Oleg Popov has been murdered in a vehicle explosion in Lugansk
The Russian Investigative Committee opened an investigation into a “terrorist attack” on Wednesday after a car blew up in the Donbass city of Lugansk, killing a former MP of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR), Oleg Popov.
An “unidentified explosive device” detonated inside a vehicle, the committee said in a statement, adding that law enforcement officials were actively working at the blast scene to determine all the circumstances of the incident together with the Russian domestic security service, the FSB.
The officials have not named any suspects in the case yet. No one has claimed responsibility for the incident. A video published by the investigators shows Russian law enforcement cordoning off the area near the charred remains of a vehicle that appears to be almost completely burnt out.
Popov’s death was confirmed by an LNR MP Yury Yurov. The regional Health Ministry’s head, Natalya Pashenko, said that a team of medics that rushed to the scene after the blast was only able to retrieve the man’s charred body.
According to Russian media, it was the second assassination attempt against the former lawmaker, who had also earlier served with the LNR’s People’s Militia after the Donbass republic declared its independence from Kiev. Back in September 2022, the man was briefly declared dead following another attack as part of a Russian security services’ operation aimed at preventing a series of contract killings in Donbass. According to Yurov, the 2022 attack against Popov was orchestrated by the SBU, the Ukrainian domestic security service.
The news came on the same day that Ilya Kiva, a former Ukrainian opposition MP and a staunch critic of President Vladimir Zelensky, was killed in Moscow Region. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the politician was shot near a cottage he was residing in. Ukrainian media have since claimed that the nation’s intelligence services were behind his murder.
December 07, 2023 at 01:35AM