Assassination attempt carried out on separatist leader in eastern Ukraine

The leader of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky, was wounded on Saturday as a result of the explosive device exploding near his car.

According to the report issued by OSCE SMM observers who visited the area shortly after, “the explosion had likely been caused by an improvised explosive device (assessed as approximately 1kg of high explosives) placed next to or in, a lamp post about two meters away from the vehicle, which was damaged and downed, at the side of the road.”

The authorities of the LPR called the assassination attempt a terrorist act. Plotnitsky and two other people were taken to the hospital.

Russian Interfax news agency reported that Plotnitsky received multiple shrapnel wounds including wounds to the liver and spleen. According to Interfax, Plotnitsky underwent an emergency operation and the doctors managed to stabilize his condition. He was moved to an intensive care. But later a source in the LPR republic told Interfax that the doctors are still concerned over Plotnitsky’s health.

LPR authorities stated that among other scenarios they are looking into the possibility of a Ukrainian subversive reconnaissance group being involved into the assassination attempt. This information was reported by several separatist news sites with the reference to the press-secretary of the Ministry of the State Security of LPR, Eugeniya Lubenko.

“We are looking into a few scenarios including a possibility of a Ukrainian subversive reconnaissance group being involved in it. The 'interception' alert has been declare in the republic,”  stated Lubenko. She said that the investigation is ongoing.

The leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, accused Kyiv of being behind the assassination attempt.

“This was expected. Only a month ago Ukraine said that assassinations of the high ranking officials of the republics, including me and Plotnitsky, were in the making. Thankfully it didn’t happen,” stated the leader of the DPR.

The Ukrainian presidential administration spokesman for the military operation, Alexander Motuzyanik, stated that the Ukrainian military has nothing to do with this incident. Motuzyanik assumed that the incident is as a result of “the power struggle and  internal feud over the spheres of influence in the separatist republic”.

  LPR, Plotnitsky