A central vehicle carrying two of Vladimir Putin’s security officers was reportedly blown up in a brazen assassination attempt in Kiev.
Dramatic footage shows a massive inferno engulfing car in occupied Ukraine after both senior officials escaped with life-threatening injuries.
In the car bomb attack in the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, Deputy Interior Minister Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Shumilov and the head of the criminal police, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Pakholtenko, fought for their lives.
According to Russian media, both were hospitalized with serious shrapnel wounds after the explosion in the UAZ Patriot vehicle.
A criminal investigation has been launched into the attempted assassination.
It is the latest example of sabotage operations within Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory.
At the beginning of November, Ukraine admitted that it had murdered pro-Russian lawmaker Mikhail Filiponenko in another car bomb attack in Luhansk.
“Yes, it was our operation,” said Andriy Cherniak, a Ukrainian military intelligence official Politically.
He added that they worked with local Ukrainian partisans to plan and carry out the car bombing.
In September, a Russian general was seriously injured after receiving what he said was an “exploding phone” from Ukrainian intelligence.
Yuri Afanasevskii, 64, his wife and son were also reportedly hospitalized in Luhansk after the explosion at his home.
It comes amid a spate of suspected Ukrainian attacks both inside Russia and in Russian-controlled areas.
Recent footage showed the moment a HIMARS missile hit a Russian military command vehicle in the annexed Donetsk region.
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko said the Russian R-149BMR military vehicle was “completely destroyed.”
Earlier this month, suspected Ukrainian drones struck deep into enemy territory, blowing up a gunpowder factory and a missile factory.
In the hours that followed, a massive explosion knocked nineteen cars of a Russian freight train off the tracks in a suspected sabotage attack.
The unexpected explosion ripped open the railway line in the Ryazan region, 130 miles southeast of Moscow, sending a mysterious white powder officially called “mineral fertilizer” flying.
The rail incident was quickly labeled a “sabotage” by authorities after it emerged that this particular train was targeted.
Just days later, a Russian military base went up in flames after another gunpowder factory was blown up in a second attack.
A third mysterious attack followed on a military unit storing Putin’s valuable missiles, sparking a huge fire and sending hundreds fleeing.
The kamikaze drone strikes appeared to strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine as Kiev steps up its airstrikes to cripple Russia’s war effort.
Ukraine rarely comments on or accepts responsibility for such attacks on Russian soil.
But its forces are increasingly targeting Russian military, logistics and infrastructure sites in Putin’s home territory and in occupied territories.
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It comes at a time when Putin’s forces are failing on the battlefield as they struggle to stop a surprise Ukrainian advance on the eastern side of the Dnipro River.
Moscow has been forced to admit it has lost ground as Ukrainian troops claim to have advanced at least 2.5 miles across the previously frozen eastern front.