An attempt has been made on the life of Mikhail Moskvin, a police chief in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Mariupol, state-run news outlets reported Monday morning.
“The Mariupol resistance struck in occupied Mariupol, blowing up the car of one of the top military officers. Details later,” the Mayor Vadym Boychenko was cited by the Mariupol city council as saying.
Mariupol is a Ukrainian port city that has suffered widespread damage amid fighting in the Russia-Ukraine war. It was seized in May, becoming one of the first regions to fall to Russian forces. Moscow has often blamed attacks on Kremlin-installed officials in Ukraine on Kyiv.
Mariupol’s city council said the attack occurred at 8:07 a.m. local time.
“An explosion rang out in the area of the Bakhchivanji market (Prymorskyi district, Budivelnykiv avenue),” the council said in a statement on Telegram.
Russia’s state-run news agency Tass cited an unnamed source as saying Moskvin was alive.
“In the morning they blew up the car of police chief Moskvin. He is alive, everything is fine,” the source said, adding that the car exploded a few feet from the police chief.
According to Russian news outlet Gazeta.ru, Moskvin was diagnosed with a slight concussion.
The reported attack came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the port city, and was filmed getting heckled while talking with local residents.
Putin’s first visit to the war-ravaged occupied city since the start of his full-scale invasion last February came on the heels of a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue him with an arrest warrant for war crimes.
The Kremlin published a now-amended 27-minute long video, in which Putin was seen having a conversation with residents of the Nevsky district in Mariupol. According to local news outlets, he was talking with recipients of new housing that replaced homes that were destroyed as a result of the war.
Someone appeared to shout “It’s all not true! It’s all for show!” in the background of their conversation, which sparked a reaction from his security. It wasn’t clear from the video whether the heckler was identified.
That portion of the clip has now been removed from the version available on the Kremlin website.
A number of Russian-installed officials have been killed in Ukraine throughout the course of the conflict.
In September 2022, multiple Russian-installed officials were killed in a single day across the country. And in November, Kirill Stremousov, a Kremlin-installed leader of occupied Kherson in Ukraine, was killed.
Moscow has accused Kyiv of carrying out targeted strikes against Russian-appointed officials who have been working with the Kremlin amid the ongoing conflict.
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