Ukraine claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mikhail Filiponenko, a pro-Russian politician and former commander of the separatist army of the Luhansk region. He died on Wednesday morning after an explosive device exploded in his car. TASR took over administration from the AFP agency.
Ukrainian military intelligence announced that it had carried out a “special operation to eliminate” Filiponenko, working “with representatives of the resistance movement”. Filiponenko was a member of the parliament of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LĽR) and was active in the separatist resistance in 2014.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, in the past he “personally and brutally tortured” civilians and prisoners of war. The intelligence agency added that it would continue to target “war criminals and collaborators” working with Russia.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation released a video from the scene of the explosion, where to see wrecked dark car with blood on the driver’s seat. The top representative of the LĽR, Leonid Pasečnik, called Filiponenko a “real man” and his death a “great loss” on social networks.
Last September, Russia annexed the occupied Luhansk region together with three others – Zaporozhye, Kherson and Donetsk. later held disputed elections there. Filiponenka was elected to the parliament in Luhansk. The West and Kyiv do not recognize the legality of the annexation and the alleged elections.