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Kremlin-Installed Official Targeted in Bomb Attack – Reports

Yury Afanasyevsky.

A Kremlin-installed official was targeted in a bomb assassination plot at his home in occupied eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian media reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.

Yury Afanasyevsky, head of the customs office in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), was at his home during the bomb attack, according to an anonymous Ukrainian SBU security service source cited by the Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske.

The source claimed that Afanasyevsky was hospitalized with multiple shrapnel wounds and was in serious condition.

A woman was detained in connection to the assassination attempt, the LNR branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

The unidentified woman reportedly confessed to handing a “cellphone with an explosive device” to Afanasyevsky on Sunday, and the cellphone “was detonated after activation.”

“[Afanasyevsky] and his son received multiple injuries, they are currently in a medical facility,” the Investigative Committee said, adding that both are expected to recover.

The investigative body referred to Afanasyevsky as a “former” chairman of LNR’s customs office without elaborating on when he stepped down from his position. 

A pro-Russian source in the local emergency services told TASS earlier Tuesday that Afanasyevsky “was not seriously injured” in the assassination attempt.

“It is his son who’s hospitalized, not him,” the source was quoted as saying, while also acknowledging that “the terrorist attack was most likely directed specifically against Afanasyevsky.”

Neither Kyiv nor Moscow, which annexed Luhansk alongside three other partially occupied Ukrainian regions last fall, have officially commented on the latest reported assassination attempt.

Afanasyevsky is under EU, U.K., Canadian, Swiss and Japanese sanctions, according to Hromadske.

The outlet’s SBU source claimed that Afansyevsky is an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) central office and the “financier” of Luhansk’s Kremlin-installed leader Leonid Pasechnik.

The SBU source further claimed that Afanasyevsky had laundered money to fund armed groups fighting against Ukraine.

A number of pro-Russian officials have been wounded or killed in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine since the start of Moscow's invasion in early 2022.

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