A Russian military commander in charge has been severely injured in a car bomb attack.
There are conflicting reports about Bardin Artem Igorevich's condition following the incident. He is in charge of the occupied city of Berdyansk in south-eastern Ukraine.
Russian military sources in Zaporizhzhia had confirmed that he had died, according to Yaroslav Trofimov, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
However state-controlled media agency Gazeta Russiya has reported that Igorevich was still alive and undergoing emergency treatment.
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Vladimir Rogov, a Russian official based in Zaporizhzhia, described the car bomb attack as a “terrorist strike” and blamed Ukrainian saboteurs.
While three other vehicles are known to have been damaged in the blast, Rogov claimed there were no other Russian military personnel injured.
Several high-ranking pro-Putin officials have been the targets of assassination attempts in Ukraine in recent weeks.
Alexei Kovalev, a former ally of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy who notoriously switched sides in the first weeks of the war, was found dead in his home on August 28.
He had been shot, and a Mossberg pump-action shotgun was found near his body. A woman, reportedly his girlfriend, was also found in the house with stab wounds in her neck.
Vladimir Saldo, appointed by the Kremlin to run the Russian occupied Kherson region, was apparently poisoned shortly after hiring a new chef. While he is thought have survived the attack in early August, he hasn’t been seen in public since.
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The day after Saldo’s poisoning another pro-Kremlin official in the Kherson region, Vitaly Gurа, was shot dead outside his home.
Also in Kherson, pro-Russian politician Igor Telegin was severely injured by a roadside IED.
Meanwhile, in the northeast province of Kharkiv, Russian-appointed official Yevgeny Yunakov, was killed in a car bomb attack.
The head of the Russian-backed civil administration of the region, Vitaly Ganchev, told RIA Novosti that the Ukrainian assassination squads responsible for these killings would face severe punishment: “There is no forgiveness and indulgence for the enemy,” he said. The Kyiv regime will be overtaken by a well-deserved punishment”.
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