MOSCOW: A car blast on Thursday killed an official in the Russian-controlled village of Lyubimivka in southern Ukraine, Moscow-installed authorities said, the latest in a series of attacks against Russian-linked officials.
“Today Andrei Nikolayevich Shtepa, a sincere patriot of his native land, died tragically as a result of a car explosion,” authorities said on Telegram, blaming “Ukrainian terrorists” for the death.
Lyubimivka is located on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river, which is occupied by Moscow’s troops after they retreated from Kherson city last month rendering the river a new frontline.
This is the latest in a series of targeted attacks against Russia-installed officials in occupied areas.
These included a blast that killed Oleg Boyko, the deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in Berdyansk, and his wife Lyudmyla who headed the electoral commission preparing for the so-called annexation referendum.
In September, the Lugansk separatist administration’s top prosecutor and his deputy were also killed in an attack.
In September Moscow claimed to have annexed the four Ukraine regions of Kherson, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Zaporizhzhia despite never fully controlling them.