The car of a prominent pro-Kremlin novelist has exploded in Russia, injuring him and killing his driver, state news agency Tass reported, citing emergency officials.
The incident involving Zakhar Prilepin, a well-known nationalist writer and a supporter of what the Kremlin calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, happened in Nizhny Novgorod, about 250 mile) east of Moscow.
It is the third explosion involving prominent pro-Kremlin divs since the start of the war in Ukraine.
In August 2022, a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as “Putin’s brain”. Authorities alleged Ukraine was behind the blast.
Last month, an explosion in a cafe in St Petersburg killed a popular military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky. Officials again blamed Ukrainian intelligence agencies for orchestrating it.
Tass cited Prilepin’s spokespeople as saying he was “OK”. No details were given about his injuries.
Russian news outlet RBC reported, citing unnamed sources, that Prilepin was travelling back to Moscow from Ukraine’s partially occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Saturday, and stopped in the Nizhny Novogorod region for a meal.
Police are investigating the incident, the report said.
Prilepin became a supporter of Vladimir Putin in 2014 after the Russian president illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula. He was involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine on the side of Russia-backed separatists.
Last year, he was sanctioned by the European Union for his support of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In 2020, he founded a political party, For the Truth, which Russian media reported was backed by the Kremlin. A year later, his party merged with the nationalist A Just Russia party which has seats in parliament.
As a co-chairman of the newly formed party, Prilepin won a seat in the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, in the 2021 election, but gave it up.