Luhansk People’s Republic Minister of Emergency Services killed in Ukrainian strike on Lysychansk

The so-called "head of the Emergency Services" of the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic" (LPR), Alexey Poteleshchenko, was killed in a strike by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on a bakery in Lysychansk on February 3, reports the Russian news agency Interfax, citing a source within the regional security forces. According to Interfax, the number of fatalities resulting from the strike stands at 28 people.

The death of Poteleshchenko was confirmed by the leader of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik, who expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased in a Telegram post.

Petro Andryushchenko, advisor to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, clarified that the hit was not on a bakery as reported by Russian media, but on a restaurant where LPR leaders had gathered that evening.

The news outlet Mash in Donbas reports, citing the son of the deceased, that Poteleshchenko was at the birthday party of MP Ivan Zhushma at the Adriatico café on the day of the shelling. The "head of the LPR Emergency Services" was inside the establishment with other guests.

The independent journalism project Astra also reports, citing local residents, that a restaurant was targeted in the strike, where Russian military personnel were dining. Photographs from the site show a sign on the building "Adriatico restaurant."

Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazansky also reported that the strike on Lysychansk hit a restaurant where representatives of the Russia-installed administration were meeting. Among them were top officials of the "Emergency Services," "prosecutors," and "MPs."

"Russian propaganda media admitted that as a result of the strike on Lysychansk, 'LPR Emergency Services Minister' Alexey Poteleshchenko was killed. He was at the café for the birthday of 'LPR deputy' Ivan Zhushma, who was also killed. It's unclear why the propagandists lied for several days about a 'strike on civilians', continue to lie about a 'strike on a bakery', a 'simple baker's birthday party', etc., when it was clear the death of the 'LPR minister' couldn't be concealed and the fact that he was really there would become known," noted Kazansky.

Prior to 2014, Alexey Poteleshchenko worked for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and after the occupation of part of the Luhansk region, he switched sides to Russia.

According to reports from the Luhansk region, the explosion occurred on February 3 around 5:30 p.m. Russian state media, citing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, reported that the strike was carried out by Ukrainian forces using a missile launched from the American HIMARS system.

Russia-installed LPR authorities said that "Kyiv deliberately struck a bakery on a weekend, when many people go out to buy bread."

  War in Ukraine, Donbas, Lysychansk