim that Trepova acted on the orders of Ukrainian intelligence and jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's associates, which Navalny's team has denied.

Friends have described Trepova as a feminist-minded and politically active social media user whose only public records of activism included her detentions at anti-war and pro-Navalny rallies in 2021 and 2022.

“The only thing I’d like to say without diminishing my guilt is: violence begets violence,” Trepova said in the interview published Wednesday.

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