Russian writer and paramilitary Zajar Prilepin wounded when a bomb explodes in his car | International

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The Russian writer and volunteer in the Donbas war, Zajar Prilepin (Ryazan, 47 years old), was injured when a bomb exploded under his car this Saturday in the Nizhny Novgorod region, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow. The driver of the vehicle has died and the novelist, an author of international prestige, has been hospitalized for leg injuries and concussion. The attack took place in the town of Pionerski, some 50 kilometers from the regional capital. The explosion tore the car in two and left a hole in the ground. On the underside of the Audi in which he was traveling there was a fixed device with an explosive capacity equivalent to two kilograms of TNT, according to the Russian authorities. The assassination attempt came just a month after another explosive device killed blogger and separatist paramilitary member Vladlén Tatarski in a Saint Petersburg cafe. The Russian Interior Ministry has reported the arrest of a suspect in connection with the attack.

"Security forces are investigating the circumstances and causes of the incident," Nizhny Novgorod Governor Andrei Nikitin said. The novelist was taken by helicopter to a hospital in a conscious state. According to the newspaper AssetThe writer's daughter was also traveling in the car, but she had gotten out of the vehicle just before the explosion.

Several works by Prilepin —whose real name is Yevgueni— have been translated into other languages ​​and he has collaborated in numerous media, some of them foreign. In Spain it was published in 2012 Pathologies, (Sajalín Editores) one of his best-known works, on the conflict in Chechnya. The writer was in his youth a member of the National Bolshevik Party founded by Eduard Limonov and the Russian ultranationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, and between 2016 and 2018 he joined the Kremlin-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine as a paramilitary. Prilepin was appointed commander of a battalion named in his honor. “It has been created at my initiative and we will strive for us, like knights in shining armor, to reach the cities we have abandoned. [en referencia al territorio perdido por los separatistas en la guerra de Donbás de 2014 a 2015]”, he declared in an interview granted in 2017 to the official newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Image provided by the Russian authorities of the vehicle in which Prilepin was traveling, after the explosion this Saturday. HANDOUT (AFP)

In addition to defending ultranationalist theses, Prilepin has also been critical of the Kremlin in the past. Between 2007 and 2011 he was part of the Russian National Liberation Movement (NAROD), a platform that also included an unknown dissident who is today one of the great enemies of the Kremlin: Alexei Navalni.

Prilepin is currently a member of the Kremlin's satellite party Just Russia—For Truth. Its leader, Sergei Mironov, has stressed that kyiv has targeted the defenders of the war: "It is operating with force directly inside Russia and targets the ideologues of the special military operation." The novelist has shared in the latest Telegram publications, some of him this Saturday, content that supported Yevgueni Prigozhin, the head of Wagner's mercenaries, after his threat to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. He also shared other warmongering content from the Kremlin's propaganda channels.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has blamed Ukraine, and indirectly the United States and the United Kingdom, for the attack just a couple of hours after it occurred. “Washington and NATO have fed another international terrorist cell: the kyiv regime. Bin Laden, the Islamic State and now [el presidente ucranio, Volodímir] Zelensky and his thugs”, the spokesperson for the Russian organization, María Zajárova, wrote on Telegram. “This is the direct responsibility of the United States and the United Kingdom. We pray for Zajar.”

Since the invasion of Ukraine began, at least two leading figures supporting the invasion of Ukraine have been killed in separate attacks. The propagandist Tatarski, on April 2, when a statuette that was given to him by an assistant to the conference that he was leading in a cafeteria owned by the owner of the Wagner mercenary company exploded; and Dugin's daughter, Daria Dugina, killed when a bomb exploded in her car on August 21, 2022, outside Moscow.

The security forces have activated the Interception protocol in Nizhny Novgorod, a plan that has already been applied in the past in border regions with Ukraine after alleged acts of sabotage. "The police stop all suspicious cars, check their drivers' documents and inspect the vehicles," a police source told the Tass news agency.

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