Ukraine Day 972: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
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Arseniy Pavlov, a Russian militant and leader of the Russian-backed fighters’ Sparta Battalion, has reportedly been assassinated in a bomb blast in his apartment building in Donetsk.
Kyiv Post reports:
Interfax News Agency, citing a source, said Pavlov was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated in the elevator of his apartment building. Other reports say the Kremlin-backed separatists blame Ukrainian officials for the blast. If his death is confirmed, he becomes the latest in a growing number of assassinations of separatist military leaders in the Donbas.
Russian Arseniy Pavlov, a war crimes suspect known as 'Motorola,' reportedly killed | KyivPost
Russian mercenary Arseniy Pavlov, better known as Motorola, was killed in an explosion in Donetsk, several news agencies reported on Oct. 16. Police in the Kremlin-controlled area were reportedly looking for suspects in the killing. Interfax News Agency, citing a source, said Pavlov was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated in the elevator of …
The speaker of the unrecognized parliament of the self-declared “Donetsk Peoples’ Republic,” Denis Pushilin, called the attack an act of terrorism and directly blamed the Ukrainian government. The Russian propaganda outlet RT reports:
“With this murder Ukrainian side hopes to undermine the situation in the Republic,” he said, adding that Kiev still aims to resolve the conflict in Ukraine “by force” but due to its inability to achieve military victory resorts to “terrorist methods.”
The attack is a clear violation of the ceasefire in Donbass and an apparent “declaration of war,” the head of the self-proclaimed republic, Aleksander Zakharchenko stated.
“As I understand, [Ukrainian President] Petro Poroshenko violated the ceasefire and declared war on us,” Zakharchenko said.
Russian-backed separatist leaders may be blaming the Ukrainian government, but it’s far more likely that Motorola was a victim of infighting within his own factions:
Militant "hero" Motorola survives assassination attempt in Donetsk (video)
A war lord Arseniy Pavlov, also known as Motorola (C) in occupied Donetsk (GettyImages Photo) Blast in city center allegedly targeted Motorola, who earlier confessed to executing 15 unarmed Ukrainian soldiers, captured by the separatists A loud blast was reported in the center of the militant stronghold Donetsk in the morning of Friday, June 24.
In fact, many other key figures in the ranks of the Russian-backed fighters have been targeted lately, including leader of the self-proclaimed “Lugansk Peoples’ Republic,” Igor Plotnitsky, who was targeted by a suspected assassination attempt in August.
— James Miller