The Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, close to the Kremlin, was injured in an alleged attack. The 47-year-old was traveling in his car in the Nizhny Novgorod region east of Moscow on Saturday when an explosive device attached to the vehicle detonated, several Russian state news agencies reported, citing the local authorities.
Prilepin's driver was killed and the writer himself injured. Prilepin's press service initially announced that the author's condition was "okay". The governor of the region, Gleb Nikitin, later wrote that Prilepin had suffered minor fractures, but that his life was not in danger.
A few hours after the incident, which took place not far from the town of Bor, a man born in 1993 was arrested, according to the Interior Ministry, who is said to have a criminal record. The authority did not initially provide any further details. An investigation into a suspected terrorist attack had been launched, it said.
Prilepin, who is known in Germany for his book "Sankya", which was published in translated form in 2012, is considered a major supporter of the war of aggression against Ukraine ordered by President Vladimir Putin more than a year ago. In the meantime, the nationalist author even fought there himself.
A Ukrainian movement called Atesh spoke up on social networks and indicated that it was behind the attack on Prilepin. The group, which describes itself as a partisan movement of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, has claimed credit for several attacks in Russian-held Ukrainian territories in recent months. "The Atesh movement has been after Prilepin since the beginning of the year," the text said. And further: "We had a feeling that sooner or later he would be blown up." The credibility of the message could not initially be checked.
It would not be the first time that a war supporter in Russia has been the target of an assassination: just a few weeks ago, prominent military blogger Vladlen Tatarski died in an explosion in a St. Petersburg café. Last August, Darja Dugina – daughter of right-wing nationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin – died near Moscow as a result of a car bomb detonation.