Huge car bomb blast 'maims Russian commandant'
Huge car bomb blast maims Russian commandant of occupied Ukrainian city as death toll among Putin’s troops ‘passes 50,000’
- Footage from Berdyansk on Tuesday showed the burning wreckage of a car
- Vehicle is said to have belonged to military commander Bardin Artem Igorevich
- Igorevich, appointed by Moscow to oversee the city, was rushed to hospital
- Another pro-Russian official said Igorevich was in a critical condition
- Meanwhile, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and September 6, Russia had lost about 50,150 personnel
A huge car bomb blast maimed the Russian commandant of an occupied Ukrainian city on Tuesday, the latest assassination attempt against a pro-Moscow official.
Footage from Berdyansk showed the burning wreckage of a car said to belong to Bardin Artem Igorevich, the military commander appointed by Moscow to oversee the Russian-occupied city and the surrounding region.
The explosion rocked a tree-lined street in the city centre, close to the administration building. Igorevich was reportedly taken to hospital and is in a serious condition.
A shootout took place in the aftermath of the blast, with footage looking out over the city picking up the sound of gunshots as smoke from the car rose over the skyline.
The blast came as Kyiv claimed Moscow’s death toll in the war has now passed 50,000, and as Ukraine’s forces made their first gains in a counter-offensive against Vladimir Putin’s invading forces in the east.
Bardin is the latest official installed by Russian forces in Moscow-controlled territories in Ukraine to have been wounded or killed in attacks.
Kyiv has not formally claimed responsibility for these attacks, but it is believed they are being carried out by pro-Ukraine operatives in occupied regions.
Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian administration of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region, called the incident a terror attack on his Telegram channel.
He wrote that three other civilian cars had been damaged in the blast.
A huge car bomb blast maimed the Russian commandant of an occupied Ukrainian city on Tuesday, according to reports. Pictured: A burnt out car is seen on a street in Berdyansk, a city in the east of Ukraine
‘As a result of the explosion, the city commandant was hospitalized in a serious condition. Doctors provide him with the necessary medical care,’ Rogov wrote.
‘Three civilian cars were also damaged from the explosion, in which, only by a lucky chance, there was no one. The details of the incident are being specified,’ he added.
Speaking to Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, Rogov said: ‘Terrorists of the Zelensky regime are behind the terrorist attack and the attempt on the life of the commandant of Berdyansk.’ He said an investigation had been opened.
Since Putin’s forces seized Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, as well large parts of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, Russia’s advance into its neighbour’s territory has largely been stalled for months.
Ukraine’s east has seen fierce fighting in recent months, with Kyiv’s forces now beginning to mount a counter-attack against the occupiers in some regions.
Experts believe Putin wants to hold fake referendums in the occupied regions as a prelude to a full annexation – as the Russian president did in Crimea in 2014.
However, recent deaths of pro-Russian officials are seen as evidence that pro-Ukrainian saboteurs are operating inside Russian-held territory, and are potentially delaying the plans to make Ukraine’s east an extension of Russian territory.
Last month, a pro-Russian police chief in the region was found hanged.
Footage from Berdyansk (pictured) showed the burning wreckage of a car said to belong to Bardin Artem Igorevich, the military commander appointed by Moscow to oversee the city and the surrounding region
The explosion rocked a street in the city centre, close to the administration building. Igorevich was reportedly taken to hospital and is in a serious condition
Andrei Ryzhkov had been a border guard in Ukraine before switching sides, it is reported. He was appointed as a police chief by the Kremlin occupying forces.
Odessa official Sergei Bratchuk said Ryzhkov ‘was found hanged in a noose’. The precise circumstances of how he came to be hanged are not known but under investigation by the Russian occupying forces.
And a week earlier, another regional official in Zaporizhzhia region, Ivan Sushko, 40, was blown to death in a car bombing.
Both men were from Mykhailivka, close to Berdyansk and in the same region as the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which is currently under siege by Russian troops.
Alexander Kolesnikov, deputy head of the Berdyansk traffic police, was also blown up in a car bombing.
Pictured: Smoke is seen rising from the burning car in Berdyansk. The car was blown up near the city’s administration building
Pictured: A map showing Berdyansk in Ukraine’s east, where the blast took place on Tuesday. Ukraine’s east has seen fierce fighting in recent months, with Kyiv’s forces now beginning to mount a counter-attack against the occupiers in some regions
The trends indicate that Putin’s forces are struggling to control land that was taken earlier in the war.
News of the Berdyansk blast came as the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 6th September, Russia had lost about 50,150 personnel – the first time the estimate has ticked over 50,000.
In addition to the tens of thousands of soldiers, Russia has lost 2,077 tanks, 4,484 armoured combat vehicles, 1,179 artillery units, 296 multiple launch rocket systems, 156 air defence systems, 236 warplanes, 207 helicopters, 876 drones, 209 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,305 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 109 units of special equipment – according to Ukraine’s military.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukraine has claimed its first gains in a counter-offensive against the Russian army in the south, saying it has recaptured several areas and destroyed multiple targets.
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